Shopping Bag Love
January 3, 2011
I opened the door one early evening at the Yesss Meditation center in Venice Beach to be greeted by two women, one with suitcases and shopping bags. A friend had brought a rather demure, beautiful woman in early middle age to stay at the center. The ‘visitor’, I soon learned, was filled with quite a history that had fallen on hard times. Karren was a German who, a few years earlier, had been called the ‘face of Europe’, which I later confirmed.
The strange side of Karren didn’t take long to show up! She was a ‘shopping bag lady’, but proud and covert. Karren would place her 5 or 6 shopping bags in various places around the grounds of the ‘center’. Skillful questioning as to ‘why’, was to find no decipherable answer. She stayed for six months with that, and many odd routines besides the stories with her about being a ‘trophy girl’ to all the ‘high society’ parties on 3 continents, but now reduced to ‘shopping bags’ and mystery.
Karren really created an awareness of how so many live in their troubled, secret selves unknown to really who they are to themselves and all others. Karren, like many, lived out other peoples perceptions of her until the perception began fading and revealing that she was attached to what others thought of her, for good or bad. Beauty, riches, accomplishments, they are all a masquerade of who we really are. The illusions usually gets in the way of taking the time to see what’s inside each person – the real beauties!
It’s important to confront life rather than repress and avoid. No matter what the difficulties are, meet them head on with total awareness. Remaining year after year ducking and burying your head in the sand is to avoid life itself. It’s the trying moments that build inner strength to rise further and further above that which sooner or later buries you deeper into the quagmires of attachment to the futilities of life. Deal with whatever is handed to you be it anger, depression, jealousy, revenge, sadness, etc., and you will grow from what has been an immature avoidance to growth into maturity. Live whatever is handed to you, taking the high road, moving through adversities, and taking the best options available.
Steal the moment, ditch the past, moving forward, upward, and onward with more laughter and a smile!