"Completion": are we there yet?
Completion can be as big as re-incarnating because we left unfinished lessons, or as small as did “I miss that piece of paper on the floor while sweeping and I know it, therefore the job is incomplete.” It may be that completion is awareness of our inner and outer life, that construct, the idea of being complete.
Assumed belief brought on by outside influences such as “you did not finish your last semester at college,” lurks in the back of the mind. An old school friend shows up speaks about his last year, the graduation and party you missed, leaving you with a fresh feeling of incompleteness. It is true? Or an assumed responsibility brought on by society, a family member, or something you truly feel is unfinished?
Another question: are we ever complete until we are in peace, in that moment, before the old classmate shows up? Maybe we are complete, as much as we will ever be. “That moment” of peace, stillness, and contentment may be all there is to it…
In my experience with every big and little meaningful personal and group process I have noticed patterns in myself and others. The idea that “this is it” dawns on us…when we “look ahead” toward the “end” we make up stories—we will separate from our regular time spent with friends/fellow students and the lessons we were looking for.
Does this mean we are incomplete? I think not. This is longing, attachment, and love for our fellow beings who we think will be lost to us…for a time.
As we find ourselves on the threshold of the end of a course of learning, a journey of whatever meaningful nature, an inner voice—the emotional body, energy body, physical body—all take stock and report. We react and wonder… “but I am not done yet, what about this, what about that, I will miss this one, did I get the message? Maybe these inspirations from teachers and friends act upon us because “we are the same”—we have those qualities we seek in others, we already have the knowledge, it has simply been awakened by another or the lessons. They are wakened through interaction with another but they are within us! Otherwise we would not respond to them.
Are we there yet? Maybe another question will help: Where is there? What do we expect upon completion? The question might be: Did we ever really start and is there an end? Now that is a big chunk.
Let’s return to the simple story: I was a janitor in my youth—this was about the time I was “on my spiritual path” (as if it began then). But officially I had found my teacher and started the lessons. Everything became part of the practice; I was sweeping the long hallway with one of those wide, fluffy dust mops. Out of the corner of my eye a very small piece of paper ‘got away’. In and of itself no big deal, but I noticed it! Now that made it count! Whether I responded to that little scrap of consciousness in the form of paper had meaning because I took notice, gave value to it. I made myself responsible for it. The job of sweeping the hallway would not be complete if I did not retrace my steps and get that. I did—that lesson lasted a long time—even until this moment of sharing it with you. I had a feeling of completion at the end of the evening—no, more to the point, as I gathered the scrap in the folds of the broom a “completion took place.”
Of course the story could have gone in a different direction had I different values (or weaker peripheral vision). If I did not care about the quality of my work, if I did not assign value to the pieces of paper, no big deal. Would this make me a lesser person, in-complete in some manner? Maybe. However consider that the possibility of in-completeness would be present only once I had seen the paper and made it my responsibility to either go back for it or not.
As long as we assign ourselves to the piece of paper that slipped by—or the “unfinished character flaws”—are we responsible. Going back for the paper, noticing, and choosing to respond differently than our habit, would dictate the feeling of satisfaction to some degree of a completion. If we let it slide by, aware it might get stuck as a belief—if “I did not full-fill my contract with myself…or in my job”—we may well feel incomplete.
Maybe the idea of complete has to do with being in the moment, having little or no distractions. This might be why we take the courses, the job, do the trainings to awaken more fully to this very moment.
As a single flower rests in the wheat field unaffected by wind and sway of stalk. We may be complete in the midst of our active mind and so-called unfulfilled beliefs. We may choose to get that piece of paper or not—the learning will still be ours to have in that moment.
I ask myself, is this blog complete…am I done yet? You determine, fill in as needed for yourself…as will I. “Rest in peace” as they say at the end of life. We could say this at the end of each adventure, each breath…we are there, we never left.
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