Labels onto certain persons in our lives put these people up on the pedestal. A dad, a mom, a teacher, a BFF (best friend forever), a lover or whatever; because of the preconceived concepts or ideas of these roles by society which our mind had inevitably took it for real without questioning, limitations arises from these. Like it or not, we are almost ruled by these concepts when we don’t take the initiative to question them.
I was at a wedding dinner recently of a used-to-be close friend. I use the words ‘used-to-be’ because I cannot qualify her as someone whom I am still ‘connected’ with at the present state of my life. We used to have lots in common, but now we don’t know if they still exist. She has moved on with her life and so have I; and since we took no effort to map out details of our past journeys to each other, I deem us as ‘used-to-be’ close. See? Concepts! I have a concept or an idea that close friends are supposed to keep in touch with each other constantly and if they return from overseas, they ought to take an initiative to meet up or at least call. This shows that we are still close and connected, no?
On another note, since when had that become a requirement for friendships, especially close ones? If we have always been connected and close to each other anyway from the beginning, why the need to call or ‘report’ our flow of life to each other at all? Is it not enough to trust each other’s growth and be there when a call is heard, if a call is heard? And what is wrong if the call is not to you, but to someone else? Is there any wrong to it?
If I did not question my lack of peace and the concept behind these thoughts, I might buy into the story that ‘she does not appreciate me anymore’, ‘she does not care for me anymore’, ‘she has forgotten about our friendship’, ‘she has betrayed me’, ‘she does not need me anymore’, or ‘I am no longer important or mean anything to her in her life anymore’. But, is that more true than how I am feeling towards her at this moment in time?
Let’s turn the radar around and question these thoughts.
‘she does not appreciate me anymore’ – ‘do I appreciate her?’
‘she does not care for me anymore’ – ‘do I care for her anymore?’
‘she has forgotten about our friendship’ – ‘have I forgotten about our friendship?’
‘she has betrayed me’ – ‘have I betrayed her?’
‘she does not need me anymore’ – ‘do I need her anymore?’
‘I am no longer important or mean anything to her in her life anymore’ – ‘is she is no longer important or means anything to me in my life anymore?’
When I am truly candid with my needs or lacks, I will realize that my lack of peace had nothing to do with how closely connected my friend and I were or still are. There is nothing to it. She was a friend whom I had needed to hang out with for a period of time at one point of my life, and today, she is also a friend, whom I am here to celebrate her union with another. Period. Connectedness or closeness of a friendship or relationship are not based on X amount of times we speak to each other, or Y amount of times we chat, or Z amount of times we meet. In Truth, we have never been separated by space or time. Our seeing of bodies as real and their reaction to us make us believes that we are separated. But when I close my eyes and open my heart I find that no one has ever left me, not even my swimming coach, my grandfather or my aunt who had passed away years ago.
If we are truly honest with ourselves, we will find out whether the answers are true or false. Until we are truly genuine with ourselves, we will continuously view the outer world as a threat to us, forgetting that we are indeed the cause of everything.
When I say we are the cause of everything in this case, I am not meaning to say “we” as in “you” and “I” but merely the concepts and ideas that infringe the mind. Can we, as in “you” and “I” now begin to see that these concepts and ideas are the ones which are binding to our experiences? As much as the concepts and ideas are not us per se, but it is important that we take responsibility to undo those that does not serve our wellbeing because as long as they (limiting concepts which binds) go unobserved and uninvestigated, what we experience is continuously played out like a broken recorder, in a never ending vicious cycle. Ignorance will lead us to think that it is the outer world that is causing our discomfort when in truth, whatever that is found in the inner realm of the mind is the cause of all that we experience. Freeing concepts which limits us escorts the way to inner freedom and inner peace, and that is of utmost important to our peace of mind. Now, that is a concept too; but a loving concept that serves and benefits our wellbeing.