What we unknowingly seek is our own wholeness - to express and experience all that we are. What stands in our way of finding it? Our own childish definition of the ‘me’ who seeks it, the labels we hide behind and the priority we give comfort over curiosity.
Walnut and brass protect this homely space
From streets beyond, those others and events,
But the stranger still presents unwelcome face,
Reminding me of wages yet unspent.
I’ve not managed to meet the challenge I set myself last week, an exercise in giving. Still, neither the world nor I am worse off for the effort. In fact, we might both be just a bit better.
I have to be careful to keep my stress and anxiety from making things worse for the remote loved ones I most want to help through this. Can I avoid crossing the line that separates supporting my loved ones from demanding that they feel well?
Whether we call it Life, the universe, reality or God’s will, there is a whole of which we are a part. As a part, we can’t bend the whole to our will. You have never been secure. No one has ever been secure. Now we can admit it.
Much of my reading tells me I long ago settled into who I am. Am I fixable? Are you? I think the answer to this has three parts: 1) a tough truth, 2) a reason for working on ourselves and 3) the prospect of a liberating perspective.
What if it is not the love of another that you feel? Could it be that in moments of being loved, you stop asking reality to be different? Perhaps that warm, magical feeling comes when you stop fighting life; when you stop withholding your unconditional acceptance. In other words, when you love.
Don’t take an unhelpful stream of thoughts as yourself. You would do better to treat them like you would a persistent, annoying person spouting often contradictory opinions.
Don’t be an ass. Put down your burden. When you forgive, you shrug off a weight, unshoulder a burden. You are lighter, free of a load that has sapped your energy, stolen from your life. By teaching your mind and body that the strong sensation within your resentment is no threat, you give yourself a most beautiful gift.
When Tami Simon, founder of Sounds True, asked renowned teacher and author Mary O’Malley to define enlightenment, she answered that it happens when the head, heart and gut align. Here’s what she might have meant, and what it implies for us.
Although we can acquire or achieve with impressive frequency, although we can discard or dodge with admirable efficiency, the holes we fill and blights we escape always give way to new ones! There is no end to satisfying our wants or escaping our dislikes, but there is a deeper current to this stream of life.
What if courage is just one manifestation of the willingness to bear discomfort? What if it is not fear that holds us back, but our refusal to bear the discomfort of fearful feelings?
I can access life’s fulness more frequently and for longer periods by opening my heart to What Is. I can build my capacity to meet discomfort more immediately and lovingly. It is worth the work.
Our egoic fortresses are the assembled constructs—images, narratives and labels—that give us the impression of solidity and independence from the flux of change that surrounds us. We hide in these redoubts in the hope of defining a realm of control within a vast sea in which we have none. But all fortresses are also prisons.
As a child, I hid splinters of myself that seemed to invite misunderstanding, rejection and abandonment. I now possess a richer set of capabilities than my young self did. But I’ve spent decades relying on the once-appropriate child’s toolbox anytime the splinters of me that that child hid away pop up to present themselves.