I love the lyric from the song “Spinning Wheel” by David Clayton Thomas
What goes up must come down
Spinnin’ wheel got to go ‘round
This morning I was reflecting on the ups and down of my life. The moments of excitement and the moments of despair. I picked up some favorite ancient texts (this question has been surfacing for all time) and immediately was presented with a conundrum.
I realized that I am addicted to the ups of life. I create so that I can feel the excitement of the highs. I landed a great contract. I got an accolade from someone I respect. I got a large check in the mail. You get the idea.
This addiction has a price tag. A cost that I forget each time I sip the elixir that will certainly give me the high. This simple law of opposites is that there is a low that must follow every high. This duality of life is the main part of living.
We breathe in, we breathe out.
We love, we hate.
We are born, we die.
Now, I mostly hope that the down will not follow the up. I pretend to myself that I can cheat the law of opposites this time around. I can do it through either my cleverness, or my authenticity, or by using my gifts.
Wrong. This law of duality is not escapable. Hoping it will be different is the foundation of suffering. I want the high because it feels so good. Then I begin running to escape the consequence of my choice.
I was with someone last week who was asking about love. She had accepted our cultural story of love that has been corrupted by romance novelists and movie makers. When you are “in love” the fireworks go off, and life is surreal, and you feel oh so good. She bought the story that this condition can last forever.
Anyone who has experienced the fireworks knows that they don’t last. Maybe you have had them last longer than most. There reaches a moment though when they fizzle. It may not be noticeable at first. You don’ want it to end so you start pretending you feel something that you don’t. Then the coolness sets in like morning fog and you start to feel things that you wish weren’t so. Small things about the other person begin to bother you. You may suppress it, but you both know that something is not right. In the end, a new relationship sets in. If you are fortunate, you grow together but mostly people become isolated and maybe feel a bit deadened.
We talked about another love. A true love that doesn’t live at the extremes. A love that is real and comes from embracing myself and others just as we are. A love that knows what’s true and has no need for anyone or anything to be different than it is. A love that gives without expectation. A love that is available freely to all who choose to receive it.
She felt very sad. The myth was punctured. She resisted even considering a life without the fireworks. I suspect she felt that she would be cheated of something important. We sat through her sadness and the beginning of peacefulness appeared.
Just as I am addicted to the high, we all have our emotional addictions. I know these addictions produce a fleeting feeling that is creating its opposite as it declines. By knowing this truth, I can step off the roller coaster and have a chance to feel something that cannot be described and is beyond belief.