A letter from me to my Guru written in April 2007 about an experience at that time.
I’ve been trying to write this piece for some time, but now the timing seems to be just perfect.
For a long time in my life I’ve been a very angry person. I know this is not a part of my basic personality (whatever that means). I do not remember ever being an angry child.
Nevertheless, I’ve been quick to anger, rile, annoy for most of this existence. I don’t really know when that started.
It’s now been almost 18 months since I was assaulted by a former friend and lover in my own home. At the time you gave me the advice to love those who perpetrate violence on you. And I have to admit that despite really wanting to, I have not been able to do that for the longest time.
At first I didn’t know how. Then my anger kept me away from being able to or even wanting to try. Even after the vows taken at our powerful ceremony in Bali, I was not able to vanquish my anger. I was able to subdue it however, but that resulted in my being annoyed about lots of things I wouldn’t have worried about previously.
I feel like I’ve been in some sort of cocoon, where I’ve been sluggish, unable to motivate myself and angry about everything. As a result I’ve felt that I’ve been living a bit of an empty life, but unable to shift this for whatever reason.
But strangely I’ve noticed since returning from Bali, that the more I struggle or get annoyed about something, the more the experience appears to be rubbed in my face. I’ve asked for guidance and help in my prayers, but it seems I’ve been waiting something out. And in the process, I’ve been learning that the more I surrender to whatever annoys me, the less it actually annoys me.
Tonight I’ve just finished reading Swami Radha’s diary/book, about her time with Swami Sivananda. I seemed to read it very fast, even for me. In the last few pages, Sivananda is making a speech as Swami Radha is preparing to leave India. And in it, he repeats your original advice to me – to love those who try to hurt you.
And then the strangest thing happened, I can’t really explain it. My throat got hot and heavy and every part of my body seemed to vibrate. Tears rose spontaneously although I wasn’t crying.
Where before I’ve tried to imagine myself being able to offer love in response as per your advice, right at this moment I wasn’t doing any trying. It just was my experience, and continues to be so. Actual love for this person. I’d almost given up thinking I had the ability to cultivate this. But I could feel a ‘cramp’ as you’ve called them, relax and ofcourse a great deal of energy released as you have described is possible.
I don’t know if “all” of my anger has dissipated just yet! And somehow I doubt it. But I do feel a substantial shift within myself towards that direction.
As ever and always with love and gratitude…
This was a MAJOR turning point in my healing journey. For about two-three weeks afterwards I retained this experience of openness and love. I grinned like an idiot at anyone who looked in my direction and had a sensation of inner radiance and light so intense I was sure it spilled out onto the footpath. It was very, very sweet.
Sadly at that point in my life/path I was not able to stabilise all of this as a permanent day-to-day experience. But it definitely gave me an insight into my true nature – all of our true natures.
My Guru wrote back and said “that is definitely an experience of healing kundalini energy”. He was pleased for me as always. The thing I love most about my Guru is that he is not ever trying to be my saviour. Never does he treat any of us as special for having an experience like this. Its run-o-the-mill stuff. He wants each of his students to stand on their own two feet. Whilst he gives us the tools, he doesn’t do the work for us. Unlike the stereotype of Gurus who want everyone to be reliant on them, mine does not.
Anyway… although the energetic state faded, the knowledge gained during that direct experience did not. I can’t say all my anger has dissapated – seems I’ve still got some more work to do there. But it is greatly lessened. I may not always be able to apply everything I learned from that time, but its wisom I “know” and not just intellectually any more. Even now, a year and a half later I can say I love Andre and mean it.
Not in the “I wanna marry you” kind of way. But you know, genuine love for a fellow human being in suffering. Because how crappy must he feel about himself deep down, if he’s compelled to hit other women? He must feel a whole lot worse than he can acknowledge. That kind of life must really suck, much more than I can imagine.
For I don’t hate myself, not any more. And I don’t hate him either.
Anger begets anger. Hate begets hate. How are we ever to release our own anger and hate if we continue to spew it outwards at others?
Recently my mother and I had quite the blow up. It takes a great deal of effort for me to become so angry that I yell, but parents and children are good at pushing each other’s buttons, right?
I was mortified at this regression. Or was it? Perhaps, this whole “can’t-get-a-job-stuck-living-with-my-parents” thing is actually the next phase of releasing old pent up family karmas?
Things have calmed down alot since that horrid fight (I really don’t like fighting) and we’ve started getting along much better.
But possibly… it looks like I’m here til both my parents and I learn a few more lessons about each other.