THE HARDEST STRIVING OF ALL
THE MOST IMPORTANT STRIVING OF ALL
There are environmentalists who would seem to believe that the earth would be far better off without human beings on it, and there are times one might appreciate this extreme solution to the human dilemma. We are troublesome lot, we pesky human beings, and have made a mess for millennia with how we quarrel and destroy each other, and increasingly the world, in the process.
Is there anything more beautiful, more difficult, more frustrating, more impossible and challenging, more rewarding, fulfilling and meaningful than our relationships with each other? In the end as we look at a life, any life, this factor is likely to have been is the hardest of all and hopefully the most rewarding of all. The care of our relationships is the most important thing we will do while we are on the planet.
We are increasingly moving into a time where consciousness needs to enter all our relationships more than ever before. And this IS our hardest and most important work to help to try to change the planet and ourselves. It asks agonizing self and circumstance examination at every level.
The trouble with our close relationships, of course, is that we are given the gift to see and experience the higher self of the other as we fall in love, have our precious child, meet someone on the same light path that inspires us, all the beautiful gifts of life and karma that help us keep the faith and delight in our connections.
Sadly, the other polarity in our relationships is that the karma is so molasses thick that we are hardly able to keep that picture of the other’s ‘higher self’ in perpetuity. Then we can generate a full dose of our ‘lower self’ energy that calls out their ‘lower self’ energy and the relationship falls in shambles. What a struggle it is to ‘see the other’ again through the thick karmic glop that fills the space between us!
Gordon and I recalled a time when we had made some arrangements with an individual and then found that we just couldn’t make it work out for everyone involved. There had been some painful incidents involved that needed to be faced and acknowledged in the process. We knew it wouldn’t be easy but it needed to be dealt with. My husband is as courageous as any brave man, but when it comes to sticky relationships he has to opt out for a kind of self preservation in these matters. But we all agreed we would meet together.
Preparation was called for. This meant prayer ahead of time, trying to raise things to a higher more objective energy. In addition, I did the verses in eurythmy that I do from Rudolf Steiner, before every lecture, lesson, or presentation that I give. (Over the years I can no longer count the times I have prepared in various sized bathrooms!)
The St. Francis Prayer is such a universally humbling reminder of where we ought to be coming from that nothing seemed more appropriate than focusing on these words ahead of time.
The setting was and is always important. It needs to neutral and welcoming, everyone equally seated in comfort to see and respond to each other with as open a dialogue as possible. One of the most insulting scenes in the film “It’s a Wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stewart is when the domineering Potter is seated at his imperial desk and has the poor man squirming in a low chair with his chin scarcely to desk height.
Nothing can fully take the discomfort out these hard situations we all have to face, because it is the reality of it. As we met, we realized the individual needed a time to tell us about his life and we gave it. Isn’t it interesting how the space simply to be heard is such an essential part of meeting today? He covered a great deal for a long time. We listened and waited. It was not boring. There is no such thing as a boring biography.
But the chunks of unpleasant disturbing issues that I knew I would have to put on the table were weighing on me and I was becoming increasingly weary.
Looking back I felt a certain help would be there if I could bring enough good energy to the meeting. I began giving a review of how and what had occurred to bring us to this point. I felt I needed to take full responsibility to acknowledge that while we had hoped to be able to fulfill our part of the bargain we found ourselves in circumstances unable to do so. Further, within the things that had come to pass there were some painful incidents. Again I knew apologies were called for and did so, making sure these were all ‘I’ messages, as I struggled to find a way to help someone else see the good intentions that were involved and bring clarity to that vast distance between good intention and poor delivery of those intentions.
In review, I have been there more than once. Some of life’s lesson’s need to be repeated for we slow learners! It is truly embarrassing how obtuse one can remain! I wish I could say that we ‘arrive’. From my experience, the truth is we arrive still packing a good deal of our stuff and can be grateful if we at least have modified it, recognized it, composted it to a more pleasing aroma, and made friends with it over the cycles of life!
Looking back at that meeting we felt it was a sincere and human sharing that we experienced, though it was hard. There were options available. There was gratitude, There was appreciation. There was mutual respect. We were all acknowledged and made more human and caring in the process. The conversation that followed that lasted another two hours. And I am grateful and felt so spiritually supported to know this is possible. These experiences are the work of the time, the hard work, the continuing good work of trying to deal with our lives.
The following From the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily
(Goethe’s famous Fairy Tale wherein the old man calls out thrice to humanity “Now is the Time!”)
The Gold King: “What is more noble than gold?”
The Green Snake: “Light”
The Gold King: “What is more refreshing than light?”
The Green Snake: “Conversation”