Tuesday, 24 April 2018

The Art of Center (Ring)

A recent set of circumstances have given rise to a very vivid example of the power of the mind. Given I'm no expert on neuro-sciences, consciousness or the effects of trauma on present day life etc. I won't presume to make sweeping conclusions about "the mind" in general. I certainly can speak with authority where recounting my own experiences is concerned.

It was nearly two weeks ago this saga began. I had been at a friends place that evening; to participate in a spiritual circle. The next morning (now back at my own home) and preparing to go away for the weekend to Vancouver; I discovered a ring of mine was missing. I remembered wearing it the previous night. It is quite a unique piece, with a very distinct stone. Within the stone there are various colour gradations which are rather mesmerizing - I remember looking at the stone, while the circle was underway.

Try as I might, I couldn't recall the events of the evening, with respect to what I might have done, with the ring. Generally there are a few places at home I would set it down, either to wash dishes, the bathroom or my night stand. One place further is a catch-all when I'm emptying my pockets - the kitchen counter, I fully expected, to find it in one of these spots as I was getting packed. When it didn't appear in any of them  - this would be place in time, when my mind started to become less than helpful. This, despite the fact, that it was still attempting to reenact the evening and remind me of where I "normally" put it.

I was both aware that I didn't want to scuttle our plan to catch a noon ferry; while at the same time, I was not wanting to go without finding the ring. I continued to prepare to leave while looking as I did so. I re-checked numerable times the places it "should be" (because you know, if my insistence that it be where it's supposed to be, is asserted with enough vigour - surely that will produce the ring!! In case you didn't already guess - that strategy was absolutely fruitless. The longer I kept coming up empty-handed, the greater was my level of agitation.

I began affirming that I wasn't going to let this spoil our weekend away. I began to wax spiritual with regard to impermanence etc. These perspectives were only mild consolation. I was not prepared at this point to "let go" of the ring. I was begrudgingly willing to abandon the search - in favour of getting to the ferry terminal on time.

Some additional factors that were influencing my mood were: the ring, which as I said is rather unique (at least here - given it came from Iran) it was given to me by a friend at a ceremony  - the ceremony was to honour the launch of my book. So to say I was emotionally invested in this ring would indeed be accurate. There were a great many energies present for me within my heart regarding this ring.

But that's not the end of the voices that contributed to my angst. From somewhere within my psyche chimes in: "You have no appreciation for anything of value," "When are you going to learn to be more responsible?" "You'd loose your head if it wasn't attached!!" "How could you be so careless?" "Do you have any idea, what it takes to provide you with........??"

Clearly this litany of shaming assertions wasn't much of a moral booster - what made it worse, was there was no one around but me! So regardless where I may have sourced these admonishments - it was me, that was now running them and directing them at myself.

I gathered my baggage (both for the weekend excursion & that which dredged up) and got on my way to pick up my friend and head for the ferry. I wasn't exactly the paragon of inner peace and joy on the way to the ferry. My accounting for these spectres of the past played out more like a self-thrashing. I did eventually drop it. The weekend was pleasant on the whole with nothing further arising that was directly attributable to the ring.

When I got home I resumed the search - checking all the same places I had already searched and re-searched. Then began looking in more obscure places - to no avail. I was sad and disappointed to lose the ring. I didn't relish telling the friend that gifted it to me of it's demise. There was the underlying foreboding of being chastised/punished, the shame of having lost it, the fear of how I was going to be seen. The ring most certainly became a portal to a vast under-tow of my "shadow."

Interesting the whole time I kept getting this imagery of taking it off to wash my hands .... (but then what?) I asked my friend to check with her son and see if he had come across it and set it aside. Still nothing..

I decided to get another ring - still convinced that this one would surface. It fits too well to just fall off. I actually got to a place where I could acknowledge - as conscientious and methodical as I try to be there are "gaps" & if I did "lose" the ring none of the self-admonishment barrage was true.

I resigned myself that the replacement ring would be a new ring - but not a replacement & nothing like the previous one. I found an interesting ring in an Egyptian import store. It has symbols on it for "protection," "rebirth," & "eternal life." I decided to go ahead and purchase it.

I began wearing it immediately and in & of itself it began to grow on me. I held off telling the friend about the loss of the other ring. I kept "seeing" the original ring - in particular the stone. I just carried on my day to day life doing what was in front of me to do. All the while I kept getting the impression of both the stone and taking it off to wash my hands - neither of which were doing anything to relocate the ring.

Today I was getting ready to go down town I put on a light weight hoodie to wear under another jacket. As I was squaring myself in the garment .... I brushed both sides over the pockets - I felt what I immediately recognized as the shape of "the ring.." I put my hand in the pocket and sure enough there it was. Ironically, I have worn that same hoodie I time or two since being back in Victoria and it wasn't until today that the ring was discovered. It, I suppose, had been there the whole time. Had I allowed the whole imagery to play forward - the "took it off to wash my hands" - may have concluded with, I put it in the pocket of the green hoodie ( I was wearing it the night of the circle, after which the ring had "vanished.") while I washed my hands.

What an ordeal the mind (my mind) is capable of creating. I am happy to have the ring back. I am also grateful for the insight I received about myself, as a result of its disappearance. I have no idea about the monetary value of the ring in question - but the journey into myself that resulted is priceless.

Here I thought I was searching or a "missing ring," - apparently I was also searching for some missing truth about myself. Another brick in the road toward humility - I don't know if I'll ever attain any but reckoning with myself - certainly gives me a good taste every now & again!!

R. O'Neill (April 24, 2018)

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