I first landed on the concept of being “hooked” just a couple short years ago by Pema Chodron, a woman I consider to be a true teacher. Married twice, divorced, cheated on, had a family, had a career — I knew she was as “real” as me and I readily accepted her earthy wisdom and wry commentary on life.
at that time I had all kinds of hooks happening. not to say that I don’t, or won’t, anymore, just that now I can see a lot of them sooner and get to work on them more quickly! This awareness, cultivated through the practice of meditation, begins to take the bite out of the hooks, before they tear the flesh off of me. the very biggest hooks from that time a couple years ago remained until just this spring — I was needled by *why* the relationship with my ex and step kids no longer functioned (or even existed). mind you, not how or what or who, I understood clearly those dynamics. what I couldn’t see was *why* had the universe pulled me into these relationships of only seven years? what was the purpose? where was the meaning? beyond even these questions, I was incredibly troubled by how stuck in shenpa — how hooked — I was, still.
I spent 60 days doing metta/tonglen practice. Every single day I plopped my butt on mother earth and set a timer for five minutes. In those short spans of time, the only conscious thoughts i allowed myself to think or utter were for absolute peace and love and compassion for B, H, S and J. Just the love channel, all the time. I imagined them living the lives I could perchance love them to have — I sent blankets of love, waves of love, air filled with love, lives saturated with pure, sweet love. I sent them freedom from every disappointment, ease in every situation, the fulfillment of their every desire in life. I laid this relationship on the altar, and, as Marianne Williamson would remind me, I vowed to allow Life to alter it.
Was there massive change? oh my, yes. it only took one day of practice to realize that there was absolutely NO WAY I could send anything to these precious people in my life that I could not give to myself. it would be impossible. after 30 days the shift was palpable, the “charge” was gone. after 60 days, I began to see hope for a sweet future, for ALL of us.
And, as with all in life, the changes begat every moment, hour, day and month.
back to the unhooking; the 60 days really filled the bill for me. peace came and anxiety dropped away. I would receive communications and they didn’t fill me up and disappear away my days with anxiety or despondency or regret.
what did remain was simply the one hook — this relationship to a past I no longer lived. I remembered fly fishing the san miguel river out back of my office in telluride — many summer afternoons as the phone stopped ringing and emails slowed it was an option to grab my fly rod (a whippy little 6’ sage, perfect for bushy creeks) and the (regal & handsome) Jax and head down the stairwell just two blocks from the meandering riverbed… the hooks were sooo easy to catch in bushes on either side of the narrow bends. It was easy to see this one simple hook, caught in me and extended to B — and I didn’t want that any more.
a dear friend suggested using ceremony to release the energy. I came up with taking that relationship hook and unworking it from me, from my heart. after which I gently take that hook and give it back to B so that he can be complete with all of his energy, as I am complete with mine.
the question became, what to do with that wound — the tear or hole left behind?
The Japanese have a beautiful method of mending broken objects that is clearly seen when they mend a piece of broken pottery or lacquerware — they fill the cracks with gold, increasing the value of the piece. This is known as kintsugi, and it transforms the piece being repaired. Wabi-sabi is the philosophy behind the practice, and can be understood as embracing the flawed or imperfect. In fact, the repair is even illuminated. The belief is that this object has suffered damage and has a history and through repair it becomes even more valuable.
I easily visualized gold repairing the torn bits of me, making me stronger and more valuable and lovely than I was before.
I was unhooked.
Regardless of how shenpa (sanskrit for hooked) shows up in my life in the future, I now get to use mindfulness, awareness and meditation to grow. as well, I can use my ceremony of unhooking and repairing to move forward — I can come into my own, shining with light and with love to grow into a new phase of be-ing.
as to the “why” of this relationship? truly I am unsure as I have no contact — the one thing I do know is that every time I wonder “why” I have a beautiful quote and belief I return to, “The intelligence of Nature functions effortlessly, frictionlessly, spontaneously. it is non-linear; it is intuitive, holistic and nourishing.” To which I add, my Divine is *constantly* working for the good in All. i trust this — I trust Life to fulfill my every need.
(drop quote in last paragraph from The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra)
pottery image from Wikipedia