A Big Ray Teaches How to Grow Old Together Gracefully

We all get older, and with age come physical health issues.  How do we keep them from souring our love relationships?  In this interview, Cynthia speaks for “everyman” about this perennial struggle.  She finds within herself a way to transcend her worries and fears about her health, aging, and her relationship so that she can look forward to the future with joy, equanimity, and confidence.

What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life?

Making enough money

Teaming up with John

Fears that come up when he calls me “the love of his life”, inadequacy, not being able to live up to that.  I am imagining the worst possible scenario I can think of: He will find that he is unhappy in Germany, things don’t go as well as he imagined, he becomes emotionally insecure, takes everything personally, whether I want to make love or not whether I might smoke or not. I start feeling strangled and feel I need my own space and yet I love him I get more and more immobile and am frustrated about the things I cannot do any longer. I vanish into books and into my own world. I can’t travel the way I want to, I cannot climb into Orange crate any longer. I have no more teeth, I dislike myself, I feel I cannot bear my own weakness unless I am alone. I do not want him to spend his lifetime helping me, I want him to be free to do his things. I love him, but I am often grumpy, because I have to cope with pain and feeling bad about it because he has not deserved it and I wonder whether he might not have stayed with MJ after all I am not the love of his life but just another experience…

OK. That was pretty hard, but I think I did quite well. With every sentence I wrote something inside me screamed and protested.

If those feelings had a color (or colors), what would it be?


Imagine that color filling the space in front of you so that it has depth, height, width, and aliveness.

Now watch that color swirl, congeal, and condense into a shape. Don’t make it take a shape, just watch it and say the first thing that you

see or that comes to your mind: An animal? Object? Plant? What?

A big ray- What a color!!!

Big Ray, would you please tell me what you look like and what you are doing?

I am big and I am turqoise. There aren’t any other rays that have my color. I have white and black linings on the edges of my body. When the sun shines into the water it makes me look beautiful. I am gently flying through the ocean. I have a very long tail.

What do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?

My equanimity! My smoothness of moving about! My ability to feel joy despite all sorts of dangers in this big ocean! My color!

What do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses? What are they?

Can’t think of any… Maybe that I have to eat fish. I’d probably prefer to exist on air. But I know we all get eaten and we all have to die…

Big Ray, you are in Cynthia’s life experience, correct? They created you, right?_____ Big Ray, what aspect of Cynthia do you represent or most closely personify?

Yes. Equanimity and wisdom and beauty.

Big Ray, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change? If so, how?

No, not right now. But maybe at a different time I might be a glider high up in the air surfing the wind!

Big Ray, how would you score yourself 0-10, in confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, peace of mind, and witnessing? Why?

Confidence:10 I fear nothing.If I get hurt or eaten, well that’s how it is.

Compassion:10 I feel compassionate with everything, even with the shark who wants to eat me.

Wisdom:10 I see and have seen a lot though one can always gain more wisdom until death and maybe even beyond that.

Acceptance:10 I accept myself and all other creatures

Inner Peace:10 I do not worry, I am one with nature

Witnessing:10 I witness both Joseph and Claudia and their willingness to be people who live out of the core qualities.

How would Cynthia’s life be different if she naturally scored high in all six of these qualities all the time?

Her confidence and acceptance would be so strong that she knew she can make a better job with this relationship. She would know that she can accept help without having to fear to have to pay a bill for it. She would know that she does not have to be alone any longer to carry her burdens and to bear with equanimity whatever suffering there may be. She would be confident that even if she sat in a wheelchair she would still have enough to give to John. She would know that John has enough means to look after himself and that both have means to not get into or to get out of the Drama Triangle without persecuting each other without either of them being victim. She would have confidence that there will be minimal rescuing and great mutual support. She would have complete confidence that John will not depend on her and get depressed, because he has his own inner friends and a big external sangha.

If you could live Cynthia’s life for her,  how would you live it differently?

I would accept all my pains and issues as challenges to grow and to keep them restricted to my body and not let them affect my mind!

What three life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of her life?

Laughing at the absurdity of life in a deteriorating physical body.

Swimming along with John side by side, like rays in the ocean, enjoying to be alive.

In what life situations would it be most beneficial for Cynthia to imagine that she is you and act as you would?

Whenever she lacks confidence and equanimity. Whenever she feels her freedom depends on what she can do with her body!

Why do you think that you are in this person’s life?

To reassure  Cynthia  and John that they have got what it takes to move on together and to cope with any problem that might occur on their way.

How is this person most likely to ignore what you are saying to them?

By focusing on fear, scarcity, lack, deterioration. It’s not that those things aren’t real; it’s just that they aren’t the story. The story is the context in which they are embedded, and that context is  one of trust, abundance, supply, and growth. Know that. Live that. Be that.

I think Cynthia had this experience because…

this is a challenge to finally let go of the past and all the other relationship experiences that didn’t work, because they were all within the Drama Triangle and pretty narcissistic. It is a possibility to LIVE being out of the Drama Triangle together and thereby create love that others can feed on too. – It is a challenge to get old together and stay alive inside regardless of all deterioration.

What have you heard yourself say?

More or less that all my worries are crap from the past and that whatever problem we meet we’ll handle them and grow.

That I do not have to be alone to handle my stuff, because John will not disturb me or hurt me.

That freedom doesn’t depend on my body…

I wonder what happened because how could such an awful scenario turn into something so beautiful? But then already while writing the worst case scenario something inside me grew and could hardly wait to come forward and it wasn’t a big black sea monster…

If this experience were a wake-up call from your soul, what do you think it would be saying to you?

Stop being so damn intellectual, doubting sentences like “love of my life” as maybe rescue calls from the Drama Triangle. Take them as an expression of love and joy!

As a present that you are being given after a long time of working hard at yourselves!

Enjoy your swim! Enjoy this big ocean and all the creatures in it!

Who cares whether your personal relationship succeeds or not?

Do you have to prove anything to anybody? NO!

What counts is whether you support each other on your own soul paths and in each other’s growth whatever that means!

And whether you are of service to others, to a greater cause!

This is bigger than just  your personal relationship!

Take paper and colors and let the ray come on paper like raven did!!

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