The other day, my partner and I were contemplating on getting a divorce. Not that there is anything wrong with our marriage, or relationship for that matter; it just felt like a moving on phase and the purpose is not so much as to leave him or the family but more of just wanting to be alone and to grow in other areas. It is a strange, strange phenomenon which I have yet to understand.
Coming back to the conversation that my partner and I shared, he was really authentic to express that he is ok living without me as he has come to respect me and love me for whatever that I wish to do; except that he doesn’t really see a need for a separation or divorce in addition to his concern for our little one. He shared there is this guilt that he feels towards our little one, and he enjoys the guilt which allows him to feel the joys of being a father. Although he may feel irritated at times when he doesn’t get enough time for himself, but he loves it when our little one comes up to him, hugs and demands his attention to play with her. I was quite surprised at his declaration and wondered by I hadn’t seen it that way before – that is, to enjoy the guilt.
He went on further, sharing that at this moment, he likes what he is doing – to have responsibilities, to put food on the table, to go overseas to buy better quality groceries for the family to enjoy, to eagerly come home so that he could hug and play with our little one and to allocate and divide his time; whatever available; between himself, work, our little one, our parents and siblings, his friends and me. I watched him in admiration as I listened to him as he found a way around his guilt – to enjoy it rather than to treat it all as a chore; and even if it is a chore, it is indeed a joyful one to him.
But to have that turnaround, the joy the guilt brings him, is it still guilt that propels him to do what he does? And I wondered, if at one point in time, when our little one grows up and lives her own life, or if nobody appreciated what he did, would he feel an inch of disappointment even? Of course, we’d never know since that is the future that we are talking about; but knowing him for many years now, he’d probably take it with a pinch of salt and move on. Would that mean that he is not resolving the ‘pinch of salt’ he felt? Would that tantamount to multiplying layers of unconscious guilt to be peeled away by layers again in due time?
If, taking the metaphor that God has created us to experience; that is, to experience fully whatever experiences that comes up to us unconditionally, then perhaps there is joy in every moment whether it is guilt or love that motivates us to experience what is being experienced. But what happens here is that the guilt is so real and strangely illusionarily serious that we can’t get ourselves out of it no matter how hard we try to break free. And because of that guilt that is so real to us, we unconsciously and even unconsciously consciously scheme and manipulate our ways around situations just so to resolve our imaginary issues with ‘peace’, in ‘peace’ by fixing what is outside there.
The truth is, peace has always been present and it is not dependant on anything out there but a surety and clarity of what is being experienced. It is us, placing impossible conditions to create problems of ‘I can’t’; ‘I have to’.
Now I see a profound meaning to what my teacher shared with me recently, that whether ‘I want to’ or ‘I have to’ are both unconditional – clearly, the former is love based and the latter is fear based – but think again, what is the difference? There is no difference, except our experiences of it. What has to be done, will be done! A sweet friend told me not all ago that not a leaf turns without the will of God, so what are we doing here except to experience what is being presented to us to experience? To avoid the experience may be a choice to some, but when look deeply within, is that a mere way of escapism?
There you go… no right, no wrong – guilt or innocence, fear or love – only what how you choose to experience it, unconditionally.
*Dedicating this entry to my partner – for your love, honesty and wisdom. Love you dearly.