Last week in the early morning, I fell off a ladder. My mother had been distressed, had a bad night sleeping on the sofa, closing a bat into her bedroom. Now the little guy was sleeping peacefully against the topmost point of an exposed brick wall in her Victorian-ceilinged bedroom. A large wooden trunk with metal buckles and edges kept me from getting close to the wall with a plastic bowl and plate to scoop him out the window. Mom peered fearfully through the door, saying “Don’t climb up there! There’s nothing to hold on to!” Ah! There went my Ego! I would show her how fearless and physically superior I was in my (former) balance as a dancer. I climbed about 9 feet up, to the second-to-the-top step, and leaned. KAWAM! Down I went, gouging my back on the metal buckle, landing on my kadushy, and sat there saying a simple “Sh_t!”
Now I don’t curse, being the perfect Tibetan Buddhist practitioner that I am. I lay down for a couple of minutes. She saw I was ok, patched up my back, and headed off to Oxford for the day. I walked slowly up the stairs to my apartment, lay on my bed with an ice pack on my back. As time went on, clearly I wasn’t as ok as I’d told Mom. I called my doc and asked her if I should come see her or go to the emergency room. Doc said right away to go to Christ Hospital (for the second time, second fall of this year). My neighbor/girlfriend kindly took me. No broken bones, but big beautiful green and blue bruises and scrapes.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized I simply wasn’t listening to my Higher Self, Inner Guidance, God, Allah, Universe, et al. I do know, intellectually, that the longer one sweeps a lesson under the rug, the louder the Universe yells. So here I am, Mack-truck-rammed . . . I think I finally get it.
I’ve spent my whole life taking wild risks trying to prove something to someone, to show off, to be the heroine, the fearless, the strongest, the one who would stand out amongst others as THE BEST. It’s taken years of calamities, since 2006, for me to confront my “tough” costume and start taking care of myself better. So once again, I’ve put myself out of commission for helping others. “Little did she even remember that she was a recovering disease-to-pleaser.” (See the great book Disease to Please.) I would do anything for anybody even if it broke me in half, and the bottom line is that this is all EGO. With such an afflictive emotion running my game, no wonder I couldn’t see who I truly was, what was the truth of all that was around me, no matter how many mantras and practices I did.
I had allowed myself to be dominated by the 8 mundane concerns (which I’d understood intellectually but not experientially . . . what a difference!):
Craving for pleasures of the six senses.
Craving to be free of the unpleasant.
Craving to hear sweet ego – pleasing words or sounds.
Craving to not hear ugly, displeasing words or sounds.
Craving to acquire material things.
Craving to avoid losing or not obtaining material things.
Craving for personal praise and admiration.
Craving to avoid personal slander, blame and criticism.
They are mundane because I can’t take any of them with me when I die. They are like TV commercials that interrupt the narrative of the non-judgmental flow of the mind, and the spacious loving of the heart.
OK . . . I get it know, dear Universe. Can ya quit leaning on me now?