In your current lifetime, you might have noticed
a pattern of experiences that repeat even though
the faces and locales are different. The
names and stories might change but at the core
of such experiences is the same familiar outcome
or feeling. The ability to observe such
energetic patterns and consciously digest their
teachings is what I call "Spiritual
Intelligence" or S.Q. (instead of intelligence
quotient/I.Q. or emotional quotient/EQ.)
If you have keenly noticed your own patterns,
you are gifted with innate spiritual I.Q. or you
have been relentlessly pounded upon the head by
the same cosmic hammer.
Either way, consider yourself blessed because
these recurring themes are part of your soul's
desired "Higher Education". You may not
realize it, but you actually designed your own
curriculum and the Universe graciously granted
you full scholarship. Just remember that
you have all the time in the world to study
because no one has ever finished this program.
It keeps expanding so please enjoy your status
as an eternal student. (Don't forget to
use your student card!)
In my own collection of teachings, there have
been several recurring experiences. Most
dominant are the Teachings of Unattachment.
I alluded to a recent revival of this "workshop"
in my life so here is a bit more of the story...
For a long time, I was haunted by the companion
known as Betrayal. He was very active in
my life throughout childhood and early
adulthood. He managed to surprise me on
many occasions, knocking on my door when I least
expected it. Usually, he'd show up after
I'd built a relationship. With one quick sweep
of his hand, Betrayal would destroy everything
that I had believed to be true and good.
He made me feel like a fool for believing and
his two brothers (Bitterness and Distrust) would
squat in my emptied heart after he left. I
tried to kick them out but they always found a
way to sneak in through the back door.
So I fought with Betrayal for many years in hand
to hand combat. The battle became more
covert as I became more worldly: we had entered
into a cold war. He kept denying having
access to weapons of mass destruction but the
hard blows were still landing on my tender
heart. Finally one day, amidst our quiet
hostilities, I managed to slip behind the bugger
and yank off his evil mask. Like
that monumental moment in a comic book where the
villain's true face is finally exposed, my heart
jumped when I realized who he really was:
But HOW could that be? HOW could this
filthy wretch who has destroyed countless lives
and embittered so many innocent ones be the
benevolent face of Love itself?
Well, like I said recently, Love fancies
costumes. Like a cheeky burlesque dancer, she
will tease you in various guises. Even
dressed as Betrayal, she will eventually strip
down for you and reveal her true self.
However, if you want to speed things up and
unhook her from her taunting outfit, you can
Unattachment is the ability to release yourself
from taking things personally and letting go of
your expectations of a person or situation.
Recently, I bumped heads again with Love dressed
as Betrayal. It was someone who had
created great pain in my past but after a decade
of self-healing work, I had found peace and
forgiveness in my heart. In the last five
years, we had built a very beautiful friendship.
When the betrayals were discovered, I was
dumbfounded. Duplicitous behaviour is
particularly hard for me to stomach... I'd much
rather deal with direct confrontations. At
the least, you know where you stand with someone
when they are blunt.
I asked myself a knee-jerk question: How
could this possibly happen? Had there been
any seed of suspicion or doubt in my heart that
could have manifested such a betrayal? After
some soul searching, I could honestly testify
that I had been very trusting and truly loving
in my relationship with them.
And then I asked a better question...
What is the teaching about Love in this
Mmmmm....this is when the Teaching gets
undressed and reveals itself. Far from
being a betrayal, I realized that this was
another opportunity for me to practice
When you are betrayed, the first common reaction
is "shock" followed by a restructuring of your
world view. As you re-structure, you can
choose to "take it personally" and live with the
pain of that view OR you can choose to see it as
an impersonal teaching and live with the wisdom
To take it personally means that you believe
this person wanted to betray you. To live
with the pain means that you will experience
Bitterness and then Mistrust will taint your
To take it impersonally means that you realize
that this person was acting from a place of
fear. It was not their intention to hurt
you but their fear caused misguided choices.
To live with this wisdom means that you will
transcend the initial pain and learn to love
them despite their errors.
To practice Unconditional Love means that I will
still love this person despite the pain, despite
the wrong-doing, despite the loss of integrity
on their part. Unconditional Love means
that I must continue to hold space in my heart
for this person. I will keep my heart open
and not cut them off from my love.
But Unconditional Love does not mean that I will
allow them to abuse, manipulate or control me.
It does not mean that I will play their game.
I will only meet them on my own terms and
Unattachment helps me to release my expectations
of them. If they are actually dangerous to
my life or to my well-being, then I will
withdraw my body from their path but I will NOT
withdraw my love.
Every chance I get to unmask the Betrayer is an
opportunity to realize that Fear is the cause of
all suffering and evil, and that Love is the
formidable panacea. As I pull myself up by
the spiritual bootstraps once again, I know
without a doubt that this path is the high road.
I can happily leave behind the Badlands of the
Betrayed and traverse steadily over to the Land
of the Beloved...