Last night I went to bed with a terrible headache from my sinus infection. My nose drained lots of glop, and then a steady river of slime. The antibiotics are doing their job.
My birthday is a strange day for me. On this day I am reminded of the losses of my mother, father, and sister. With age I have achieved a bit more balance in my grief. I also think of the friends and family that have blessed me with their love, and that helps me take some of the sting out. If I remain in a place of gratitude, I can get through it pleasantly...if I indulge feelings of grief, abandonment and rejection I will end up face-down sobbing on my bed. I used to suffer greatly on this day. As a child, I didn't want anyone to know that I was in so much pain, but my birthday has always been a day of utter heartbreak until now, that is.
I feel as though my heart is opening. My heart has been constricted for some time, encapsulated by fear and anxiety. Last night I wrote on a friend's wall about how incredibly comforting her love and care were to me many years ago. She said that she didn't know that I felt this way. I didn't tell her.
I don't know what made me put so much of my heart on mute. Life is difficult, I suppose. I needed to retreat from people for a while.
I am consciously trying to turn up the volume again. I have a lot of feelings, a lot of deep emotional states.
When I was younger, I was capable of such tremendously potent emotional love. I loved in a way that was profound...and also dangerous because I didn't know the dharma yet. I had such power, but no wisdom. Now I have less power and perhaps a teeny bit of insight, LOL.
But at least now, I know how to welcome people into my heart.
My gurus have insisted that on the path one must " nurture a kind heart". I want people to know that I care about them.
I have a friend that is dying of stage 4 lymphoma and I am completely livid with her. I'm angry that she is going to die and abandon me. I'm angry that she has allowed fear of death to change her. My friend was a meditator that I admired, a practitioner that I perceived to have meditative nerves of steel. She is terrified right now. Right now, virtually everything she is doing is in reaction to fear- she is making desperate last-ditch attempts to save her life. She should be investing her energy into caring for the people that love her ( in my view)...but instead she is flailing around, trying to grab hold of anything that will prolong her life. Where is your dharma, friend?
I am having difficulty settling my mind in relation to my dying friend. Strangely enough, I feel very little compassion for her when I remind myself that she is extremely ill. My blood disorder did not change me in the ways her illness has changed her. I just don't understand how or why she is allowing her illness to give her license to forget to have a compassionate and mindful heart.
I'm angry at her. This is what she has been preparing for- this is the MOST IMPORTANT PERIOD OF TIME in her life...the moments before her death....and she is allowing her mind to run amok. She is being overtaken by fear.
It is so hard to watch.
I wrote her three letters this morning( only one of which I actually sent). In the letters I allowed myself to vent, to scream at her. In the letter I actually sent I let her know that I am hurting because she is hurting, and that I am grieving...that seeing her abandon her practice right now is very painful to watch.
My letter was written from a place of pseudo-anger. What I meant to say was, " I am so so very sad to see you in this much pain...and I will miss you terribly when you are gone."
My birthday has been fairly non-eventful. I've been hugging my dog and cooing to him in baby-talk, kissing his forehead. Ness managed to get food poisoning from a taco salad, and this has placed a damper on our plans to eat dinner at my favorite Indian restaurant " Taste of India". My sinus infection is giving me a hard time. We might stay in.
I have no complaints today. I'm grateful for all the love my friends and family have shown me.