Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Waiting on the Other Side

It's easy to mishear song lyrics. A well known example is Creedence Clearwater Revival's Bad Moon Rising which many of us understood to say,"There's a bathroom on the right." I misheard a Red Hot Chili Peppers song this weekend and thought they were singing Waiting on the Other Side instead of Take It on the Other Side.

The song is still stuck in my head, but I prefer my misheard version. Fortunately, the Official Video from Warner Brothers shows a fellow fighting a dragon, then fighting his shadow - so it loosely fits with what I was thinking about when I believed the song said "Waiting on the other side."

I feel like I've crossed over to a new perspective and an old friend is stuck in a rut. A couple of years ago, I pointed out to him that he was stuck. He may have moved a bit further down the rut, but he's still stuck in that same old perspective. It's a drag.

When I was reading The Power of Now, I found myself reminded of this fellow frequently because he provides a clear illustration of the kind of person who lives in either the past or the future. He can't really experience The Now. It's no criticism because that's how most people are. If you listen to someone like Marianne Williamson, who wrote A Return to Love, the fear-based orientation toward life that has dominated our culture for thousands of years is in the process of passing away. Humanity is evolving toward a more enlightened way of being as we begin to look for solutions based in love instead of fear.

I totally dig this idea, and if the only people I ever saw were my friends in real life and in blogland, then it would be easy to believe. Actually, I do believe it - it's just that I think it's going to take another millennium or two. That's when I remember that until Copernicus pointed it out, everyone believed that Earth was at the center of the universe, and that for the longest time, cave men didn't associate sex with child birth. It takes humans a while to figure out basic shit.

Marianne Williamson often mentions God. Some people have issues with the idea of an energetic source in the universe that we humans don't understand. I myself cringe occasionally at the very sound of that word, God. But really, God is just more shit we don't understand. I can't see how it damages anyone to think there's more to Life, The Universe and Everything than even the most educated humans can understand. It's zealous people who do the damage, and those very same Zealots would burn Marianne as a Witch. I guess they'd burn all of us along with the Qur'an on September 11th if they could get away with it.

I'm not worried about those assholes today. I'm thinking about my old friend who is stuck in his fear-based, angry rut. Eckhart Tolle says that way of thinking keeps people separate from each other which in turn proves that they are distinct, unique individuals. Sort of like: I hurt, therefore I am. Their ego protects them and convinces them they are real. Almost everyone is like that, but some people take steps to get outside of their own heads.

I've been working on getting outside of my own head. Raising my vibration, as the new-agers say. It's the quickest way to get to that Garden Joni Mitchell was singing about at Woodstock. And as it happens, the Beatles were saying the same thing:

In the end, it really is a simple matter of choosing between Love and Fear. Love brings us together; Fear keeps us apart. The staggering number of Haters in this world shows, however, that making a simple choice is not simple at all.

My old friend is not a teabagger or anything, but he's stuck inside a protective shell so thick it might as well be made of neutrons. There was a time when I had a protective shell, too - when the only way I could manage to stay connected with people was through anger since love was way too scary. Love makes a person open and vulnerable. I first started to understand about using anger to stay connected years ago, during therapy, when I finally saw that I experienced intimacy through anger so I set up situations with Buzz Kill that inevitably led to fights. I did it with my mother too.

When you feel basically unlovable, the whole idea of love is very threatening. You have to withdraw. If you reach out and accept the love, and let down your guard for just an instant - there's no telling what some people will do. You'll be hurt, for sure. Devastated. Annihilated. So we live well-defended lives inside our protective shells. The worst part is that nothing out of the ordinary has to happen to a person so that s/he feels unlovable. A plain old alcoholic can devastate a family without ever getting particularly violent.

Even though choosing Love is not easy, and you have to work hard sometimes get over your own ego driven bullshit, once you've made the choice, you don't go back to being fear-based for long. We all have occasional outbursts, but you're on the other side. And that's where I am right now with my friend. He's on one side, and I'm waiting on the other.

I'm not pining away or anything. Using Joni Mitchell's metaphor again, when you can be playing in the garden there's no reason to spend a lot of time trying to convince somebody to come out of the house. That's a waste of precious light. I check on him from time to time. Hoping.

Even though it turned out to have nothing to do with anything, I still like the song.


Blogger Steph said...

An eye for an eye and soon the whole world is blind.

Ghandi was the shit.

The Redhots are so much apart of the soundtrack that scored my youth. Most notably... "My Lovely Man". The best.

September 8, 2010 at 7:57 PM  
Blogger PENolan said...

Hey Heidi
I'll check out that song - and I'm glad I checked out your blog.
Good stories.

September 8, 2010 at 9:09 PM  
Anonymous dissed said...

Poignant. Ouch.

September 8, 2010 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger Commander Zaius said...

I can't see how it damages anyone to think there's more to Life, The Universe and Everything than even the most educated humans can understand.

I feel the same way but that position really pisses off both the Biblethumpers and atheists I know.

September 9, 2010 at 1:12 AM  
Blogger PENolan said...

dissed, that about sums it up.

Beach - it's one of life's little ironies that those folks get riled up about the same shit. As if anybody really knows what's going on . . .

September 9, 2010 at 7:41 AM  
Blogger lisahgolden said...

I just ate this post up. Around about May of 2008, I decided to live my life without fear. I'm not 100%, but I am so much happier.

September 9, 2010 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger PENolan said...

Lisa, I had a feeling that once you make the choice, you never go back. Why would you?

September 9, 2010 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger Courtney said...

Hi Trisha! This is a great post! I've been getting a lot of mileage out of the idea that fear is the opposite of love. Also, I've been listening to these Wayne Dyer lectures, and he mentions that no amount of feeling bad is going to make anything in the world better. I think that's a related idea because love just feels better! Anyway, thanks for posting!

September 10, 2010 at 2:16 PM  
Blogger PENolan said...

Courtney! Thank you.
I'll check out Wayne on the internets. Hope your school year is going well. My kids haven't even come to school yet.

September 11, 2010 at 8:01 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

When I read this post the other morning I walked around with it all day, especially "love is the opposite of fear." I've been working on some personal things in relation to that and it's nice to have a fresh mantra.

I could go on and on but I'll just say that it's TRUE - getting outside your own head makes you happier, makes you wiser and creates energy. It works. I'm glad I read this again before I go back home for the weekend.

Thanks pal. xo

September 11, 2010 at 8:08 AM  
Blogger Jaliya said...

Oh, you. Best damn definition of God I've ever read. Bravo. xoxo

September 17, 2010 at 5:35 PM  
Blogger Jaliya said...

P.S. After reading this post, I can't help but wonder ... Are you the reincarnation of Douglas Adams??

September 17, 2010 at 5:36 PM  
Blogger PENolan said...

Jennifer, Wasn't there an angel who blew you a kiss on your evening stroll?

Jaliya - that is the just about the nicest thing anyone ever said to me.
And as for God, I'm taking that as quite a complement since you are, in fact, a life time student of Divinity.

September 18, 2010 at 5:05 AM  

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