This morning as I sat at the breakfast table,
a single ray of sunshine blasted through the front door glass,
flooding my hands on the table
as I wrote a love note to my dear wife
sleeping in the bedroom.
In the same way, the deliberate steps we have taken recently
have begun to illuminate some dark recesses of our souls
previously unavailable for inspection
and therefore unknown.
Fear of the unknown is the worst kind of fear,
and when the unknown is inside you,
it creates a toxic brew of confusion and anxiety.
All my life I have struggled to understand my insides.
Raised in a family that prohibited the honest expression of emotion
or the discussion of important personal issues.
Rarely rewarded for good behavior,
Mostly punished for bad behavior
or the failure to live up to potential and expectations.
I learned to grow up by myself,
never trust anyone,
always show the smiling face.
Never a mentor,
never a trusted confidant
other than my dog,
the only one who could not betray.
Men are not to be trusted,
men are angry and violent,
competitive and narcissistic,
manipulative and power-hungry.
They will beat you down,
chew you up
and spit you out.
Women are crazy,
likely to go off at any moment
with or without provocation.
One must protect oneself from these slings and arrows,
One must care for one's poor retarded sister,
One must care for one's poor widowed mother,
One must care for one's poor depressed wife,
One must care for one's poor sick wife.
But where in this mix is the Self?
Is the Self only something to be guarded and protected?
How and when does the Self find its expression?
How can the Self learn to sing?
How can the Self find its center?
Can a single ray of sunshine start the process?