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Old 01-28-2012, 08:47 AM
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ImaginaryIllusion ImaginaryIllusion is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,950
Lightbulb Emptiness...

Itís been a while since the last post...and Iím not sure if Iíve actually done much about the personal inventory or whatnot...Iíve mostly been in a bit of a funk, kinda listless, and procrastinating. I donít think itís by any means the sole and direct result of the breakup with my gf. I donít deny that might have been a contributing factor, but there have also been a lot of other elements that also contributed. A year of my job sucking for example...and somewhere along the line I think I might have a mid-life crisis scheduled. Itís possible the accident resulted in a quick trailer preview of that episode. Iíve been mostly sculling about the house getting, dumb, and not really happy. Not with myself anyways.

Life goes on and Iíve just been treading water I guess, keeping up appearances. My wife has been awesome, but I think sheís about fed up with me...and would rather I got out of the house and started living again or something. Iíve been staying at home a lot while she goes out with her friends and her extra-curricular activities...and like a typical wife and mother, starts feeling all guilty that sheís having fun and Iím at home. Silly But for the most part, Iíve enjoyed being at home. One of the few sources of pure joy Iíve had these days is the kids. Theyíre growing up into pure awesome. My son isnít even 8, and already has more charisma and mojo than I ever had. My daughter is going to be very strong willed and independent pirate princess...assuming I ever let her out of the dungeon... and the both of them are smart enough to make my wife and I look like idiots one day. (Probably the same day they out us to the in-laws.) Iíve spent enough time away from home in recent years that I think Iím just making up for lost time before I get called away again.

In most respects though...I seem to have lost the spark. The driving force that allows me to focus in on whatever Iím working on at the time. Itís happened on different things over the years...gaming, girls (especially the one who would become my wife), my job (until it started to suck), unicorn hunting, poly, ...I donít think I get to add guitar since I still suck so bad I canít say I ever focused on it. Itís not an exhaustive or complete list, but nothing right now really fires me up the way it used to. Not in the positive ways anyways. Thereís still lots of things thatíll piss me off ...but that just means Iím probably still breathing, and lately Iíve been less hesitant about acting on that...which is a positive since it means I apparently starting care about something again. (Thanks to SG for helping me out with this one)

So last night my wife kicked me out of the house to attend the local 101...and while initially hesitant, I ended up being very glad she did. To my surprise they were still checking in when I got there, talking about what was going on in their lives, and asking of the universe to manifest...Iím not sure I entirely understood it. I donít really talk to the universe...or ask it for anything...unless it has to do with lottery tickets. There were several full or filling cup analogies being used...which at a pub is very appropriate given the state of ones beer glass. As usual I didnít say I missed most of the sharing, and there was a few people I didnít know as well as others, and if I started I might not have shut up. So I kept it to myself, but the analogy struck a chord that stuck with me for the rest of the night, so I figured Iíll just sleep on it and share it here instead...on a, full of ...virtual ...people, and anonymous... google... ... search... ... ... strangers....hmm, something about this plan wasnít very well thought through, was it?!

I had been operating under the impression that I needed to figure out my priorities. After the breakup with K, there were still many things in my life to occupy my time and energies. I havenít been in a big rush to fill the gap as it were with another relationship. Unlike a couple years ago, the prospect of cruising OKC for possible dates just doesnít seem like something I need to spend time on. I donít seem to have an insatiable need of, ďIím poly, so therefore I must have at least two partners at all times!Ē But still the time and energy I had been spending on my relationship with K was available for redistribution between friends, hobbies, vocations, entertainment, or whatever. So all I needed to do was re-sort these things into a new set of priorities and carry on. But it hasnít been working out that way. Is it because thereís no spark to motivate me? Have I still not let go of the past? Do I even deserve to move on? Is what I have left to give even worth anything to anyone else? Whenever Iíve tried to re-organize anything, Iíve quickly been overwhelmed by the sense of there being too many projects or directions, and I donít know where to start. Itís kind of like my office, or the basement...itís a bloody mess. Itís so full, that takes a long time to figure out not only where to start, but even how to find the space to organize anything, very much like Towers of Hanoi.

And thatís where the discussions about everyone enjoying their full cups really hit me...tell me if youíve heard this one before...
A university professor went to visit a famous Zen master. While the master quietly served tea, the professor talked about Zen. The master poured the visitor's cup to the brim, and then kept pouring.

The professor watched the overflowing cup until he could no longer restrain himself.

"It's overfull! No more will go in!" the professor blurted.

"You are like this cup," the master replied, "How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup."
Like the Universe, I donít really understand Zen either. But the point that struck home was that I have too many priorities, opinions, assumptions, distractions, feelings, residuals, hang-ups, routines, desires, fears, fantasies, insecurities, plans, etc...just a mass of mental clutter. I need to empty my cup.
(Thanks to the 101 folks for talking about their relationships with beer!)

I saw K around Christmas, and Iíve occasionally seen glimpses into what challenges sheís been meeting over the last couple months through social networking. I still get twinges of regret that Iím not in a position to help her out with any of it. But itís a journey she needs to take, and I think itís pretty clear now that Iím not a part of that venture. The path she needs to take isnít really one that I would be able to, or truth be told, want to follow. Thereís been no resolution per se as to actions, or discussions about how our romantic relationship ended, and it could be there never will be. Time has passed, and Iíve done whatever processing and grieving Iíve needed to do. The anger and hurt has passed with it. Whatís been left unsaid can probably remain so indefinitely. All I can go is let her go with love and my best wishes for her future. I remain her friend with concern for her well being, and Iíll always be grateful for our time together, the love we shared, and everything Iíve been able to learn from her, and our relationship. And I continue to hope that my presence in her life is similarly positive.

I am Jackís Emptier Cup

Whatís next?

I think Iíll be carrying on with this for a while...wash, rinse, repeat, until I can say ďI am Jackís Empty Cup!Ē If itís anything like previous occasions that Iíve done a Ten Year overhaul, itíll also mean some new clothes, and a new hat. Maybe Iíll get to the end of this and actually have something to offer another person again, or be worth another person loving again.
(I should clarify that this isnít self-deprecation for the sake of attention whoring, gaining pity party points, or suggesting Iím broken or damaged. And this isnít based on the breakup or other recent events. Itís from well before that, a cumulative collection of crap from a lifetime of experiences, not all of which have been resolved. I am Jackís sense of severe disappointment and disgust at his own reflection. )

My wife is a dear and seems to love me no matter what...but thatís what she gets for marrying so far beneath herself. There wonít be much I can do to change that, but perhaps I can at least narrow the gap a little. And there I go filling the damn cup again...yeah, this might take a while.

This brings me around to another element of eastern philosophy Iíve always found interesting, but only sometimes understand.

Originally Posted by Miyamoto Musashi
The meaning of emptiness is that the realm where nothing exists, or cannot be known, is seen as empty. Of course emptiness does not exist. By knowing what exists, you can know that which does not exist. That is emptiness.

People in this world look at things mistakenly, and think that what they do not understand must be emptiness. This is not true emptiness. It is delusion.


What you believe in often proves to be contrary to the true way, distorted as it is by personal biases and the individual warps in your vision. Know this well, and try to act with forthrightness as the foundation and keep the true Heart as the Way.


Then you will come to see things in an all-encompassing sense and, taking emptiness as the Way, you will see the Way as emptiness.

In emptiness is virtue, and no evil. Wisdom exists, principle exists, the way exists, mind is Empty.
So thatís the plan:

Step 1. Empty my Cup.

Step 2.?? (Maybe this is somewhere along the line when Iím worth loving again...perhaps some lovelyís will find me interesting enough to try dating. And maybe my wife will want to keep me around again instead of kicking me out. )

Step 3. Profit! ...or I guess in my case...Lube!
ďPeople who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.Ē - Chinese Proverb

-Imaginary Illusion

How did I get here & Where am I going?
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