“Some walks you have to take alone.” — curiano.com

Humility helps us realize we are not as indispensable as we imagine. The more we put others on a pedestal in order to pull them in, or the more time we dedicate to those who are manifesting love avoidance, the more we feel taken for granted.

Part of the problem of being codependent is codependents seek to make themselves indispensable in order to secure a place for themselves, but this pursuit precipitates the opposite effect. As Mari Ruti, says,

“There’s no greater test of our respect for our friend’s autonomy than letting someone know she is free without protest when that’s what she needs. This is one of the greatest gifts – one of the greatest acts of love we can ever give. Love is bighearted. It wants what is best for the other even if the best doesn’t involve us.” *

Letting go is a part of loving. If you’re always with someone, you’ll never know how strong your connection is.  Though letting go can seem too much, we can derive inward consolation as Ruti explains,

“Letting a friend walk away before we are ready to let go is one of the hardest things we will ever do… It might help us to remember that friendship can die without us having done anything to kill it.  It’s better to lose a friendship than to watch its initial passion turn into a faint shadow of its former self.”

Whenever we sense disparity of feeling, even in friendship, it is time to let go. It is a needless weight upon the heart. We become desperate for someone’s affection, at the cost of our dignity.  We approach the friendship according to what we want to hear, rather than what is being said or done. Roger de Bussy-Rabutin uses a metaphor to help us read where we stand with another when he says,

“Absence is to love what wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small, it inflames the great.”

~ vincenzo ©

*in these two quotes by Mari Ruti, I have substituted the word, “lover” for “friend” in order to contextualize the quote to my present situation

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“Our carapace is necessary because it keeps out a lot of pain; it ensures we’re not overwhelmed by what is wounding in the world. But it can also make us feel fake. It can make us feel numb and strangely out of touch with ourselves. As a result, there are few things that feel headier than being able to cast it off. There are few things that feel better than being able to reconnect with aspects of our being that have been forcefully suppressed. There is, in short, something enormously vitalizing about being able to trust that someone will not recoil when we disclose the face beneath the mask.”

“Those who manage to sustain passion over time know how to arrest the steady advance of triteness. They know how to insert ideals into the composition of their lives.”

— both quotes above — by Mari Ruti

Today I set my computer aside and opened my notebook to the early morning sunlight. Like the sage and philosopher, I needed this quiet interval in order to recover from the intruding thoughts of daily interactions.

I observed today how my pet poodle is able to draw near the neighbor’s dog without arousing its defenses. My dog puts on an inoffensive air. His movements are light and puppy like. However, whenever I attempt to get near the aforementioned creature, it bares its menacing teeth and growls at me with antagonistic eyes.

I wish I could interact with others without having those defenses aroused. Being around people taxes my energy. All warmth and charm disipate from my body. With great effort I control my emotions, but they run deep on the inside. Indeed, those of us who suffer from a more sensitive temperament have an especially difficult time finding serenity and lowering our guard.

In such times I wonder what it would be like to be disconnected from the Amygdala Gland –that tiny apparatus in the brain that is responsible for all my anxiety and irritability. What would it be like to be able to face each day with the composure of the warrior — to learn the art of emotional judo?

*

I recall the soothing delight of retreating to the nurturing and mysterious world of the TV series, “Kung Fu”. I could not tell you the names of the main characters, yet its impact I could not deny to this day.

As I watched David Carradine play the role of a noble young monk, it kindled in me a burning passion towards the acquisition of a similar spiritual quest. Movie makers know how empowering it is to inject in the human heart the sense of self-mastery. It doesn’t matter how much adversity, threats or danger, composure defies all the sensible instincts of self-preservation.

Perhaps we may never demonstrate the heroic achievement of an ancient oriental warrior, yet, we can all experience the quiet transcendence of the unsung hero. In the obscure realm of human experience, there are still many giants to be slain.