As the thick curtain of weekend rain lifted, Monday’s set was a vibrant blue sky, and nearly warm sunshine.
What a glorious day to head to the Norwegian Department of Taxation and register for the ever elusive “D” number.
Something I’ve learned as I dance upon the splintery stage of immigration is that there are required official forms that you must complete before getting to the next round of applause; but, in order to get certain forms you must already have been approved for the form that comes next. It’s a bad running order of dangerous circles and mind acrobatics. It must be well choreographed, performed with precision timing and sold with magnificent stage presence… in other words, it is the WHEEL OF DEATH.
Donning my best “I’m a normal person” costume, I exited the train station with my duet companion, Devin, and had no idea which way to go.
Still having no internal sense of Scandinavian cultural boundaries, which include the unstated but known thought, “please do not interact with me, I’m uncomfortable in the spotlight”, I bounced up to the first person I saw. The nice Norwegian man tried to help although he knew very little English and had no idea where the office was or that it existed. Receiving the same results from my next victim, I scanned the perimeter of my life theater for the perfect audience volunteer. Near the second row I spotted the handsome Arab taxi driver and set my focus hard, knowing he too must have participated in Cirque Du Immigration at some point. He saw me coming and looked willing to participate. My hopes were high as I asked the compelling question, “do you know where the tax office is?” He stood to his feet with enthusiasm, smiled widely, shrugged his shoulders, and pointed to his mouth as he exclaimed, “لا اتكلم الانجليزية!” Determined to be in the closing act, however, he turned to his friend and asked him to translate. Having been given detailed direction we took our show notes and Devin and I headed out to the next venue.
After walking for some time we began to doubt our whereabouts and began asking random stagehands if we were near the elusive destination, first stopping a frail, elderly woman who seemed terrified, and then a lovely geriatric man who spoke beautiful English, and although he had no clue where to send us, he was quite happy to engage in general, back stage chit-chat.
Mesmerized by the gentleman’s compelling conversation about cheese, I was nudged back to life by Devin who had an expression of surprise as he gestured to look down the walkway. Coming towards us with a dazzling smile was the handsome taxi driver. As we approached him he held out a small piece of paper and simply said, “I queued for you”. As he passed me the paper I realized that he had driven ahead of us to the tax office, scaled the stairs, taken a number in our stead and then found us exactly when we were needing a prompt. This seemingly obscure volunteer had just proved to be the most inspiring, resourceful stage manager of all time. Star struck by his heroic act of kindness, I thanked him and hugged him for way too long.
The tax appointment was a real hit and if all goes well I’ll receive rave reviews from the immigration office in a few weeks, and top billing as Norway’s newest and only side show, umbrella twirling, knife wielding freak.
Do you know what frustrates me beyond reason and causes me to do and say irrational things I regret?
When a person I love leaves me and does not communicate often enough.
When somebody who is out of touch only communicates when they NEED something.
When that OTHER person is irritable, mean, short tempered, detached AND arrogant.
When SOMEBODY ELSE is a nit-picking NAG about tiny details EVERY day.
When THAT OTHER GUY, doesn’t turn out to be EVERYTHING I pretended they could be to fulfill ALL of MY expectations, needs, wounds, LACK OF LOVE, hang-ups, sorrows and feelings of abandonment… and I especially HATE IT when it turns out that when I experience any one of these UNBEARABLE, IRRITATING, HEART-CRUSHING traits, I am actually observing MY very own SELF in the MIRROR!!!
It seemed easier when I was blaming the other guy and I was flawless.
Alas, the reality is that I have recently come to the full awareness that the repeating cycles of neglect, abandonment and abuse in my life have been produced, directed and performed by none other than “The Amazing Lucero”— yep, that’s Me.
“Those whom we love and are emotionally attracted to, and those whom we are distressed or repelled by emotionally, are both mirrors of our own self. We are attracted to those people in whom we find traits that we have and want more of, and we are repelled by those in whom we find traits that we deny in ourselves.” ~Deepok Chopra
…and both the attraction and repellent can appear in those you are closest to, until you find the keys to heal your personal damage.
Because if you haven’t found healing for your own wounds, those gaping lacerations will angrily glare at you from the other side of the shiny, truthful piece of glass, they will convoke the love and scream in your face, “I TAKE IT BACK!”
I’m taking it ALL back and now YOU are once again abandoned, just as you already were, because you, Annetta Louise Lucero, haven’t found enough healing for those wounds, and I’m showing you how ugly and open they are as a favor to You… from Me… who is actually YOU.
Growth is EXHAUSTING!
Being stuck, however, without the courage to observe, receive, admit and reach further, is a far worse prospect. I can handle the stretch, the tears, the pain, the loss and the shocking truth because it all leads me to a shot at bringing a more developed Me to the next round.
I AM RESPONSIBLE for all of the qualities in myself that are reflected back to me by those who cross my path, whether it is a momentary meeting or a long term relationship. It’s all Me.
Do you know what heartens me beyond reason and causes me to do and say thoughtful things I am delighted by?
When I communicate well and often with the people who are important to me.
When I haven’t seen somebody for some time, and I remember to inquire if there is anything they need.
When I find a way out of my irritability, before I become mean, short tempered, detached AND arrogant.
When I catch myself being nit-picky, and I let go of the need to direct others, and instead chose to relax and release it.
When I turn out to be EVERYTHING I have created without expectations and I fulfill ALL of MY needs, wounds, LACK OF LOVE, hang-ups, sorrows and feelings of abandonment… and I especially LOVE IT when it turns out that when I experience any one of these UNBELIEVABLY IRRESISTIBLE, HEART-ENHANCING traits, I am actually observing MY very own SELF in the MIRROR!!!
Read Deepok Chopra’s short articles and lessons on Mirroring:
Lessons on Mirroring
A few moments after exiting the train in Oslo, Norway the bombardment began;
“Pretty Lady, please give me something, please, PLEASE, just enough for one cheeseburger… here, here HERE, TAKE THIS!” The gypsy girl forcefully pushed a small magazine of some kind into my chest. She was at least the sixth person from her clan to do so in a matter of minutes. “No thank you”, I clearly and politely replied, yet right below the surface of my kind veneer an irritability stirred. I caught myself, took a deep breath and ushered in an internal dialogue I have been practicing; “I am neither beneath nor superior to anyone.” After repeating this in my mind several times the irritation evaporated and I continued on through the crowd. This remedy reminded me of another practice that has recently come to my awareness, and I began making eye contact with those who were available. As I met their eyes I held the thought that the spirit within them, is the same spirit that is within me and I honored it. This simple exercise was powerful in that connection took place in an instant, with many people nodding and smiling at me as they passed by. I was enjoying my “drive-by” relationships when one man caught my attention and caused me to take pause. His weathered, toothless face smirked at me as I caught his eye, and he chose to not release his gaze. He was a beggar, but in that moment he was not asking me for anything. I stood there looking at him, he looking back at me; seeing him, and being seen by him. After a bit, I sat down on the walkway next to him. I said, “I’m not going to give you money because I don’t think that will do much, but if you don’t mind I’ll just sit here with you for a while. I didn’t know what language he spoke, but he nodded, grinned and scooted a little closer to me. As we sat I told him I was very new to Norway, that I had come from Hawaii and I had just completed my immigration appointment. I told him I thought it was funny that people were wearing shorts and t-shirts and that I was in a leather jacket, long pants and cap and still felt chilled. After a little while somebody dropped some coins in his tattered coffee cup, and he looked at me with surprise, a moment later some more coins went in and he verbally made a Whoop-Whoop noise and shook his boney finger at me as he widely grinned. We were laughing as his next customer made a deposit, and he took the liberty of giving me a little shove on the shoulder like an old chum. Time went on and I said I would be going to catch the train soon. I gave him a little hug, said goodbye and stood to walk away. As I turned to go I felt a tug on my ankle. I turned around and my companion stood to his feet, and with a heavy accent and perfect english he said, “that is the most kindness I have received in more years than I can remember. Will you do something just for me?” Stunned and touched, I said, “what do you wish?” He said, “please go get yourself a lovely, big ice cream and know that it is from me. You are so skinny.”
I could not stop the tears from flooding my face as I walked back toward Oslo Central Station. I was not irritated by the gypsy girls besieging me on the way back.
As I ordered the huge ice cream my heart was exploding with colorful sprinkles of gratitude.