|"The Unmaker" painting by Ryan Ulrich|
Carlton and I are hosting an open house together today. Among those invited is my new friend, the young Christian woman I mentioned in a previous post. She did not RSVP by the requested date but she wasn't the only one. I dashed a quick reminder text message to her and a few others. All of them responded -- except her. A couple of days later, I found the CD I'd loaned her in my mailbox and a note saying "I will not be able to come to your party."
Who knows what's actually going on. She hasn't said it outright but my gut says she may have reached the limit of her tolerance for my heathenish ways. Her faith teaches "Love thy neighbor" but, judging from their actions, she like many Christians find it easier to love other Christians than non-believers. "Right" is spelled out in their doctrine so they know "right" but doing it....
And perhaps it's still a question of discernment for her: Does loving my neighbor mean going into places where non-believers are present and actively being their non-believing selves?
The open house is our first collaborative project since we decided this summer to join our visions and talents to create an artist retreat/education center in his hometown. We've never worked together so adjusting to each other's work styles has been, for me, a challenge.
With the first guests scheduled to appear in less than an hour, I'm in my room at my desk with my nose out of whack. I've felt like I was hosting the event alone until about 30 minutes ago when Carlton returned from the market with bags of supplies and his brother arrived with a cooked turkey. Where were these guys last night when I was assembling 5 dozen ham and cheese minis?!
I know the right thing to do is to let go of my disgruntlement, accept what is and move forward. I can even see fairly clearly the specific ingredients of my disgruntlement and understand them in terms of Tolle's "pain body" concept.
here I sit. Clinging to what ails me.
Clinging and breathing, releasing on exhale....taking my attention to the vital essence of my aliveness, the energy that courses through every atom, every cell of my body. Detaching from the disgruntled thoughts. No judgment. Just watching them roil and float. Breathing. Breathing.
The grumpiness, of course, bounces back as Ego struggles to keep a foothold in the face of all this breathing and releasing. "No! No! Don't fold on this. Stand your ground! Stay mad!" Ego's existence depends on there being a crisis or problem or conflict of some kind. Peace is the last thing Ego wants.
I'm breathing the whole thing in.....and breathing the whole thing out. Ego. Energy. Thinking.
There's nothing to prove. There's no one to convince. I'm not in danger.
Yeah. I know "right" and I can do it, too, this time.