My Life in a Harem. (and other happy thoughts)

A beautiful German woman sat next to me at the workshop and I instantly felt drawn to her and I instantly disliked her all at the same time. A Middle Eastern song came on while we waited for the speaker to come on stage and many stood up to move their bodies and to dance. The German woman turned towards me and we began to dance together. We danced a middle eastern dance that seemed to just arise between us. Our bodies fell together as if we had done this dance hundreds of times before.

Suddenly everything started to flicker and my consciousness moved to another place and another time. I was suddenly in a past life. I was transported to a life in a harem. The German woman and I were friends and the German woman and I were enemies. You see we were both in love with the same man. The man in the harem. Some women were just there for the kinship and community but she and I were also very much in love with the man. She and I were friends and we were competitors. Each hoping to be the chosen one.

And in this altered state I could feel her pain and I could feel mine. There was a deep longing in each of us. An almost unbearable lightness of being. She dealt with her pain by becoming more and more beautiful. (If I’m beautiful enough maybe I will be chosen.). I dealt with my pain by becoming more and more independent. (Who needs the man anyway.). But way underneath the surface was the secret longing. The longing for love. The longing for connection. Perhaps a longing that could never be satisfied in this human realm. The pain was there for both of us and I could see beneath the veneer of beauty and independence.

The song subsided and the dance ended and I found myself back in this place and this time, staring into the eyes of the beautiful German woman. Her eyes were piercing and intense. Her eyes were filled with love and hate and depth and intensity. Had she seen the past? Did she remember too?

The song ended and we all sat down. The speaker was onstage now. I looked up and saw him with new eyes. I recognized his instantly.

He was the man from the harem.

Someone asked me recently if I believed in past lives. I do I replied. How could you she asked. I have memories I said. They happen on a regular basis.

I’m still processing what I saw that day. I have repeated the pattern in this life. Dealing with the pain of lose and love and disappointment by becoming hyper independent. But I know the truth now.

I have no easy answers. No quick fixes.

Just awareness. Just allowing the unfolding to continue.

I welcome the pain that lies beneath the surface now. I welcome it deeply and do my best to allow it to be there after lifetimes of hiding from it.

The unbearable lightness of being.

What pain do you hold? Could you welcome it up? Could you sit with it? Could you allow It to reveal itself?

What we resist persists and
Anything deeply welcomed eventually leads to peace.

And so for today I welcome this pain that resides at the depth of my being. I welcome it to accompany me. I welcome it to the surface and allow it to have its way for me.

Today I have no answers,
Just a gentle welcoming of what is arising.

A sitting with the pain.
A sitting with the attempt to mask the pain.

For today I welcome.

I welcome.
I welcome.

I welcome what is.

I welcome the resistance to what is.
I welcome my resistance.

I welcome the sadness.
I welcome the grief.
I welcome the regret.

I welcome it all.
I welcome it all.

I welcome the confusion.
I welcome the disappointment of what could have been.

I welcome not knowing what I didn’t know.

The earth is a school.
I welcome the learning process.

I welcome not wanting to be here some days.
I welcome that I am the wounded healer.

I welcome my wisdom and
I welcome my ignorance.

I welcome the pain of existence.
I welcome it all as best I can.

I welcome because resisting has become to hard.
I welcome because denying had become too unbearable.

I welcome all my experiences here.

The earth is a school whether I like it or not.
The earth is where we come to learn and grow.

I welcome my pain.
I welcome the longing for love.

I welcome my wholeness too.
I welcome my wholeness that lies beneath the pain.

I welcome my wholeness.
I welcome my wholeness.

I welcome the veneer of independence.
I welcome the German woman’s pain.

I see the pain of the man in the harem too.
He is confident and strong but beneath the surface there is pain in him too.

He has loved and lost.
He is afraid to be hurt again and so he spreads himself thin.

I welcome his pain too.

I was told one time that I am here to be a messenger of compassion.
It has been hard earned.

I offer you compassion for your pain as best I can.
A plate of compassion all around for this journey we are all on together.

A plate of compassion all around.
A plate of compassion all around.

Perhaps we can be softer with each other.

Who knows what lies beneath the surface?
Who knows what pain exists from this life time of other lifetimes?

If we knew each others story,
Compassion would be a natural biproduct.

And so,

I am learning to welcome.
I feel more like a student these days then a teacher.

I welcome what is.
I welcome what is.

At the deepest level we are one.
At the deepest level we are whole, healed, complete.

A plate of compassion all around.
A plate of compassion all around.

To everyone.

You never know what someone else has endured.
You never know the story beneath the surface.

The hardest challenge.
The greatest lesson.

A plate of compassion all around.
A plate of compassion all around.
A plate of compassion all around.

~Hayley Mermelstein