A few days ago I went to a ATM machine in Halle Germany, where I live, to withdraw some cash for an upcoming trip to Canada. The bank was located in a less affluent part of the city known for affordable, high-rise housing, where refugees, newly arrived foreigners and less fortunate individuals and families find themselves living. It is an obvious low-income residence area created by the East German government prior to the Wall coming down, very bleak and grey, the result of an amazing presence of cement. Throughout my life I have always found myself more at home in less affluent areas as opposed to more affluent parts of town. This day that I went to Neu Stadt in Halle I withdrew 1500.00 Euros from the ATM and then stopped in at a dollar store to purchase some things. I then walked to my car and as I entered the car I noticed that my wallet was missing.
I have been quite crushed by this experience. It has been a struggle for me at my age to adjust to a new country especially considering the differences in intimacy in German culture as opposed to most other places that I have lived. Meeting new people and establishing new relationships is difficult anyway and the barrier that exists because of not being efficient in the language hasn’t helped. Over the past few days since this incident I have been increasingly submerged in feelings of being so very vulnerable. And in my vulnerability I return to past patterns of wondering who it is that I should trust or not and how is it that I should feel more safe and connected here. At the same time it causes me to ask, if I am adequate in my ability to live in another country and make the changes that are required to do so at my age. Should I return to live in a country that is more comfortable for me, which would involve abandoning the thing that I love the most in life, my wife. Or is this just a part of what just happens in life with the human individual and the collective consciousness as it is. It is obviously the reality, but is it an inevitable reality: is it a reality that human consciousness has played a big hand in distorting and creating? Where do I fit into this all?
I have tried not to get to caught up in thoughts and conclusions and to focus on opening to the feelings and the experience that is arising for me without interpretation. There are definitely aspects of feeling violated and of having a limited sense of substance and somehow there is a sense of being betrayed. As well I feel it less easy to be intimate with others. I do what is possible for me to do and at this time I will attempt to be more intimate with myself. I am returning to Canada in a few days and I can in my anticipation already sense that normalcy and familiarity will return.
But as well there is something from within that ignites contemplation at times like this if I can come to let go of the judgement and the conditioning from its habitual hold. There is something that causes me to wonder if it is also a time that I can open even more deeply to myself and encounter directly and explore the doubt that exists and to experience and enter into the feeling of being betrayed, violated and having lost the sense of a familiar self. To go into the alienation and feeling of being detached from all others and the grief in the loss of faith in others.
Already, prior to this incident I have not been so optimistic about the state of the world. It seems that in general self and individual need, and with those who have their needs met, self fixation, generally seems to dominate all concerns. Maybe it is unreasonable to expect that it should be any other way. But there is an increasing awareness for me that we have lost touch with one another and with the truth that we are not as inseparable from one another that we might think. And it makes sense that this lack of sense of connectedness has created such differentiated needs and such a focus that individuals feel it necessary to do whatever it is they must to ensure their own survival and existence. Something in all this suggests that in general collectively and individualy we have lost our sense of compassion and love for one another and ultimately for our self and for life.
I hope more than anything at this time that I can move through this and emerge with a more open heart and that I might be able to connect with a more compassionate and caring understanding and way of relating to others.