I have this insane worry. It doesn’t eat away at me or gnaw at me but every now and then I worry that the people I really love will do to me what my husband did. Catch me off guard, knock me hard, leave me and never look back, go from caring about me, to really not giving a rat’s behind anymore. I worry that one day my child will wake up and realize she can live without me, that my best friends will decide that I have offended them, that my minor acquaintances will realize that I am unimportant to them. That my cousin will not want to hang with me anymore, that my sister will be so fed up with me she doesn’t care at all about me. Anyway you get the point. That I will really be left here alone. I am filled with sadness at the thought of this. Buddhism teaches us that people and things leave us. So I have to not cling to the people I love, I have to accept them as part of my life without attachment. But there is a certain comfort in knowing that there is a cushion of love to fall on. What would I do if it were no longer there? How would I manage in this world. I write of hubris because i think that attachment to this love to those people is a kind of prideful thing. It is a silly thing this worry. I never ever worried about it before, but lately, sometimes when I am tired, it comes in and sits on my shoulder awhile, like a devil, and asks me: Whom do you think you are?
Just after posting this I went to read my book Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach. In it she talks about the Buddhist practice of noticing what you are feeling and accepting it. Saying yes to the feeling. I though about how applying this to the fear or to anger or even to loving someone or feeling joy. Noticing what you are feeling, accepting it. It is like the cloud analogy that keeps coming to me. This idea that our thoughts and emotions are more or less like clouds. They come they go, sometimes they fill your skies, sometimes your skies are bright and crystal clear. You are not attached to this one cloud though. You know it will look for a moment like a screaming dragon, but then it will turn into a cute little dinosaur and then a horse and then a big white blob. You are not attached to that cloud though. Who would be attached to a cloud? So I say notice this cloud, this fear, this demon sitting on my shoulder whispering thoughts in my ear. Notice it and let it pass on as clouds do.