Recently on a pilgrimage to Bhutan, I made a decision to adopt an adult daughter. Her name is Pem Bidhar As the week unfolded it seemed like dream but on the last day of the trip I found myself confronted by extreme doubt and confusion about my decision. I began to wonder whether I was making a huge mistake.
It had all seemed perfect until someone I barely knew also asked to adopt them. Combined with Pem’s admission that she had tried numerous times before but no-one had responded the way I had, suddenly I found myself in crisis. Was I delusional? Was I the victim of a standard practice to try and get financial support? Was this nothing but a scam? It also had attached to an old complex of wanting to be special and suddenly I felt anything but. I told myself this wasn’t true, that Pem was different but the doubts remained. It was the last day of the pilgrimage; tomorrow we all went home; was I supposed to let the idea of adoption go at the same time? This was the day we went to the Tiger’s Nest, a monastery located on a sheer cliff, 1700 vertical feet above the valley floor and we were going to hike. (Although some rode horses up), I had been looking forward to it all week but now I was filled with angst and uncertainty about what to do.
I began the hike exploring my feelings. On the one hand I felt this intense love for this lovely person of such a sweet disposition, on the other I wondered if I was being deceived about her feelings. Was this only about money, was I just a purse and possibility? Yet the other voice told me it wasn’t like that at all. It may have started like that but it had become more. Then the first voice would butt in and tell me I was just deluding myself. I realized I was trapped in the classic battleground of thoughts and feelings. I was at war with myself. It was time to seek clarity. I decided to follow the basic steps of my DecisionClarity process. I set the intention to be guided and recalled a beautiful practice Atum had given us, “letting go of the drama, the road rises before me.” It seemed appropriate, the trail was sure rising before me! I also affirmed’ “Let there be light” and asked for a really clear sign to help me know which way to go. In this manner the first two thirds of the climb were completed with ease and I found myself enjoying tea overlooking the stunning vista of the monastery above. Then Pem came and sat next to me, engaging with me in her loving way, I wondered if this was the sign but as I resumed the hike, I wanted more – something indisputable. Talking with Pem resulted in me starting off behind the group and no-one was in sight. I walked steadily focussing on releasing and letting go of my concern. I affirmed, “I release and I surrender to my highest good” and tried not to dwell on my confusion. I followed another guide and to my surprise made the top with no-one else around. I felt a little confused, was I behind or ahead? The guard was a little concerned I did not know where my guide was but agreed to let me in. He stowed my pack which I could not take with me but by then our leader Atum had arrived. How amazing I had started last but finished first, I realized the other guide had led me on a short cut.
Finally after the group assembled we went to the monastery itself. This is an ancient retreat comprised of a number of sacred spaces. The first we visited was no more than a cave and the group filled the space to capacity. The second temple was larger and as soon as I entered it I began to feel overwhelmed. Apparently it is a temple where wishes are granted and mine certainly were. I felt this enormous love and compassion and a sense of certainty that what I was doing was right. It was not about Pem’s motivations, it was a chance to offer “unconditional love” and that means no conditions or prerequisites. I felt the comforting arm of my friend Deborah around my shoulders as the spirit of the space overcame all my resistance. My commitment was secure, out of confusion had emerged clarity; I would go ahead and legally adopt Pem when I return home. The crisis had passed.