I’m housesitting for some friends in a place where I used to spend weekends as a kid. Love it down here, ‘at home’ with the waters and breezes, flora and fauna that mother me and ground my thoughts –most of the time—on the stuff that matters. It’s really cool.
But today, I lost site of groundedness and shut someone out when there was no need. Should have seen the potential connection as a response to my yearning to make some friends. Chill time could have been a neat way to pause from a current project, and experience the normalcy of humanity that sometimes ‘sticking to my schedule’ prevents.
Here’s what happened: Every day while walkin’ my dog, a neighbor whistles to me. Not invasive, but annoying. I called him on it. “Hey. Why ya whistling?” And he said, “cuz you look too serious and I want you to jump into these waters and take a swim with me.”
Gulp. Momentary friek out, cringe, get me outa here combined with ‘who is this guy?’
Shift gears, next thought: pause, calm, remember Love’s in control, governs this moment, is what you are exuding, is what he is exuding. No fear. Only peace. No self doubt. Just love. No coincidences, ever. Seize the moment to love. Regain calm. Continue speaking.
Haven’t met this guy before. It’s our first verbal. I respond, “Ah, ya caught me praying again. Yep. I work as a practitioner of spiritual healing and I tend to pray about things when I’m walking my dog. By the way I am Tresha.”
He paused, asked if I was visiting. Meanwhile I’m still calming down the pull to squirm and exit. Got calm. We exchange more pleasantries. He asks me again to swim. I’m not jivin’ with it. Still overwhelmed with ‘self stuff’ (I don’t know this guy. I’m not comfortable in my suit with him. Plus I have work to do). I was calm. But still a bit caught up in fear. Self justification kicks in. I respond “Maybe some other time. I’m working on a project.”
Ooh, mighty mighty ego lets me escape at the last second and prevents me from sharing more genuinely. I know this but still feel safer there. Note to self: work on courage.
I surely saw him around. He asked me every walk (3x/day) for the next 3 days to take a swim. Each time the self got louder. “Can’t he leave me alone? Why does he keep askin’? Didn’t I make it clear I’m working? Tell him some other time. Remember Tre. Love’s guiding.” Real me says ‘then why are you fearing?’ Self argues back: I don’t wanna be bothered, don’t have time for frivolous play.” Self wins. Note to self: Keep an open thought. Be nice. Maybe tomorrow.
Pause: Okay…looking back, I see the echo of self justification and fear really robbing me of the potential good for the moment. Was he asking me to spend the night, spend the weekend or spend the rest of my life with him?
He was asking me to take a dip in the water and share time. ‘Round here, everyone swims. Even as he asked me, 3 others were wading in the waters, including his dad I later learned he cares for and some other neighbors.
It was just a swim. Yeah, but try convincing little miss stubborn-about-the-schedules-to-stick-to, little-miss-nervous-about-the-guy’s-overall-intentions. In those moments, fear and self justification won the day, darn it! I know better. Any pull to ‘stubbornly stick to a schedule’ and avoid Love’s spontaneous outpouring of good is just wrong. Avoid that pull. Dive into Love’s gift without regret.
But I didn’t. Not only did I convince myself I’d say yes later, but I also role played how I’d respond if he did ask me out. (see the strategy of the self talking?) ‘If plan A doesn’t work, rev up plan B.’ ie: if he’s getting me in the water to get me to go out with him later, here’s my ammo.’ DUH! What was I trusting that was governing the moment? Ugh! Not Mind. But fear, self, and ego.
Folks? Sometimes there isn’t later. He came by today to say ‘See ya. I’m heading back up to Michigan. Probably won’t be back til February. But nice chatting with you. You seemed nice. It’s a shame we didn’t get to know each other more. But if you don’t mind, say hi to my dad when you see him? I am kinda worried about him.” And he drove off.
It was just a swim. An hour or so to become acquainted, maybe even enjoy the water and be a bit childlike. Heaven forbid I allow myself some ‘frivolous playtime’ and human exchanges. And maybe, just maybe, I could have offered some thoughts that would have eased his worry ’bout his dad. But I didn’t give myself or him that opportunity. Nope. I had to stubbornly stick to my agenda, feared his motives, bought more time. Kinda sad I may never see that guy again.
See, in trying to live my spirituality, I strive to avail myself of all that good life offers, to embrace another and share heart to heart. And not just to talk about my work but to share lives, in small or big ways. And while I blew it this time, instead of dumping on myself for being stubborn and suspicious, I’m resolving to remember: no interchange is coincedence. Anyone who comes into our lives offers an opportunity to exchange common humanity, kindness, joy. Doesn’t matter if it’s with the store clerk, the toll person, the mailman, your neighbor.
Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health “The test of all prayer lies in the answer to these questions: Do we love our neighbor better because of this asking? Do we pursue the old selfishness, satisfied with having prayed for something better, though we give no evidence of the sincerity of our requests by living consistently with our prayer? If selfishness has given place to kindness, we shall regard our neighbor unselfishly” (p. 9:5).
So I’m resolving to root out the pull to be stuck to an agenda, to be suspicious or fearful.
I need to do this better with men, especially. So I’m resolving to make more mental room for the spontaneous good Love brings, share my heart more and even give myself occasion for frivolous play. The dolphins do. So do the parrots. So can I. So can you.
Here’s to loving more wholely…thought by thought…ourselves and our ‘neighbor’—whether or not it’s just a swim.
Be well…..Tre ☺
If you wanna chat more about the above, leave a comment or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and lemme know how to be in touch with you.