So much for being a gentle man …
I’m just reminded of my father’s father: he was a gentle man – with a glorious lightness of touch, very kind eyes, which often as mine are doing at the moment, welled up with tears at the sight and thought of his loved ones. He spent much of his time separated from his own family because of the WWII when his family were still living near Athens, Greece and he was over here n mine sweepers. An active war experience: he was never responsible for anybody’s death, only for improving their survivability by helping to clear mines. A man with silent charisma, he was treated by his comrades during his long engineering career on ships with more than the greatest of respect. A pillar of the crew, never gave up on his duties, was always kind and loving to his fellow man going out of his way to help in extraordinary circumstances and never forgetting his family going through their struggle back home.
A tough act to follow as far as my dad is concerned and even more so for me.
I have this notion of not quitting, not giving up and never leaving anyone behind, however hopeless the situation.
This means that much of what I do or touch eventually breaks. I do things to destruction:
- the brush that broke when I was clearing ice at my MIL’s house
- the snow rake, doing the same at my mother’s house
- a wooden spoon I was using to clear a pan of some stuck on rice
- various screwdrivers (one of them my grandfather’s) that I still keep and use
- loads of bits of machinery that became worn out but still keeps going in a fashion
- err … my relationship with my wife…
- with myself…
- with my dreams and my life
I don’t know when to give up on something, I do it to destruction in the name of loyalty and service, tenacity, stubbornness or whatever.
She said she sees it differently: “It’s like raising the altitude of the plane before hitting the mountain.”
Now, essentially I don’t disagree: that is a different and much better way of looking at it, it is great to take control of the plane and raise the altitude to avoid hitting the mountain but for me jumping out of the plane at this time is not an option.
I have an immense passion. Once I get hold of a subject or idea Ii just don’t let go. I work it to destruction and then go beyond. It happens in the small things in my life and it has happend in the big things in my life. Over and over and over and over again – and again some more!
Now they say that if you don’t get the lesson the first time, you get the same lesson presented over and over again until you do, and each time it gets more pointed. A recent Teacher I had, asked: “Did you ever notice that the tap on the shoulder gets harder and harder until you actually turn round and take notice?”
Err … with my repeated doing things to destruction? No I didn’t notice until just last week and so far I haven’t broken anything this week (but there’s still time!)
So how long is that then: 46 years and 8 months. Breaking has become the norm, it is now ‘the tradition and it is time now to Break with the Tradition and stop breaking things! (Isn’t our language great!)
What is the mechanism then?
Basically it’s the combination of my passion, lack of awareness or taking due regard for other things or people and their true nature.
If I’m not careful, I will take the intensity of my recent discussions with her to destruction and she’ll get really pissed off.
Well, OK I’m working on that one as I type … err … I suppose it to start being GENTLE:
- Gentle in the way I speak, my intonation, the words I use
- Gentle in the way I behave
- Gentle when giving out my love
- Gentle when giving out my support
- Gentle when giving out my happiness and joy
- Gentle when giving out my sadness
- Gentle with her
- Gentle with myself.
If I am gentle, I will not break things.
I have for many years learned how to walk lightly but I now see that that is not enough in itself an indication of being gentle, it is only a slight manifestation. I have to learn this, there is no option. It is the only way I will be able to be the real me and when I get it
- I will see how things really are.
- I will allow my passion to be heard, appreciated, loved, welcomed and wanted.
- I will be the man I know I am and want to be.
- I will be able to fulfil my purpose, and use my creative energies and conscious behaviour to make my life work setting an example so others can follow and in turn set themselves free.
In response to someone who had complained about my behaviour during lunch at an isa Experience many years ago, my Teacher at that time said: “Oh yes, him. He has passion … sometimes a bit too much passion!”
So simple; so clear and yet though I never forgot his words I never understood their meaning until last week.
Not just him though, lots and lots of people have been telling me, particularly recently, to be gentle on myself especially.
I wish I was more passionate about actually listening to and taking notice of what people are saying, especially her!
There you go! That’s not being gentle or honest, is it!
Over this past month, I HAVE been passionate about actually listening to and taking notice of what people are saying, especially her!
I have taken that step. It is a rocky road and I will have to tread carefully, indeed gently. I will need to practise relentlessly and allow myself to listen for feedback whilst at the same time doing the whole process gently with myself.
I’m currently averaging over a few days about 3-4 hours sleep, last night I didn’t get any sleep at all but did doze for about an hour this morning.
This is not good; it is not being gentle with myself and, although the sleep depravation may be having the desired effect of me being able to get close to my emotions, it is getting a bit in the way of me functioning and getting dangerously close to breaking the process, our regular chats and my ability to continue to work on myself.
I have to be wary of taking too much on at the same time, though this has been very much forced by her uncompromising current point of view and intention and I have no option but to take on all these life changes at the same time, trust me, it is not my choice: I’m quite happy to drop and shift the working pattern and I’m quite happy to be finished with the ‘old’ relationship if truth be told but I would rather it be with the genesis of our ‘new’ relationship of how it can be and should be, allowing the balance of focus to be where it should always have been.
I accept that at this moment, she may actually still be in love with me in a fashion but doesn’t actually ‘fancy’ or like me at all in order for her to want to be with me. This is not unusual and I had hoped that the bond of marriage would carry us both through this time but I also accept that it has been a particularly harrowing time for her (as it has been for me too) and she has given herself a inner resolve which she is using as a mark of her own integrity and so cannot be flexible or maintain an ability to respond to changed circumstances.
I have to be really gentle now and allow for time in this new phase for things to happen and take shape in my life and for those around me. When words become actions and we look at ourselves in a warm spring and summer light rather than in the cold depths of winter darkness which our relationship has been stagnating in, maybe we will realise the potential we have always had but not used … and then again, maybe not, maybe the grass is greener or maybe she doesn’t care how green it is as long as it’s different!
The Tradition has continued for far too long and this is another thing I have broken.
Along with our marriage, I have broken my own spirit long ago and finally broken hers too. She has mended hers over the last couple of years, I missed the opportunity then and have climbed onboard too late.
We can say, however, that both our spirits are now being mended and now growing being listened to like never before. My challenge at this moment in time is to be gentle with my own spirit despite that damage I have done to it, I cannot force anything to mend or work, I have to nurture it; to allow it to grow; to learn; to listen to it; and to practise, practise, practise
Well, I’m on my way.