I am writing this because a lot of people who read elephant journal are on a spiritual journey (no duh), and like me, many of you want to get your socks rocked often.
Heartbreak? Bring it on! Tangled interpersonal dramas that require big-picture thinking? We eat those for breakfast and start planning lunch as we chew.
We elephant readers are not only on a vision quest, we are taming dragons while we do the dishes. We exist to think differently. We die to experience more, to be more. We strive to judge less. We’d travel to outer space just to learn to love anyone and everyone, from everywhere, more. To us, fear is the most offensive four-letter eff word!
“Carpe Diem!” we scream as we fling our arms open wide and live by heart. And yet we know as we do this, we are inviting the next level of our sacred video game. The next big challenge. We all know too well that part of this experience involves being flung down to earth—and regularly. Usually the patch of earth you find yourself on is just what you need when you need it.
For example, lately, I’ve been working very diligently on my issues of attachment and love and how these two things must never be confused, and how they require regular attention, reflection and updating in terms of their definitions and lack thereof. Love is proving to resist identification and to have quite the strong arm as I increasingly observe.
But the patch of earth I’ve landed on to help me get the most perspective on this work is one strange and creepy Neverending Story swamp scene, let me tell you.
What I’m talking about, people, is stalking. And what I am learning is exactly how never, ever to behave toward another human being… even a little bit.
As an aside, I lived in New York City for a few years and experienced my share of star sightings. One thing I always sensed when I’d walk by the poor person is how much they just wanted to be left alone. How much they just wanted to be normal. To just feel a connection and a sense of freedom with others instead of a weird lift onto a pedestal every five seconds by fans who projected every imaginable fantasy onto their poor movie-screen-like person. They just wanted to take a f&^%$ walk without sunglasses at 8 p.m. for Cry-sakes.
Now, more than just sensing this, I really get it. I’m no movie star. But that doesn’t mean I can’t somehow draw a stalker of my own, and I have. Every night since October, I’ve been locking my door through both of its clicks and turns.
Being stalked is not a compliment. It is like a nightmare. It makes you feel so helpless and sick to your stomach, over and over and over. You try to be nice. You try so many times to say in any combination of words, “Please, please leave me alone.” You explain over and over how it makes you feel, how you don’t see the same thing that they do. How you’re sorry if you gave them the wrong idea. How you just want them to leave you the f*&^ alone. You play nice. You play mean. You play angry. You play beggar. You (involuntarily) play hide and seek. You give up—but they don’t—and it feels like they never, ever will.
You try to show boundaries, and the person is unable to acknowledge your existence beyond their projection of who they imagine you are. Again, it is an experience many people have faced.
I am not ‘special’ nor do I ever, ever want to be because that disconnection would be hell for me.
This is a challenge that displays interpersonal boundaries for what they are and how they can fail and how limited we are if one party is not in control of or aware of their own mind and behavior.
The more I learn about my mind, the more responsibility I have to share lessons, but in this case there is nothing to be shared. What is the lesson here? Anyway, it’s a totally different ballgame. I am still learning and, frankly, I am exhausted. I also happen to live in the Middle East where if a woman reports this behavior, she is suspect. So it’s up to me to watch my back and well, this brings me to a topic that could be tangential if you will entertain it.
So lately I’ve been experiencing the power of prayer—i.e., so many of my prayers about things I need clarity on or help with have been answered, and the more specific I am, the more uncanny and miraculous the responses! It’s been wonderful. I’m not asking you to believe in everyone else’s version of the almighty force above all forces here, people. Honest.
Listen. We are humans. We have free will. If we pray, even to our aloe vera plant as another energetic being, we invite intervention. (I don’t know what or who you believe in but you just say something out loud. Just ask and trust it is heard and it will be answered. Don’t complicate it or convert to anything. Just open the door!) But if we don’t ask, if we don’t even think it’s possible, we act as if we don’t want it or invite it, so it doesn’t come. What have we got to lose? Perhaps the feeling that we already know so much that we know everything and that nothing can exist beyond what we know. What?! Yeah, that didn’t make sense to me either. Anyway…
Personally, I pray a lot and I get a lot of what I pray for. Rarely is it delivered in the way I imagined it would or could, though, because the bigger picture is too much for my mind. It’s that simple. What I realize in this stalking situation is that, because it’s so icky, I simply forgot to apply prayer to it. It was something I didn’t want so I didn’t associate prayer with it. Today I have begun to pray about it. I prayed for this person and then I pray that they leave me alone, forever. I trust now that will help it go away with great speed.
Complete anti-prayer people might say that maybe my stalker will read this and leave me alone once and for all; in such a case, my prayers will have come true! I’m not saying to pray, sit, do nothing. There of course needs to be action. And I’m not with those parents who pray for a disease to go away in a child and don’t take them to the hospital. I mean, maybe my prayer will be answered in the form of me moving apartments or somehow meeting a police officer here who does have my back. I don’t know. I’m going to be open to what to do all the same and pray in the meantime.
Funny thing is, I forgot to pray long enough so that I could experience this dizzying situation almost as long as a full-term human pregnancy and write about it. Indeed, it has been enough to feel the feeling of being thrown off the motorbike of interpersonal enlightenment to the degree that my spiritually-inclined face rammed into the pavement of reality. The trick I find in these situations is not to stay there, eating the ground and playing the victim. That’s another bad look. You gotta look at it and say, “Oh, okay,” and then what to do but get up, dust off and take the lesson forward (in my opinion and experience, asking for guidance never hurts, either).
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Ed: Brianna Bemel