Bruno did not cry, ever. For as long as he could remember, he had believed that to cry was a sign of weakness; and he, Bruno Steinbeck, was a strong man. The running narrative that played in Bruno’s mind was, “I am a man with whom to be reckoned. If you mess with me, you will find yourself in a big mess.” A body builder, Bruno trained at the gym five days a week, lifting ever-increasing weight. When his body had refused to comply with his demand of “more, bigger muscles,” he had forced it to submit to his will through the use of steroids. He would show the world his strength, or die in the attempt.
Outside of the gym, Bruno was also a force with which to be reckoned. The notion of conquest that he applied to weights in the gym also applied to his relationships and the women he dated. How good it felt to have attractive women hanging on his arms. In business, he also applied a motto of beat or be beaten. Earth was a competitive arena, with no room for losers; it was survival of the fittest. On a superficial level, life felt very good; but there was a yet-to-be recognized level of suffering lurking beneath the surface.
As part of his training, Bruno often posed in front of full-length mirrors to study the shape and size of his muscles. It was during one such posing session, that Bruno noticed one lone tear suddenly run down his right cheek. He was holding weights at the time, so there was nothing he could do to hide it. Would other body builders see it?! There was the tear…trickling downward, until it reached his upper lip. As quickly as he could, Bruno set down the dumbbells he had been holding and wiped the trace of the tear aside with his palm. Unnerved by the bizarre occurrence, he left the gym early that day.
That night, just before Bruno drifted off to sleep, “That” which sent the tear to him at the gym, spoke to him softly but clearly. It seemed as though he was feeling the words emanate from the pillow beneath his head: “Dear child, “IT said, “you’re carrying too much burden. Put down your weight and awaken to What you really ‘are.’ You have been dreaming your so-called life; of apparently being a muscular man named Bruno, who is six-feet tall. Please listen to me now; you’ve ignored Presence far too long. Give rest to your innocent ignorance and awaken to Truth. You cannot possibly be who you ‘think’ you are; that is delusion related to your egoic self. To know the lasting peace that ‘passeth all understanding,’ you must know thyself.”
Dare to dream (and care for one another).
With heartfelt regards,
Copyright © – 2022 – R. Arthur Russell
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