Boxing Ring

I’ve been fighting this enemy for as long as I can remember. I thought it was outside me, so I put a face and a name to it this time. I put a bell on it’s ankle, I knew where it lived. Yes, I put my Fear of Abandonment on an ex-girlfriend. That left me free… or so I thought.

I mostly fight from a distance, today cowering, tomorrow blaming, all the while hating and fearing, trying to placate but mostly hoping to avoid the Worse Case Scenario: All Out War. None of us changes, all the while decades pass. Centuries. Even when I move on from one enemy, I inevitably find the same one in the next town, in the next office, in the next restaurant.

I can’t figure out why, and now I’m truly at my wits end. Finally, finally, finally, finally… I’m ready to ask the Universe what it’s been waiting for:

“Am I the problem?”

I’m not asking because I’m curious, I’m asking because I’m exhausted.

“I’ve tried everything else,” I think. “Humor me.”

Suddenly the Universe answers, “Your enemy is not out there, dear friend. It is not another person.”

Stop. Am I ready to hear this? I must be, if I’m still here. I’ve invested so many years, though… how could I have I been so wrong for so long?

My mind desperately tries to distract me, it won’t admit defeat this time… but today, I will.

This time there is no energy to escape anymore. No more hiding.

“Tell me,” I whisper.

Suddenly I’m in a boxing ring. In front of me is “the enemy.” Only it doesn’t have a face this time. Strangely, today we are not afraid of each other, but not exactly trusting each other, either. We “allow” each other to be there. Like two animals, we glare at each other, for the first time at such close ranks.

“How else could I have shown you the problem,” it tells me, “if not by playing it out in front of you?” Suddenly I see that the problem wasn’t between myself and another person at all. It was between myself and the Universe. Only in this theater, the Universe has been played by me, and I have been played by the enemy.

I move slowly to my right, like a boxer. I am trying to feel the energy of this entity. It, too, moves to its right. I take a step forward. It does too.

“That person didn’t abandon you,” says the Universe. “You abandoned me. You stopped listening to me, you started listening to what your friends and colleagues were telling you. You didn’t trust me anymore. I had to invent this “show” for you, and every time I tried to show it to you, you pushed it away. You ran off. You didn’t want to hear it.”

I can feel the breath of the enemy now on my face. Curiosity has replaced fear. An air of tenderness and familiarity arises between us. I raise my hand to softly caress its head, while it does the same.

In a moment we merge, then we are both cancelled, as if chalk from a chalkboard. I lose form, structure, and pain. I am more whole, less limited. Full and empty. Later, pleased by this new sense of freedom, I find myself grateful for this age-old battle, especially to all those consummate actors who played ach of their parts so well. I was totally convinced!

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