Dreaming a Quest up the Relationship Mountain
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Amidst thoughts about my past in my Fatal Attractions blog series (still in process) and how it relates to my present, I have thought, and felt, deeply about relationships I have had, and endeavored for. In response to my contemplation I wrote this free verse poem. It is full of angst and intense emotion for my failed relationships, disappointments in good ones, and my hopes and aspirations. While most of us value relationships highly, they are also the source of our greatest distress and sadness. Everyone wants to be loved and understood, but it is never quite to the degree we want. Even in what seem the best of relationships we may be separated from our beloved through death, debilitating disease, divorce, or mental imbalances, as in dementia.
Examining the depth of my capacity to love, I question who in this world can we love and understand that is capable of fully accepting our heart’s gifts? At least in my experience, no one can completely satisfy either our desire to love, or to be loved in return. This could be depressing, or in my tradition of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, could point to the goal of loving and serving Radha-Krishna with our spiritual heart and soul. On my path, the negative impetus for such love and service is our bitter experience, or at least disappointments, in worldly relationships, while the positive impetus comes from taste in spiritual practices and eventually progress toward the goal, which for me is pure love for Krishna, or prema. Our desire for unending and ever-increasing love can only be fulfilled by the One who can accept our love unlimitedly, said to Krishna, the fountainhead of all relationships (rasas), the cynosure of our eyes, heart, and soul.
I’m a disabled person
climbing a mountain:
my words are my hammer,
feelings are my spikes, and rope,
I know not if they’ll hold or help me up,
in giving me a grip on my steady journey
to avoid be hurled down by trolls;
I only have my effort and a prayer
with the aspiration to reach the top
where I find the entrance to your self-universe:
a decorated, scented, strong door greets me
composed of your appearance and persona,
which can be inviting or bewildering, and yet,
entering that door is only another beginning
on the pathway past guards, moats, and walls,
approaching your interior castle with no certainty of success
but only the hope of finding your inner heart’s chambers.
Our hearts are unpredictable oceans
that even we don’t fully understand
as we try to make sense of one another
with honesty, finding many possibilities
to explain the heart’s language
with associations from the past
in word’s from the mind’s logic
which isn’t an easy task to decipher
requiring generosity and kindness
openness and good willingness
to believe in the possible
that blessings come unexpectedly
in ways that push us to grow
to embrace our differences—we never know!
Relationships are like a mirror
where we project our ideals
or notice our faults in another—
infatuation and projection confounds
as if by magic our hearts seem to awaken
feelings for another who we hardly know,
from where, or how, we can’t fathom
yet there is a hidden spiritual reason:
this world is a reflection of the spiritual plane
so simply because we give ourselves permission
a spark of our original nature manifests
in the oneness that love generates
since our soul is a unit of love and service
desiring to give itself to God and everyone,
but now covered by the body and mind—
the ego decides who is to be loved, or not.
Is our relationship like a chess game,
where if I lose, I am dismissed
by rules and feelings I don’t know?
Please help me out here
to provide me some chances
to obtain leniency passes,
“Get out of checkmate free,” or
“Get out of relationship jail free” cards?
or perhaps a rewind button
like in the movie “Groundhog Day”
to try again to make sense
of my ramblings and feelings
to find benefit for us both?
since we require that fuel
to protect our self-interest
‘cus unconditional love is a myth
(at least in material consciousness).
Silence as a response
can speak volumes
creating infinite space
between and around us
which we decide how to fill
because it can mean anything—
leaving one to ponder the code
whether it’s a gift to contemplate
or a punishment for worthlessness
in the prison of our mind of gloom:
positive or negative interpretations
are a constant choice to be made.
If you and I are separate countries
and your heart, the capital
can I apply for a visa to your capital
hoping to create a permanent embassy—
though you don’t know whether to trust me
or if I’m mad on an inexplicable quest?
Can we find the common ground,
mutual faith, hope, and desire,
knowing that the unexpected
can be the hand of destiny?
as some come into our lives to teach
(or we to teach them)
for a moment, month, or lifetime.
What we keep in our heart
is our greatest treasure
since those who reside there
either due to love or hate
we are bound to meet again
to work out our feelings
pay back our karmic debts—
yet those with realized wisdom
love God primarily, prominently,
traveling to him by love’s power
loving others as part of the Supreme
without trying to own or control them
because things and people come and go.
A particle of Love is what we are as souls,
now covered over by biology's necessity
and either directly or subconsciously we want,
search for, or compensate for in its absence—
since all we desire, all we give, all we receive,
that which our path is made of,
is love, or a request for love indirectly,
but on the way to Krishna prema and seva
we obtain the Supreme love of our heart
one step, one mantra, one prayer at a time.
“Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of trouble, attempts what is above its strength, pleads no excuse of impossibility; for it thinks all things lawful for itself, and all things possible.” Thomas a Kempis
“When love of Godhead is attained, love for all other beings automatically follows because the Lord is the sum total of all living beings.” [from Shrila Prabhupada’s Introduction to Shrimad Bhagavatam]
“The basic principle of the living condition is that we have a general propensity to love someone. No one can live without loving someone else. This propensity is present in every living being…The missing point, however, is where to repose our love so that everyone can become happy…That missing point is Krishna, and The Nectar of Devotion teaches us how to stimulate our original love for Krishna and how to be situated in that position where we can enjoy our blissful life.” [from Shrila Prabhupada’s Preface to the Nectar of Devotion]