I’ve reached a point in my biography where I choose relationships that are based on mutual love and respect and shared vision and values. If the only reason I’d maintain a relationship is out of obligation (such as with family or relatives), or the longevity of the relationship or shared history (such as friends from childhood or school days or work-related associates and colleagues), I’d opt out. There are those that I’ve consciously chosen to no longer be part of my world. Others have naturally fallen away.
It was an arduous process. But it has been essential to my journey. And it is fundamental to fulfill my commitment and intention to align with truth.
And lately, I’ve been finding myself revisiting my past — past relationships, interactions, affiliations, past experiences. This has largely been triggered by people from my past and my past associations re-appearing. Some would show up through social media. Some I’d bump into while at the mall or doing errands.
And because I’ve come back to the Philippines (something I didn’t think I’d do, didn’t want to do earlier on, and something that I’m still coming to terms with but I’m saving the details for future posts), I guess people from my past showing up is inevitable — albeit undesirable, at least or especially from a conscious level.
I’ve had mixed emotions and reactions. To some, I’d be neutral. To others, I’d feel nostalgic. Or I’d have this inner smile that reflects tranquility for having completed my story with them. A sense of gratitude and appreciation for times shared, the laughter and the tears, the challenges and trials we’ve triumphed.
And yet, to my not too pleasant surprise, I realized that there are those with whom I still have feelings of anger and resentment. Unforgiveness for those who have wronged me and have fallen short of my expectations. And unforgiveness for myself — for having allowed unloving behaviors done to me, as well as for having said hurtful words and having done unkind deeds to others.
As I was searching my personal library for tools and resources that can help me in my healing and to help me shift my perspective, I came across Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. The chapter on “The duck with the human mind” was a gentle yet spot-on reminder for me.
“In The Power of Now, I mentioned my observation that after two ducks get into a fight, which never lasts long, they will separate and float off in opposite directions. Then each duck will flap its wings vigorously a few times, thus releasing the surplus energy that built up during the fight. After they flap their wings, they float on peacefully, as if nothing had ever happened.
If the duck had a human mind, it would keep the fight alive by thinking, by story-making. This would probably be the duck’s story: “I don’t believe what he just did. He came to within five inches of me. He thinks he owns this pond. He has no consideration for my private space. I’ll never trust him again. Next time he’ll try something else just to annoy me. I’m sure he’s plotting something already. But I’m not going to stand for this. I’ll teach him a lesson he won’t forget.” And on and on the mind spins its tales, still thinking and talking about it days, months, or years later. As far as the body is concerned, the fight is still continuing, and the energy it generates in response to all those thoughts is emotion, which in turn generates more thinking. This becomes the emotional thinking of the ego. You can see how problematic the duck’s life would become if it had a human mind. But this is how most humans live all the time. No situation or event is ever really finished. The mind and the mind-made “me and my story” keep it going.
We are a species that has lost its way. Everything natural, every flower or tree, and every animal have important lessons to teach us if we would only stop, look, and listen. Our duck’s lesson is this: Flap your wings — which translates as “let go of the story” — and return to the only place of power: the present moment.“
Excerpt from Eckhart Tolle © A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose
I guess I haven’t quite flapped my wings. I’m not there yet but I’ll get there.
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