Sunday, February 13, 2011

Meeting Indifference with Love

Opening night, Saturday, February 12, 2011, at Austin Art Space with the theme, "For the Love of Art" featured the subject of love. "Becoming Natasha", my piece (above right) was juried into the show.

This weekend an elderly woman in the checkout line in front of me relayed that she'd been married for 65 years and didn't expect anything for Valentine's Day from her husband, nor did she care. Hmm. This gave me pause. You'd think 65 years of marriage would be something to celebrate!

Maybe her indifference was to protect her own heart from her husband's indifference. Indifference may take seed in thought to cover a plethora of fears. We can participate in little indifferences that lead to the small broken shards that make up our messy experiences which eventually become emergencies, stress or broken hearts....until we forget how to love and be loved...and grow used to the cold emptiness. Indifference suffocates the heart and turns the soul towards bitterness.

It's certainly never fun to be on the receiving end of indifference, as most of us know from experience. But what we usually don't realize, is that we all too often respond in if the hurt will go away if we numb out.

Indifference is defined as a lack of interest; of little or no concern; lack of care; lack of quality; mediocrity; unimportance; insignificance; schizophrenic.

Wow, what a word! I found that if you start to keep company with indifference, you seem to find yourself potentially open to all the rest of the family.

Its relatives are apathy, emotionlessness, impassiveness, impassivity, nonchalance, phlegm, spiritlessness, stolidity, unconcern, unemotionality, distant, callous, disinterest, neutrality, ho-hum, lethargy, cruelty, nonchalance, cold-shoulder, cool, callous, dismissive, withdrawal, dissympathy, estrange, alienate, lack, want, secularism, irreligious, deadness.

Upon closer study, I was quite shocked at how much indifference I myself have participated in. It seems that indifference is that which makes you feel unworthy. And perhaps when we feel indifferently about something, we are feeling unworthy ourselves, or not seeing the value in someone else.

The opposite of indifference-- care, concern, feeling, interest, passion, sensitivity, sympathy, warmth, friendliness, compassion, kindness, pleasure, excitement, esteem, honor, respect, gladness, joy, elation-- is just what we all yearn for in this life.

How do you know how much love and life is out in the world available to you if you never go for it 100%? If you only dole love out in small indifferent can you realize the passion that is your calling...or the love of your life?

May we all redirect our energies with the divine Love that never fails us...and may we return blessings for cursing, love for hate, and forgiveness and compassion when we're met with the ugly face of indifference...whether in ourselves or in others.

Love someone special this Valentine's yourself, and then everyone else your thought rests on!

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