Thinking for Two

I had a beautiful realization the other day…and for me, it’s huge. After battling with negative thought and anxiety again, through which Stuart managed to hold and comfort me despite the ridiculous distance between us, it suddenly came home to me that I’m not just thinking thoughts for myself anymore. My anxieties and fears affect Stuart, even at a distance. Heck, maybe even especially at a distance because we don’t have the ability to physically comfort and reassure one another. It became clear to me just how expensive my thinking has been.

With this jolt, I awakened to just how little effort I have made to control my thoughts. I’ve been undisciplined. I’ve been lazy. When it was just me, what did it matter, really? If I wanted to create some tortured reality, I hurt no one but myself (or so I thought). I was responsible for me and everyone else was responsible for themselves. In a way, I was in denial of my “potty mind.” I had gained awareness of it, enough to ignore it or at least not believe it so much, but not enough to really change it. I have been falling short.

But now, I’m seeing things differently. Having such a deep connection with Stuart, I can no longer indulge in negativity and fear. That isn’t to say I won’t find myself there. I am still human and still healing. I am still in the process of learning to love. But I have to commit to forging new habits and maintaining higher perspectives. It isn’t about one person being responsible for another… It is simply about being responsible period. It is about being the person I want to be…a loving one, one willing to trust, one who isn’t afraid of either giving or receiving, one who recognizes self in other.

Rumi wrote:

“Love rests on no foundation,
It is an endless ocean,
with no beginning and no end.
Imagine, a suspended ocean,
riding on a cushion of ancient secrets.
All souls have drowned in it,
and now dwell there.
One drop of that ocean is hope,
and the rest is fear.”

Naturally, it’s been easier to allow my perception to bounce from point to point of fear; there is so much of it everywhere, and we are steeped in it daily. I have mastered it over a lifetime, trained by other masters. Maybe I always thought I was “exorcising” my demons when I was really “exercising” them.

Relation Ship. Two people floating on an ocean of thought. When one’s thoughts become dark and stormy, the boat gets tossed about. It takes discipline and wisdom to navigate a course worth sailing. Finding that one drop of hope and keeping my attention single-pointedly directed there, now that takes effort. That takes grinding one’s heels in, constantly drawing the attention back from distraction.

It’s an effort I must put forth because I’m not just thinking for myself. None of us are.