Where have you parked your source of happiness?
Who or what have you made your singular object of affection?
These were the questions that arose in three different conversations within a few days of each other. That is always a sign that I should write about it :)
A friend was describing her sacred connection with an ancestral temple in a remote village on the coast. She remains perplexed at her deep attachment to a place she has no rational connection with. The culture is unfamiliar, she does not like the sea, that entire life is alien to what she is accustomed to. But her pull there was so strong that she actually considered buying a house there. She says she could spend endless hours in that space. So every year, when she visits India, she makes it a point to visit this sacred site.
The same yearning and attachment showed up in a session with a depressed client. As a youngster, she was inordinately fond of singing, convinced that only when she was singing could she experience a state of bliss. Subsequent life changes of career and marriage put an end to her singing. It was only during our session that she came to realize that she held a lot of anger and bitterness over this, blaming her father and then her husband, for the lack of music in her life. She felt disconnected from Source and felt there was no sweetness left in life. Without her singing, she was lost.
Another client came struggling with a romantic-spiritual relationship. I find these are even more entangled and confusing than the more common infatuations or popular, (fictional) ‘picture-perfect-romance’ yearnings. The reason becomes apparent as you hear one of the ways in which it is described: “I feel like I have returned Home. I feel safe and loved and there is some magical connection that I cannot explain. My sense of self dissolves and there is overwhelming love. The moment we met, we knew there was a soul connection.” After such a peak experience, there arises a desire and yearning to remain in that space and recreate that feeling. It is now uniquely associated with the said person.
Call it love, bliss, oneness or anything else. It essentially describes that same state – of feeling Home. In all the three instances, knowingly or unknowingly, the entire onus of experiencing this state is now parked at a single doorstep. This leads to neediness, attachment and dependency. Any separation becomes deeply painful, perhaps because it re-stimulates the original wound – of individuation or separation from Source. A part of us also knows that this is turning into a form of addiction and unhealthy entanglements prevent the free, spontaneous connection that was originally experienced.
Why do we associate a single object of affection with re-connection to Source? These moments of being at Home are continually available to us. The glimpses of feeling whole and complete, seeing the perfection in the moment, the overwhelming awe, love and gratitude for everyone and everything – these moments grace us all the time. However, we fail to recognize them. I feel that the first time that we cognitively notice this shift is an incomparable experience for us and it comes to be associated with the person, space or activity that we happened to be around in that moment.
We thus place the Source outside of us – in one of these externals and then fall into the abyss of longing and belief of being incomplete. They are perceived as exclusively responsible and capable of our return to our Being.
How do we return Home? By realizing that the external simply triggered what was always within you. The experience does not happen outside, but is what you reconnect with – within yourself. There are no external factors that you must have for this state to happen. Start noticing how, by focusing your attention inside of you, you can shift your experience of what is going on outside. When you are centered in your own heart, no matter where you roam – you are truly home.
Then there is nothing to demand of any space, person or activity.
But a lot to celebrate, as the sacredness becomes apparent everywhere.
Related Post: Poems: Home Free