I had to talk to the Lion. I called upon him. He sneaked up on me, and I was caught off guard. He quietly stood by my chair. I asked him to sit.
“Okay,” he replied, “but please know that talking to you is exhausting. I am sleeping more than I usually do. When my cubs wake up to play, I don’t have the energy. I am here to pass on my legacy, our legacy, but it seems like you are imparting some of your habits to me. Anyway, a pact is a pact, and I am here to help you. What did it feel like to feel?”
“Tough,” I said.
“What do you mean?”
“It is easier not to feel anything,” I explained. “That way, I don’t have to address the situations and life in general. I can continue to live my life as is. I don’t have to work so hard on my life. This work is harder than my job. Is it meant to be this way?”
“When you have not felt anything for a long time—and you begin to feel something—you feel uncomfortable during the transition. It’s just what is. Feeling the real you, the you that you have masked behind
your addictions and power, is a new experience. You may feel like it’s a new you. However, the masked self, the one that doesn’t feel, is an illusion and never really existed. I realize I am jumping to a new conversation, but did you talk to your wife?”
“No, I did not have the courage to talk to her. Now that we have grown apart so much, and I have to own up to so much. It doesn’t feel good. I am unsure how it will end. In fact, I will be honest. I am really scared.”
“Fair enough. It is quite normal to feel those things,” the Lion said. “Have you thought about what you will say to your wife?”
“I have an idea, but I don’t know where to start.”
“Okay, what is at the top of your list?”
“Not having been faithful to her.”
“Do you think she doesn’t know?”
“I am not sure. Maybe.”
“You underestimate her,” the Lion admonished. “Consider that she knows. Does that make it easier?”
“No, not really. Actually, that makes it worse,” I said. “Knowing that she has put up with my charades for so long and stayed with me in spite of knowing all this…” I stopped my thought. It was painful.
“Why do you think she stayed?”
I shrugged sadly.
“I do not understand your life fully. However, my wisdom has shown me things in your time and how they came to be. Do you remember that we talked about laws and rules in your time?”
I nodded, vaguely remembering.
“How does your society view marriage?”
I paused to think. “Mostly you are expected to live with the one you married. You work things out. You stay with one person all your life, unless something drastic happens. What about in your world?”
“The laws and rules that you have in your time do not apply to us. We view love very differently than you do. Your love is conditional. I am here as part of the wisdom to show you unconditional love. I don’t think humanity has experienced unconditional love to the fullest in your time. Humanity has lost its core wisdom that imparts the knowledge of unconditional love. Your wife is as much a part of that societal conditioning as you are. You can feel shame and guilt as much as you’d like, but part of your masked self is the shame an
d guilt. It’s a by‐product of your every action, there is no room for self‐love or unconditional love. Have you ever loved yourself?”
“Yes, I think so,” I said, “a long time ago.”
“How did it feel
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