along my journey toward enlightenment, i strive to give up body identification (and all ego-related identifications). i genuinely intend to release body identification and i generally fail. what follows is a transcript of last night’s example typifying my enlightenment failure.
me: how old are you?
him: silent pause, then…age doesn’t mean anything. age doesn’t matter.
me: i agree. because age doesn’t mean anything, it won’t matter that you tell me.
him: i don’t want to tell you. guess.
me: 30? 35?
him: scoffing his offense…and more scoffing.
me: really? (mocking his offense and thinking to myself if age doesn’t matter, why are you offended by my guess?) how old do you think i am?
me: i’m 40. when i guessed your age to be 30 or 35, i meant it as a compliment, a reflection of your emotional maturity.
him: are you really 40?
me: i’m 40 and a half. how old are you?
the words exchanged aren’t problematic. my pride and elation that he thought i was 33 are problematic because i’ve bought into the bullshit notion that younger is better, that being perceived as and looking younger than my age is an advantage, that an aging body is less desirable or preferable or ideal than a younger body. fuck all that. fuck all that through an enlightened filter, by dropping body identification, through releasing attachment to an idealized youth. fuck all that.
there were other examples of my failure to enlighten and my attachment to body identification last night. three instances of objectifying tits on women with great racks (and comments to them highlighting the unenlightened objectification of those jugs). two crass comments about my own body said to deflect my inability to receive sincere compliments. other things i can’t recall because i lacked the awareness to notice my failings in those moments.
i know where and when and why i fail to enlighten more blatantly, boorishly, crudely than at other times. i failed last night because i was afraid to be as vulnerable as i am, afraid to communicate what i want with and from others, afraid to express what my heart desires to give and share.
i woke up this morning with a failure-to-enlighten hangover. physically, i felt fine. emotionally, i felt sickish and green and pukey. i went to my friend t’s house, sat in the rocking chair that three generations of her matriarchal lineage have rocked in, and gently forgave myself for failing again and again and again. t handed me a cup of tea and cut up an avocado for me to eat. she gave me presents of art, spirit, and chocolate. we discussed what we’re learning and what we’re surrendering and the freedom we’re finding in that process. we shared ripples of goose bumps for the good stuff and celebrations of gratitude for the good stuff we gain as we traverse the bad stuff. the cure for a failure-to-enlighten hangover is to open the heart, open the mind, open the mouth and let the truth out.