I would have liked to continue year by year, body healthy, mind clear, skin taught and strength undimmed but that is not to be. Time passes, my time passes, and to deny that, even to resist unduly, is to cloud my perception of the gift. The idea of “beginning” and “ending” is fading from my thoughts as “being” is growing. For me it has become the proverbial paradigm shift. I don’t always find everything to my liking or pleasurable but more and more I am finding the wonder of it all.
Trauma, pain, tragedy the really deep things of life that hurt us can so fixate our mind and heart that we continue to live in that moment. Over and over we rehearse the event looking for a way out. We think that maybe understanding why will make it all better somehow or at least make enough sense to mitigate the pain. In truth these things only have the life we breathe into them. We hold them and keep them in the present because, paradoxically, we simple don’t want them to be true.
Letting go is not instantaneous or magical. It begins with realizing that things are what they are, loss is loss, being able to understand something wont make it go away. We chose to move on. It is not easy and emotional circles are tremendously powerful but we choose to act on truth. One tearing step at a time. What is part of us will always be but it needs to be our memory, not our life.
Life is a constant river of change. Don’t be afraid of the current! It is the power to take you where you want to go. Its the little eddies that trap us in circles by the shore that keep us from moving on.
Letting go, accepting that we will never know all the answers and moving forward takes a lot of faith. We thrive on certainty and convince ourselves that our only security is in our knowing. Truth is we will never know everything. Life is full of mystery. That is not a bad thing. It’s just how it is. Accepting that and braving the uncertainties of life can be the hardest thing to do. Pain and fear can make it even harder.
What is it in your expectations that, being thwarted, causes you pain?
I believe it’s true that “we cause our own suffering”. We overlay our desires and expectations on the moment and when it doesn’t play out as we want we respond …negatively. Anger, frustration, pain, offense. Our only legitimate expectations are for our own behavior and decisions. Keep the mission before your eyes and fuel it with compassion. Don’t let self rise up and complain.
Life has a lot of mysteries. As romantic and alluring as mysteries are we still don’t like them much. Even with our infatuations with the idea of mysteries there’s still a great resistance to any of them being in our personal lives. I think it’s the uncertainty of it all. We live most of our life led around by the nose by Self and Self requires feeling secure. It likes things made of stone and deeply carved. A world of mystery tends to be more …ephemeral. Letting go of false security is always a challenge. It requires an openness to change and that, like letting go (very interrelated), is going against the grain of insecure human nature. This openness has to begin within the individual heart. The very paradigm of our worldview must change: realities outside of our own comfortable perceptions must be embraced. Without that basic transformation we are left standing in the dirt thinking it is solid and right, never knowing we are meant to lose our footing in the midst of the vast universe of possibilities.
I have found that life has to be a path, open to any who wish to take the journey but never a conflict, never adversarial. Sometimes being right becomes more important than what we are right about. It is not an easy path to be led by compassion rather than self, simple but not easy.
Passion is one of the great beauties of this life! I have seen great things accomplished but I have also seen lives go up in flames of frustration and anger. I think it is important to keep our passion an issue of the heart, flowing outward. When the passion is centered on a situation or an idea it is external. At that point it becomes ‘right’ and something to be defended from change. We choose what is important: to be right or to be. I know that really doesn’t make much sense. A good illustration is from Mother Teresa, one of my heroes. She would tell her sisters when they went into the streets of Calcutta that they were not to talk about Jesus. They were not to evangelize, they were not to preach. When they went out they were to BE Jesus. She understood that no one cares about what you say until they know what is in your heart.
An idea may touch a mind but only a heart’s fire can ignite another heart.
When someone pays me a complement the first thing I usually think of is my most prevailing faults. Admittedly, we all enjoy the compliments but if we are honest we know that reality is never that shiny. That’s what grace is for. We have to trust that we don’t have to be shiny, that being human means that we are flawed. Our best hope is to live the best we can in the light that we have and know that the light did not begin with us.
I hate it when my emotions get the better of me or I see someone I care for being tossed around by them. Life becomes rough when we lose sight of the difference between the emotions and well, us. They permeate our lives and touch all that we do but they are not who we are. They come and they go. We remain. It was the greatest part of my path to date when I followed my thoughts, felt my emotions, observed the hopes and dreams, fears and darkness and realized I wasn’t them, I was the one looking at them. The wind blows thru the tree and bends the limbs, rustles the leaves, whispers and moans but the wind is not the tree. The wind passes, the tree remains. I know it is hard dealing with feelings that cling tight and assume power and authority that they have no right to. But it is not the truth you are seeing. Nothing that is mortal, nothing that is here today and gone tomorrow is truth. There is peace in the midst of the storm but only if you realize that you are not the storm. When you find that you are the watcher of the storm you can begin to understand that even in the darkness and tumult there is a beauty that can take your breath away.
The (partial) scripture verse, “It came to pass…” is always a comfort. Not to stay but to pass. But oh, the riches to be had in the passing! All experiences can bring wisdom and wisdom brings peace. The wisdom comes from the understanding and acceptance of what is and what is not. Learning this inspires the fearlessness of facing the next moment, knowing it is only a moment …and that we are more than a moment! What we fear is not what is in our moment but rather what we let ourselves imagine will or could be. Let the imaginations slip away because they only live if you give them life. Face each moment knowing it is but a moment bringing greater wisdom into your life!
Watch with gratitude as unexpected grace unfolds!