I’ve been absent for the last two months as I’d mentioned that I would be back whenever and if only I transcended some inner turmoil and obstacles I was facing in my last post. I’m not sure if I am there yet but I know I’ve made some definite progress… Anyway, here it is in case you missed it : Her Path to Self Love (Part 5) 

When I saw that one of my old blog posts ‘As Water Speaks’ got featured, it motivated and triggered something within me. I also thought that perhaps Swamiji was calling me back to the platform, so here I am, Swamiji, in case you were 🙂 Thank you os.me for keeping my flame alive.

During the month of July, it was the school vacation here. Due to the pandemic, we were unable to travel very far, and so we decided to rent a bungalow on the West coast of Mauritius. We found a nice modern villa, right on the beach, facing the lagoon. The climate on the west side of the island is much warmer and drier compared to the northern part where I live. Besides that, the beautiful sunset of the West and its glorious sunrise felt like a real treat and break for the family.

 the red cloth and its wisdom 2

 the red cloth and its wisdom 3

With excitement, we packed our suitcases full of clothing for a month, did the grocery shopping, took the beach volley games, yoga mats, our little doggy, Holy, his sleeping mat, Holy’s teddy bear, my books, laptop, paint, canvas, brushes and of course I took Swamiji with me. I carry Swamijis picture everywhere I go. With the deep knowing that he resides in my heart and even in my head at times, I placed his photo in a frame and wrapped it with the utmost love and care, in a special red cloth. The red cloth was dear to me as it remained as symbol of the first pooja I performed. I also bought a new candle which had my favorite jasmine smell and some agarbatti.

 the red cloth and its wisdom 4 Holy

As soon as we arrived at the bungalow, I unpacked my bags and took Swamiji’s picture out of the red cloth. I went into the garden and freshly picked a beautiful, reddish-pink hibiscus flower. I placed the red cloth on top of a stool and created my altar; I sat Swamiji’s picture over the cloth with the hibiscus and the candle next to it. My new sanctuary was looking beautiful and simple. “Swamiji’s way, all the way.” I thought to myself.

I was happy and felt Bhagwan’s presence. I must admit that when it comes to Swamiji, I am a little crazy… Perhaps, just as you too, similar as were the gopis in Vrindavan.

The bungalow we rented was fully catered and offered a daily cleaning service. Three maids would come and within two hours the whole villa would be cleaned up.

After a week, we had settled into our new environment but I was not feeling comfortable with one of the cleaning ladies. She never smiled and was the least friendly. Let’s call her Lady Macbeth, you will soon find out why. There was something about her, I could not fathom. I tried to be kind and even gifted her a full box of delicious chocolates. She took them without hesitation, but nothing changed. We were here for a few weeks and I did not want any unnecessary trouble nor to engage negatively with anybody.

The next morning, the maintenance manager came to pay me a visit while his cleaning team were performing their duty.  He said that Lady Macbeth had complained and refused to clean the fridge as this was not part of her responsibilities. (I know this sounds like ‘desperate-bored-housewife’ issues but keep reading… 🙂 ) I told him that two cleaning ladies were more than enough to take care of our villa. Lastly, with a pinch of mirchi I added that Lady macbeth was negative and I no longer required her services at our villa. The dish was now super garam!

I did not realize that Lady Macbeth had overheard my conversation and had been standing behind the wall. In fact, all three of them overheard my complaint. At that time, I genuinely did not realize the impact of my words on Lady Macbeth. I believe it did. Keep reading…

That same day, well after the departure of the cleaning team, I went to my room and sat in front of Swamiji. My eyes were open as I gazed at the candle… something did not feel right. “Swamiji’s picture!” I cried out. It was no longer on the altar but instead, I found it on the floor. I quickly picked it up, and blamed the wind. Again I sat in stillness. My eyes not yet shut, staring in front of me. This time, I noticed that the cloth was not sitting straight. It was hanging to the right and looked uneven. I extended my hand and reached to the cloth, only to realize there was a hole in it. I removed everything on the table and opened the cloth. Somebody had cut my red cloth and shredded it into pieces. My heart started to pace. Tears welled up and rolled down my cheeks. Somebody wants to hurt me, I thought to myself and the only way to hurt me was to do exactly what they did. I put the puzzle together and understood that Lady Macbeth’s hands were involved in this act of violence and I suspected her of foul play.

 the red cloth and its wisdom 5

I was in a state of shock. I felt she was attacking my personal faith and it stabbed straight into my own flesh.

I eventually managed to calm down, meditated and reflected upon the situation. I understood that it was her way to express rage for what had happened in the morning. She was most probably deeply hurt with my complaints and felt humiliated in front of her colleagues.

People consciously or unconsciously settle scores or seek revenge with different variation and degrees depending on the depth of their pain.

Many a time, our speech can cause a lot of suffering with unkind, untruthful or violent words.

Wrong speech is the kind of speech that lacks openness and does not have understanding, compassion and reconciliation at its base.

Here is my conclusion:

In hindsight, my view of the situation changed, from hurt, anger, and sadness to tremendous understanding, gratitude and compassion.

Initially, I tried to include Lady Macbeth in my home by offering her chocolates but somehow, the chocolates did not sweeten her mouth and instead made mine bitter because she did not reciprocate my love. Lady also got hurt when I complained to her boss and bang!! revenge knocked at my door. Isn’t this a typical scenario? We often take things personally and issues arise as soon as we are cut from the energy of LOVE.

At the very bottom or core level, Chantal did not feel loved by Lady and Lady did not feel loved by Chantal. The lack of love, triggered actions and reactions.

Take any given situation, may it be in the office, at home, marital issues, broken friendships, betrayal, jealousy, lack of respect, violence, unfair dismissal… you name it! When someone does not reciprocate our love that you may label as ‘respect, attention, courtesy, honesty etc.’ The bottom line is love.

Starting from a simple absent ‘Hello’, or a smile that is not shared, it pinches our heart. Yes, yes the ego has its own coping mechanism to not let it affect us and at times I say, “Thank you, ego,” for that 🙂 

The feeling of being separated from the other, the feeling of not being acknowledged, is derived from a lack of love. The root of all problems, conflicts and disharmony in our life is based on love. Do we feel loved or not?

From this experience, I understood and gained that at base level we are love, we come from love and we cannot be separated from love. This is our DNA. The human DNA is LOVE. It is intrinsically engrained in us and therefore is our natural state. In the absence of love is ego.

Enlightenment is always enlightenment about something. If you begin to understand the nature and the root of your suffering and of others, it helps you suffer less right away. We need to become our own Boddisattva. A Bodhisattva is someone who can speak with gentle loving speech and who can listen with compassion. 

Upon this realization, I prayed and asked Lady Macbeth to forgive me and felt deep gratitude for the wisdom of the red cloth.

My pooja is now complete and I bow to the Divine Mother in you, in every human.

                     I LOVE YOU. 

 the red cloth and its wisdom 6