I’ve got a friend. I call her ‘Mayura’. It is the Sanskrit name for peacock. If she reads this post, she’ll know exactly what I mean.
Anyway, I’ve known Mayura for a long time…over twenty years. I’ve had the honor of seeing her grow up. She grew up in a thoroughly challenging environment.
Mayura reminds me of a lotus flower. Did you know that for all its loveliness, the lotus flower is born in some pretty stinky conditions? Yep. In fact, the more putrid its environment, often the lotus blossom becomes ever more pure, powerful and gorgeous. It is a supreme, symbolic example of beauty finding a place in the midst of pretty crappy places. This also, makes the lotus a sacred flower in ancient Asian cultures. There is a remarkable quality to anything that can flourish and offer elegance in a chaotic, sometimes icky world.
At any rate…Mayura and I have somehow kept in touch over time. We’ve been ‘radio silent’ for years, only to pick right back up as if time has never passed. This, my friends, is a luxury I hope you all can experience at least once in your lives.
Mayura and I have been talking about human relationships lately. I adore how she views things. She has an expanded, helicopter view of interpersonal dynamics. I dunno how she does it. Maybe she was born with this laser-like view into the human soul. She knows herself and she knows others…it is almost as if she holds people up into the light and she can see through them…like she is seeing through the transparency of a person…like she can see the other page behind the cover of the book that is the human.
I wish I had been (and could be presently) as savvy as Mayura. She is 20 some-odd years my junior, but this woman has insight and wisdom coming out her ears, and beyond her years.
So what’s my point to all this? You know I always want to give you something…some kind of take-away point.
Well, as I said…Mayura and I have been talking about the ups and downs of dealing with people. Doesn’t matter if friend, foe or family…dealing with people can be a dicey prospect. Actually, dealing with those closest to us can be more challenging than dealing with strangers off the street.
We shared a little about our experiences with feelings of guilt, betrayal, love, loyalty…you know…all that stuff all people should coffee-klatch about sometime in our lives. One of the things I love about Mayura is she makes me think. She makes me go deep and internalize some really heavy stuff that sometimes I’d rather not visit.
Nevertheless…while discussing a particular touching moment in our lives, I shared an infinitesimal bit of fluff with her. It wasn’t my most shining moment of advice-giving. It was not a wise, sage-filled statement I made. In fact, I’m pretty sure my words to her were, in some ways, hauntingly hopeless.
But were they?
Somehow, we got to talking about the idea of people changing. We all want to give people the benefit of the doubt. We especially always want to keep loving and believing in our friends and family. Even our foes…our ‘frienemies’ – at some point we had a connection with these people…they didn’t become our enemies for no reason. Nope. Often, an enemy was once a friend.
So what do we do with the people in our lives who we so desperately want to love, to trust, to believe in….yet they somehow always seem to disappoint us?
This is what I said to Mayura in response:
“I think people can modify. We can rise above, improve, adjust….but at our core…I think that nugget of true ‘self’ is nestled within us like a little toad.
The only true hope we have of true transformation is if we love our inner toadie, and let it snuggle in tight within us, and love it warts and all. Contrarily, there are those of us who ignore the roosting toad….which causes that soggy thing to rot and become poisonous.
We are who we are. Our only chance is to embrace or reject it. And….I hope you understand what I’m saying…because if I have nothing in this life to give…my little observation about inner toadies is about all the wisdom I have.”
Lame? Yeah, maybe. But relevant? Yeah, I think so.
What is your inner toad doing within you? What is the inner toad doing within your friends, family or foes? Is it twitching, torturing? Chilling out? Consider it. -Makes a big difference within ourselves and with those whom we interact.
May all your interactions be filled with revelation.