(on the phone, no less, which is harder than face-to-face for me, because it's like being partially blind- you can't touch the other person, or read their facial expressions/body language, etc).
Actually, it wasn't just intense. It was
But here's the interesting thing:
After over an hour and a half's-worth of emotional talk, during which we
went in circles
couldn't see the other person's point of view
felt that we were looking for different things and we should give up...
He said what he had said many times before:
you are unhappy because you want.
Stop wanting so much.
You are killing yourself.
And for the first time, I listened.
I realized that there could be a kind of want, a hunger, that is simply... self-destructive.
That you can desire and have ambition and the will to achieve and be happy, and that is good and can drive you forward, but
There is also a hunger that can destroy you from the inside out.
It can have razor teeth that gnaw on you and it can be a creature so ravenous that it is never satisfied.
Nothing you do- and nothing anyone else does- will ever be enough and at the end of the day you will always be miserable.
I sat with that, in silence. I knew the truth of it.
Then I said how do you stop? Wanting?
and he said
You just stop. Meditate on it.
The mind is a powerful thing.
And I just sat there, listening, and strangely, I felt peace growing inside me because this was so much bigger than the two of us; it was... not the answer, but a start, and maybe the unravelling of some thorny issues that have been plaguing me for a long time.
How do you differentiate between good desires, and the ones that are self-destructive?
How do you train your mind to stop the nasty, rat-like gnawing?
How do you stop wanting?
And damn it if I didn't walk away from one of the most difficult conversations ever feeling...
enlightened. Literally lighter, as if a weight had been lifted from my spirit.
It's not the Answer- not by a long shot- but it's the right Question.
And that's a step in the right direction.