Although I was in Maui six months ago, the theme of judgment with which this piece dances is back at center stage. I sometimes marvel at the returning themes as I swim in ever deeper waters of self-exploration and softening.
And the lesson of now is the lesson of then.
In the words of the sage Ice Cube, “Check yourself before you wreck yourself.”
p.s. There is a plot twist at the end. And I didn’t see it coming.
The chickens are still out there doing their circles thing. But the weight of the air has dissipated. The thick and heavy has cleared today and the sun is the overseer once more. Her view no longer obscured. Her radiance a gift of a rainless downpour.
This morning, I choose to walk the beach with my cousin and her friend, as well as her friend’s 6 month baby bobbing along in a front pack. This friend is a dermatologist. Her husband is a renowned foot surgeon with a practice in Phoenix. They have a home in Montana that they are leaving to move to Maui. They don’t wish to sell the Montana home though. She says it is perfect.
And my sneaky little brain decides that she is undoubtedly Perfect. I see my comparisons rolling in my head. I see my assumption that her life is sparkly. That her husband who works one week a month and is off the other three to do all the extreme sports he desires is ever fulfilled. That they are beyond happy. That they have found permanent contentment.
Assumptions. A big ol’ bunch of assumptions. I really have no idea how their life feels.
Ah, jealousy, you sneaky little gremlin.
I know what jealousy does for me. That sharpness in my chest leads to comparisons. Comparisons lead to rigidity and a toughening of my belly. In cartoon form, jealousy feels like a little furry crazy eyed green pocket monster who keeps screeching up at me from below, “She’s the best! You’re the worst! nah-nah-nah-nah boo boo!!!!”
I move on to mentally ponder the cost that may come with a husband of an adrenaline junky. With a new baby. With life split between locations. So much churning, movement, volatility in their luxurious comings and goings.
To parallel so much churning, movement, volatility in my own mind.
I feel my jealousy. I feel my confusion. I think my confusion. I think my rationalism.
We return to the parking lot and my cousin says goodbye to this dear and very sweet woman. Her friend with babe approaches a car and I’m grateful to have the control to keep my jaw hinge in tact. It is a Tesla SUV. She opens a door vertically Back to the Future style and I gawk while simultaneously attempting to look cool about this further evidence of my oozing inferiority.
(Did I mention I’m on Maui on vacation sans kids? Right – there is that. But let’s just shove that away because it isn’t convenient to how I want to feel in this moment. Back to “always me.”)
As my cousin and I continue to our cars, I glance behind and see… oh….
…the rear window of the Tesla is shattered. Gone. Kaput.
Instead, there is a gaping hole with a too-small tarp bungeed over what used to be glass on this luxury white radiant vehicle.
“What happened to their car?” I ask my cousin, expecting to hear that a tree fell on it during the rains of late or something else natural in disaster.
She smiles slightly (with a tad of discomfort) and gives a sideways look back to the Tesla, “Well, her husband is a bit of a nut. I don’t know how she does it with him. Especially with the baby. Anyhow, he was driving a bit crazy and then went and parked to go wind surfing. When he came back, someone had shattered the back window. It’s a bit flashy for the island. They really need to get a truck with a few dents or something.” She pauses and considers and then starts giggling, “The other day we were at the beach together and it started pouring. Just raining like crazy. We ran back to the cars and they tried to tarp the back but it was impossible to seal it. It was just gushing in like a swimming pool. I couldn’t stop laughing.”
I pause and smile at myself. Window busted. Story busted.
Back to today. It is July in North Carolina. Moments ago following a read aloud check with my husband on the Maui Day 4 piece, he.very.carefully.and.in.measured.tone.says, “There is something missing. There is almost a righteousness in what you confirmed when you saw her window. I know your compassion is a wellspring for you but something is incomplete here…” He trails off.
I hate it. Every ounce of me hates this feedback. In my belly, there is a twisting and turning and writhing against his words. But my heart knows he is spot on. I am missing something. And it isn’t just in the writing. It is in my Seeing.
Getting called out can suck. Especially when someone hits the uncomfortable bulls eye of a Truth.
That day on the beach, I busted a story of my own. And there was righteousness in it. A relief. Undoubtedly.
And yet on this July day back in North Carolina with the support of a man I respect dearly, I allow my Seeing to go Deeper. Beyond superficially satiated me. To closing my eyes and imagining that day once more. To feeling my heart now tug and tighten for this dear woman’s Suffering. For her husband’s Seeking. For any discomfort they may feel.
For any suffering or discomfort ANY of us may feel.
We are beautiful people, every one. In her sparkly. In my sparkly. In your sparkly. In her thick and gooey. In my thick and gooey. In your thick and gooey. In her sharp and shattered. In my sharp and shattered. In your sharp and shattered.
In our sparkly, thick and gooey, sharp and shattered selves, We are spectacularly beautiful.
With open heart,