We walk into a MRT train in Singapore, how many people can we really establish eye contact and hold the gaze? We go into a lift; people stare at the buttons, look at their shoe, or start observing an invisible insect on the wall. If somebody’s gaze happens to meet ours, they quickly shift their focus. Some, when we smile at them, look nervous, as if something bad is going to happen.
Well actually that extends to even loved ones and family. Most of the time we are talking to our kids with our eyes on the newspaper; or we could be dismantling a conflict with our husband and we cannot look at him without breaking the gaze.
We had a quarrel with the girlfriend; she sits on the couch and sulks, while I continue to stare at the TV screen in silence.
Such is the intensity of our disconnectivity in the city. If we observe the rural areas & indigenous people, who stay close to the land, eat close to the land, they have little or no such problems.
Just like we eat foods that come in plastic wrappers, we become plastic to our own emotions and to our loved ones – we become so fake, we don’t even realize it. We take vaccines and pain-killers when we fall sick, we cannot face up to the physical pain, so we numb our senses. When body parts eventually fail we cut them off on the surgery table.
And just like all the above, we numb and isolate ourselves from one another.
Every human, including myself, is fallible to this. The entire planet exist in some sort of a poisonous prison, and it is contagious. We become inspired and alive for merely 5 min, but the moment we enter the poison, we revert to the default mode of numbness.
Of course we don’t mean it; how can a fish know air?
Actually, it is not our fault; Humans have something called Survival Instinct – we are designed to preserve and protect ourselves to ensure the human race ensues. This Defense Mechanism works beautifully on the Physical dimension, ie the body has a natural immunity system, produce white blood cells to fight cancer, or makes a fever to kill of some threatening bacteria.
However, it also extends to the other Personalities of the Being as well – including Emotional & Mental. Like how we produce an immunity defense, we also put up emotional barriers to block hurt/pain. We put an amour over our heart like how we put natural good bacteria on the skin to block environmental pathogens.
“Do you have any idea how painful it is right now for me to remain, and consciously choose to be un-numb in the face of Numbness? What does it take for you to shed all those fears, amours and stories and connect with me Being to Being?” This was the thing I say to my loved ones, when it becomes too unbearable that I could not reach them emotionally.
I choose to bond deeply with all my loved ones, even in the face of excruciating pain. And I strive to call out the Great Spirit (like one of my mentors put it) from them as best as I can.
You know something really ironical? We are starving for Love, Connection & Acknowledgment. The distinction is only in whether we dare to admit it. But then what do we do?
We give a little, then we test the water; we want reassurance, this and that to happen before we give a little more. We already boxed down a list of words or actions from the person before it shows he/she loves us. If the person say or do something which falls out, under or behind of this box, then this person does not love us, and I’d better protect myself.
I heard this from Landmark Education:
Picture this scenario – a cup has a handle. You and I are staring at the same cup from different directions, from your view you see a handle, from my view I cannot see any handle. And therefore I will never pick up the cup by holding the handle. Are we looking at the same cup? Yes.
Does it mean that when I don’t see the handle, I cannot pick the cup up?
I can still pick the cup up, use it to fill water and drink from it.
Similarly, a loved one can react in a way or say things which are completely our of the box we drew, but can they still love us? Yes.
We can only see this when we enlarge the vision, enlarge the space. When we can accommodate the space, then we can see that the person cannot see a handle on the cup, and that’s why he would never pick the cup up by the handle.
My intention of writing this is to encourage everybody to allow your loved ones to “not” see the handle; it is okay to have them “miss” the handle. That thing is still a cup; your loved one can still pick up the cup and use it to drink. He/she can even bring you some Hot Choc in that cup when you most need it!
No matter what’s the expression, their words, their demeanor, simply keep on enlarging the space for them.
You see, the world of being un-numb is not a Happily Ever After thing.
When we are un-numb and open, there is definitely pain, joy, tears, and laughter.
When we are numb, there is still pain, joy, tears, and laughter. It is the same both ways. This is Life; the question is do we want to go through Life playing safe, sitting on the fence? Or do we want to just embrace it all?
Playing safe includes thinking that my Life happens someday in the future – when this or that happens, then I’ll be embracing and be totally alive and un-numb. We think that someday the real Life will happen, now is only the Rehearsal Life.
But there is no Rehearsal Life you know. There is only now, and now, and now – see, 3 moments have passed by.
And these are the Real Moments of our Life.
“What does it take for me to bond deeply with others? What does it take to shed those amours/suits, fears/stories to really connect? Can I see that he/she cannot see the handle on the cup, and can I get over it, be okay with that?”
© Copyright Linda Loo, Light Love Laughter