Needs vs. Wants
But we're also afraid of it. How CRAZY is that?
Have you ever had the feeling, after listening to something that was so hauntingly beautiful it touched you down deep inside, that you suddenly needed to get up and do something urgently important like sort your socks? You knew you just get away from people...and that creepy deeply-touching-you-within thing.
That's Gentleness sneaking up on you. You sniffed it out, knew what was coming, and you made a quick get-away. It knows where you live, and you don't like that. Or your ego doesn't.
It's what the dark is trying to cover, by the way. And seeing It -- and making friends with it, like it so Wants to be Our Friend -- is the only point of looking at what we fear.
We open the dark closet, and -- surprise! -- Gentleness is right there, too. Right there looking all Big and Bright and Sweet and Glowing and Happy and Joyful and Sublime next to the bony, fang-faced, blood-sucking monster. It's all surreal, because there is Gentleness in such an unlikely place, smiling so goofily and sweetly. And..oh..now, blood-sucking monster is fading. That's the Miracle.
We get glimpses of Gentleness in the newborn baby or the rosebud or the beautiful woman or the kitten. From our puppet-body perspective, we then think Gentleness is in those forms....we don't realize those forms are nothing but images we have made, too. That's right...this is duality, so we see both the Light/Truth and the dark/ego.
We are drawn to forms that reflect Gentleness in our minds, their alluring nature mirroring the allure that Truth has for the Self. We become mesmerized by the form, however. We make it "special." Then we "need" it to come back....but not too close. We don't want it doing the creepy touching-us-deeply-within thing. We want it in dispenser form -- "out there" --- like a throw-away Dixie cup.
"Come here come here, go away go away"....sound like any relationship you have ever been in? All of them? (We do this with Jesus/Holy Spirit, too, by the way...no, that is not just a random coincidence!)
Then, of course, we are disappointed when these forms fail us -- by growing up, dying, or failing to continually remind us of Gentleness in some other way. They were supposed to fail so we never had the creepy touching-us-deeply-within feeling, but we don't know that yet.
So Gentleness has to sneak up on us. It has to "boil the frog" that is us, as it were....letting us hop around the pot, gradually adding the water -- drop by drop over the years. Slowly...so slowly we don't notice it's getting hot... it turns up the Love heat.
Gentleness snuck up on this woman and began her Trust lessons through her children. The mother-child relationship can be a very unholy one of guilt, sin, and fear, but it can also be a wonderful Holy Relationship classroom. Like a petri-dish experience of what True Love -- the kind that makes no distinctions among bodies -- will someday be like.
I always say I'm a very Lucky Mom. I have two amazing boys. When they were babies, I could sink into Gentleness so easily with them...especially by rocking them to sleep. I think that was a ritualistic form of practice that the Holy Spirit used with me back then.
As they grew, I'd get such a kick out of their curiosity and enthusiasm (and still do.) Sometimes, yes, they reflected the ego to me -- maybe they'd be sick or inconsolable in some way. Or maybe they'd be an image of guilt for me somehow, as in "I am a bad mom...I really should spend more time with them and less time at work." Mostly though they have been Truth Teachers, because somehow I have been conscious with them in ways I have not always been with just about everyone else. I've somehow always seen either an expression of Love coming from them, or a call for Love. They have been my training wheels in that department.
And they have been my Enlightened Masters from time to time, too.
As I plow through the lies and projection involved in my relationship (Please excuse the interruption for a Quick Note: I'm only being honest about all special relationships here, not declaring my situation an unusual disaster. It's run-of-the-mill specialness...sorta what we sign up for when we decide to wake up. You know? Thanks.) which is really a microcosm of the One Relationship -- I'm looking deeply at the needs and debts I project on to my partners, friends, family, colleagues, etc. It's like there's a giant ledger in the sky with my name on it -- there is a column with "what I need to buy" and a column for "how much it costs" and a column for "how much money I've paid" and a column for "how much I still owe." Somehow in my mind, I see that I'm always in the Red.
This indebtedness (which lies deep under the surface so I rarely feel it full on for what it is) keeps me feeling like, for some reason I can't quite put my finger on, I must sacrifice. This leads to feeling that I lack freedom and autonomy, which leads to feeling controlled, which leads to major resentment, which leads to hatred. And that leads to guilt, which leads to trying to atone, which leads to sacrifice....whoa.... look at that! I've come full circle.
That's the un-merry-go-round of life, too. Where's the Gentleness in this? Nowhere. And that, my friend, is the point.
I ask you again -- how CRAZY is that?!
This morning as I woke up I went through my normal Mind "tidying up" process, which I start before my feet hit the ground, and I finish up over my first cup of strong coffee. I asked, like I try to remember to do, "Holy Spirit, help me see all this (whatever muck is floating around, leftover from the night time dreams or yesterday's day time dreams) a different way."
By the time I'd gotten to the couch with my full cup, a memory from 7 or 8 years ago had popped into my mind. We're in San Jose California...there's my little 4 or 5 year old Paul and his older brother Ray. We're getting out of the car, and I'm joking with both boys about how big they are growing. And, like I always joke, I tell them that I would like them to please STOP growing, so they don't grow up and away from me too soon. (Yes, I know...specialness...but it's part tongue-in-cheek and meant as a way to say "I love you," so just work with me here!) They always roll their eyes and giggle a bit between their protests that they can't possibly do this impossible thing I've ordered of not growing.
This day we took the joke a step further than usual. I turn to Honest Ray before he bounds out of the car.
Me: "Ray, when you are all grown up, you'll come visit me a lot, right?"
6 or 7-year-old Ray: "Hmm.....[looking pretty serious now]....I don't know, Mom. I'm going to be awfully busy."
Me: "Oh, wow..okay." *quiet gulp* (Joke feels to be on me now, as I think to myself that I really need to commend him for his honesty, which I didn't actually expect at that moment or at such a young age. I also have this sudden sad feeling that I might as well start getting used to this idea now, so I'm not shocked when, after a couple more blinks of my eyes, he's 18 and gone. )
Paul is getting out of the car now, and as I unbuckle him from his booster seat, he cups my face in his chubby hands and says this Amazing Thing:
Wow. Wow. Wow.
Okay, we can play semantics games here and say that "want' is just as bad as a "need" but I don't think so. What I hear from that little mouth full of baby teeth in my mind is that there is the alluring pull of Joining, and it is our True Nature. It is Gentleness in Action. Paul was channeling the Holy Spirit. (Which he has been very good at over the years, I might add.)
We can't help but be drawn together. But that's different than trying to take something (no, steal something...I mean, who are we kidding?) or negotiate something (sorta like those "great" deals George Burns was continually trying to make with Gracie Allen) or pull something out of someone, like we're doing a resistant root canal on an unwilling victim.
The question is...do we know the difference between wanting joining and needing something from something to fill us up? That's the tricky part. We feel confusion about this. Our muddled state shows up in our relationship discussions about serious things and seemingly not-so-serious things. Like laundry and the tooth-paste lid.
That gift from Paul-as-Holy-Spirit just keeps on giving, because this morning as I was contemplating the Ocean of Needs and the Ocean of Debt....and all the ways our egos look to each other to be their personal Costco Need Warehouse, while at the same time holding resentment, fear, and guilt that the fiat currency they are using to pay for all the goodies isn't worth the paper it's written on (yes, our global financial system today is yet another mirror)...I think of that day in 2003, and how it applies now, and what the heck is really going on, and the Wish-fulfillment post and yesterday's gruesome Death post....and then there go the Truth Shivers again.
So I turned to my co-student/partner-in-crime/Love-Seeker/Love-Finder/Divine-Mirror and as I drain the cup, and he sips his, I share what I've seen about the discovery of our Secret Need Inventory and how out of balance the scales in the sky are. "It's okay, Honey," I say relieved, as I hop off the couch. "We're just Growing Up."
Fact is, as I mulled it over more, it's no accident that we feel confused about needs and wants. It's no accident that the ego thinks we "need" stuff we can get from each other, when in Truth all we want/are is True Joining. The reason we seem to be confused -- the only reason -- is that we're CRAZY scared of Gentleness. That's all. We're not confused at all, not really. We know (the Chooser in us knows) damn well what we're doing, so let's just get really honest.
This is not brain science! It's just fear of Holiness, Gentleness, Truth! So what else is new?
PHEW, boy, is that ever a relief, because I was never good at math or chemistry.
And the good news keeps coming, because the fact is, just like Paul and Ray who rolled eyes at the silly suggestion, we can't NOT grow up. When we're ready to quit dying our ways around the endless circles of this existence, we'll get through this shedding/relinquishing process, and then we won't use anyone to meet our needs, because we won't identify with "need" anymore. But we'll still want to Join with each other and Everyone. It's our True Nature.