Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Beautiful, yet empty

Many times we find ourselves in a relationship that somehow is exactly the opposite of what we had expected. It is at the point of this realization that we may find our emotions at their highest; anger, jealousy, mistrust, sadness, etc.

When I was a little girl, I went with my Mother and Father to a local department store. The store was decorated for the upcoming Holiday season, and being a child I was amazed. The lights, the reindeer, the glitter; but my eyes were fixed, my heart swelled and my mind was overcome with wonder as I saw the presents under the large pine. So many presents, more than I had ever seen. What a wonderful sight! The colors, the sizes, the ribbons, all of these wonders overwhelmed my young eyes. I can remember my Father telling me the beautiful boxes were just a display, they weren't for anyone in particular. It was just to look at.... Those words stuck with me throughout the day.

When I arrived home, I told my older sister about the display. Being the oldest and so much wiser, she grandly explained that display meant they were empty boxes, wrapped up all pretty, and put under the store's tree. To this day, I can remember the feeling of disappointment that entered my heart and mind after finding out this hard truth. In my child's mind, I had built a reality where somewhere, a little boy or girl was going to have those sparkling presents on Christmas morning. They would wake up to a mound of gifts so bright and large that the star on top their tree would be hidden. That child would open one after the other to find all the treasures they had ever dreamed of possessing. In my child's mind, if that could happen, well, I just might be that child! To find that the gift was empty, well, it crushed not only my dream, but my feelings as well... I was sad, angry, and I now mistrusted what I had seen with my very own eyes. I felt stupid and I felt as empty as those boxes.

As a child I saw a bright and shiny, beautifully wrapped present. It was good. I immediately wanted it. Not even having a clue as to what it was, I drew my own dream of what it could be, I set my thinking to the fact that it must be a wonderous gift.... My reality turned an empty box into a shiny bicycle in the blink of an eye.

We do this now as adults, with our interpretations of relationships, thoughts, and actions. We meet a new person, we see a beautiful home, beautiful face, clothes, etc... We begin to believe the object is good, because the appearance is appealing to our eyes. We crave, or covet a relationship with this person or object, we begin to see what we need to see to keep to our dream, or belief of that person/object. At some point in the future, we see that the beauty we first saw has faded, the glitter or shine has dulled, and we can no longer hide the emptiness that is inherent to all things. We begin to see that this person/object is not living up to our dream. We begin to see their actions and their very being as a way to cause us pain. We cannot understand how they became this, how they changed so much. Yes, change has happened, glitter fades, but our pain originates in our perception. We percieved what we desired to see. And when our perception could no longer hold the dream, we suddenly are plunged into the reality of our relationship. Reality is change, in every moment. To say you or it has changed, is speaking of an obvious, a rule so to speak- All Things Change. By casting blame onto the object, rather than truly accepting the reality of the object, we set ourselves up for further suffering. We must accept what is, as it is, in this moment without expectation.

Today, try your best to appreciate all things as they truly are, do not wrap them in pretty paper and illusions. Do not allow yourself to impose what you believe "it" is as reality. Take a moment to truly look, examine, and discern the true nature, let go of your expectations.... Just for a moment, accept the "display" is beautiful, yet empty, allow it to be just as it is and love it for that alone.