Was I Ready? Am I Ready?
Looking back at my life I have to scratch my head. My relationships with women were quite immature, even pre-adolescent in nature. My spirituality was on the one hand cosmic (passion about the cosmos) and on the other dogmatic, rooted in strict beliefs of my conservative Lutheran church, anything but cosmological. I was not comfortable in family life but rather pursued work and organizational matters. And it all felt so natural. Even successful. I had no idea that I was barely living. How could I know?
I used to judge these earlier times in my life harshly, blaming myself for my immaturity on all fronts. But now I am much more compassionate toward a younger Gary. In those earlier decades Gary was not ready for more. He did not have the capacity, for example, for a mature, whole relationship with a woman — a relationship that was mature sexually, physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. He was not even ready for a whole relationship with himself! He was not at home in his body, not able to play spontaneously, not able to feel and know his emotions, or sense a deeper purpose and meaning in life. So now I do not blame him for his behavior and decisions. I just smile and watch his growing capacity in all these areas.
And this younger Gary did not have a capacity for a deeper spirituality, a deep and rich relationship with God, a profound sense of love, wisdom and oneness with All that Is. So without this capacity he did what he could do: Learned dogma, practiced prayer, read his bible. Even led bible classes and held leadership offices in the church. But today I can see that he was probably a closet atheist — still Knowing that there was a larger Cosmos out there that seemed like a foreign world to the spirituality he was learning and living in the church. Oh he would learn, even teach and defend the doctrine, but I doubt that he had the capacity to experience a true relationship with God, or Source. And again today I smile rather than blame. He was simply doing all he knew how to do. He was not ready for more.
And finally his career came out of the same mold, pursuing what the culture said was a worthy career — becoming an engineer and businessman. But once again this was not his true nature. His roots were in spirituality, psychology, and philosophy, but he had no idea how to give these passions voice in his life. So he did what he could do, and did it fairly well. He was not ready for more.
So today I have a much more accepting and loving relationship with this younger Gary. He did what he could do, he did it fairly well, and he was not ready for more. To have such acceptance of a younger Gary has required much growth in its own right. Growth to take him in just as he was, just as he had to be, and growth to love and respect him just as he was, and all he could have been back then.
So now I look at where I am today, mid 2010. I look at my relationship with Pat. I can see a part of me wishes I were ready for more, but I have to admit that am not ready. Over ten years ago I announced to her that I was looking for a whole relationship with a woman — a relationship complete on the sexual, physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual levels. Of course that was true; but, my God did I not realize that I had no capacity for such a lofty relationship! Just now I am getting to the point of understanding the severe limitations of my capacity for love and deep relationships. So I relax into where I am in my capacity for relationships. It is important to love this NOW Gary, just as I have come to love my younger Gary.
On the spiritual side, too, I see the severe limitations of my capacity for a deep spiritual life. I smile at my “longing” for “nondual” spirituality. As I slow down, I can begin to see that all this spiritual maturing is an organic and natural unfolding, not something I long for or try to achieve — I do not even know what it means experientially to live a completely nondual or unitive life, so how can I long for something I do not even know. Rather, I just let my spiritual life unfold in its own time at its own pace. There is plenty of living in life just where I am, partially mature, partially immature, and everything in between! I am not ready to be more than I already am. If I were ready, I would be there! And yes, I know, at some intellectual level, that I am there already, and have been all the time. But now I am just waiting patiently to Know that fully and experientially! And loving life on the way to wholeness, loving the process of unfoldment.
Love to you readers,