The Story of Reunion

My thoughts are quite scattered, so I considered not writing today. However, I have the time and the desire to do so so I decided to go ahead with it. This entry may seem disorganized and confusing, but perhaps that’s just the point. After all, today I intend to introduce myself more fully and where I am at my life. I would like to introduce the new story that I am trying to share with this blog and with my life. It’s a story that I don’t fully comprehend myself, though, so perhaps it’s appropriate for me to introduce it while my mind is jumbled. I’d rather introduce this story while being entirely open about my own confusion rather than pretend that I’ve got it all together. So, with that caveat out of the way, here is the new story I’d like to weave.

The path from separation to interbeing is something we’ve probably all experienced at some point. It’s a feeling I’m sure we can all recognize. It’s the experience of seeing a friend that you’ve not spoken too in many years. It’s the experience of making up with a friend or family member that you’ve long been in conflict with. It’s the experience of sharing a burdensome secret with someone trustworthy. It always seems to carry that feeling of relief, that feeling of coming home, the feeling felt by the whole world when the Berlin Wall fell. The experience and the accompanying feelings is something very recognizable though it comes in many different names and many different forms. To give it a name, I’ll call it reunion.

This is the story that I’m attempting to live right now. I’ve lived the Story of Separation, I’ve heard and dreamed of the Story of Interbeing. I’m sick and tired of playing the role of “separate self”, but I’ve struggled to live as the self of interbeing. While I try to remember that I am connected with the world and the people around me, I cannot deny the fact that there are moments when that’s extremely difficult. There are moments when other people appear so foreign to me. There are moments when the actions of others seem “wrong” to me. There are moments when I feel like others’ aren’t worthy of compassion. There are moments when I am afraid to extend compassion for fear that the other will use my vulnerable state as an opportunity to hurt me. Even as I write these things I realize that they are simply elements of the Story of Separation. From the outset, I am othering the beings I encounter, saying (rather implicitly), “these people aren’t like me.” I do this quickly and unconsciously. This is despite the fact that I know that this form of othering causes me to feel alienated, afraid, and alone. I do this despite the fact that I’ve experienced the profound love, joy, and relief related to acts of interbeing on a personal level. Here’s what makes the space between stories so confusing and challenging.

Even while I attempt to step into the Story of Interbeing, I find myself unconsciously recreating experiences of separation. So I exist in the space between stories. I do not fully inhabit either the Story of Separation nor the Story of Interbeing. I could continue to grope around in the darkness between the stories, however I have little interest in that at this point. Instead, I intend to shine a light and illuminate the space in between stories. I would like to light the path that I am walking, in no small part in order to find those people walking the path with me. You see, I’ve felt alone for much of my life-most of it in fact. I’ve not expressed this very often for multiple reasons: it’s taboo to admit such negative things, it’s an extremely vulnerable act to admit such things. However, I feel that I am not alone. Paradoxically, I feel that I am not even alone in my aloneness! In the world we live in of social, economic, and political isolation; we must all feel that loneliness on some level. (I sure hope I’m not the only one!)

What am I getting at here? My previous posts were attempts to explain the Story of Separation and the Story of Interbeing. Those are stories that have been shared by many people in many times. Those stories are, for the most part, out there already. I could explain them because I have some idea of what they are. I thought I could give some sort of explanation of the Story of Reunion as well. As I write this I am discovering that I cannot. I cannot explain a story that has yet to be written. It is up to all of us to co-create that story. We’ve all been creating our own life stories separate from one another for quite some time. It is time for us to come together and create our new story together. We no longer have to feel alone. We no longer have to fear one another. We no longer have to constrain ourselves to the images we wish to maintain. We no longer have to feign strength to hide our wounds. Our wounds are shared wounds. We all feel the pain of our dying planet. We all feel the pain of our constant warring and fighting. We all feel the pain of our isolation. Or at least I believe we do. The only thing I can truly be sure of is that I do. So what started out as an attempted explanation turned out to be a leap a faith: a confession and question.

The confession is this: I am scared, I am lonely, I am in pain, I do want help

The question is this: Do you feel similarly? Do you feel the same pain, fear, and loneliness? Do you want to take this risk to admit it in the hopes of reuniting with one another?

I have taken the risk to be vulnerable here because I feel that is what I need for myself. I hope that by doing so I can establish this page as a safe space where we can all be open with each other without fear. If you have something weighing you down that you wish to share, please feel free to do so in the comments below. If you do not wish to say a thing and simply read along, that is entirely understandable. It’s frightening to share such personal feelings, especially in such an open forum. If you wish to share, please do so. If you wish to simply read along, do that as well. I will accept whichever you choose.

Thank you for reading,

Dan

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