“Peace lies beyond personality, beyond invention and disguise…I believe we’re a field of energy dancing for itself. And I don’t care.” ~ Jim Carrey
"According to the philosophy of Lila, God creates the world by an act of self-dismemberment, or self-forgetting, whereby the one becomes many, and the single actor plays innumerable parts. By this act of self-dismemberment, God becomes all beings, yet at the same time never ceases to be God. And in the end, God comes back to find himself -- the one dying into the many, and the many dying into the one." ~ Joseph P. Kauffman, The Answer Is YOU (p. 79)
I am constantly learning, that's my one true passion; it burns through all my interests and hobbies and I imagine that it will continually burn through me, until my days on this earth are done. Life, my favorite subject and my most trusted teacher, never ceases to surprise, amaze, endear, crush, and enthrall me. I have unceasing curiosity;I have an unending desire to know in spite of my awareness that my questions may never lead to solid answers. You see, it's the wondering I'm addicted to, it's the awe... the rediscovering of everything that I already know. The wonder. The awe. The rediscovering. It's the poems that I read that I feel every word of, because once upon a time I wrote them with another's hands. It's the depth of understanding that cannot be explained when I hear another's story and all the tiny hairs stand upright, as my body remembers all the lives my soul has lived, that my mind has willfully forgotten.
"'May your eye go to the sun, To the wind your soul...' You are all the colors in one, at full brightness." ~ Jennifer Niven
I'm curious, will you tell me of your pain? Will you whisper me your burdens? Where does the pain enter you? For me it rushes through my chest, it claws around my heart and makes my blood pump faster, it twists my insides around in a whirlwind before it snakes its way up to my right shoulder blade where it nestles itself between the muscle and bone. It rests there, until it occasionally ventures off to the base of my skull where it lays itself down, gripping my muscles tight, clenching, terrified of letting go. I try and fight it but it pushes me, it pulls me, it disrupts and engulfs me. It imprisons me. I have a curiosity, an unending desire to know. You see, it's the wondering... what if we were to sit with this pain to allow it to grieve, to extend to it our kindness. Tell me, have you sat beside your pain? Have you stroked it's face gently as it grieved its own illusion? Is what I'm saying making sense, have you penned these very words through my own hands? Tell me, I have a curiosity.
"The only way out is through." ~ Robert Frost
Pain is never ours, it's a visitor in the guest house of our lives. It's an emotion, a feeling, an illusion. The issue is not the pain, its whether you choose to allow it or not. When faced with incredible pain, what do you do with it? Do you give yourself to her storms, do you let her have her way with you? Do you allow your pain to ravage you, to shake fruit from your trees and unearth the bodies you've kept buried in your garden? Or do you let her imprison you? Do you push her away, do you run from her? When we are no longer scared of facing our emotional pain we are able to see her as a gift, we learn from her before she leaves us. When I allow my pain to flow, when I welcome her to visit me, she leaves the sweetness of truth on my tongue and flowers on the bed with a note saying "Next time I'll bring chocolates." When I deny her visits, she takes up permanent residency and gets cozy building a coffin in my bones. It's important to remember that you'll blind yourself if you turn your face from the pain of your shadow and gaze desperately into the fire of the raging sun.
"The greatest art of life is sensation, to feel that we exist, even in pain." ~ Lord Byron
We're often challenged by choice. You know that even when it comes to salad dressings, options are often overwhelming. Therefore, we know how difficult the moral dilemmas are, too often avoided in exchange for complacency. Options. Projections. Decisions. I find myself challenged by these things, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. What others perceive as love is not always love, sometimes all people know is manipulation. They use this in an attempt to guide attention, driven by a desperate desire to mimic the love they continue to deny themselves. It isn't shameful, it's understandable. I've been there, and I'm sure more of you have been there than are willing to admit to yourselves. We've all been there. So I ask you, what do you do when faced with a manipulative interaction? Do you risk upset, pain, confusion and denial in order to call the person out and speak the truth, do you risk disruption? Do you tell a half truth, which may as well be a full truth? Do you lie to yourself and say that you don't see and realize with your real eyes, the truth their denying that's there? How do you know that it's truth, can you feel it? What does the truth feel like to you? For me it begins as a knowing, from where I have yet to discover, but I feel it in my cells as it bubbles up inside me, asking to breathe. We always have the choice, to push it down and drown it out and deny its very existence. However, I will warn you, similar to pain when ignored and deprived of its right to freedom, it stows itself away, lodged somewhere in flesh and bone and blood, disrupting your cells' ability to freely dance, troubled, disturbed, replicating, until it can no longer be ignored. For truth ignored turns into pain.
"There is nothing so kingly as kindness, and nothing so royal as truth." ~Alice Cary
Pain is a disguise that offers us many gifts in it's unveiling. Are you able to see how truth denied leads us to pain? Do you see the wonder of Indra's net of jewels present in every pulsating facet of life? I wonder, will you tell me? I have a curiosity. The body has an innate and genius ability to heal itself unless we deny it the choice to do so. We often grow attached to the emotional wreckage we hold just beneath our skins surface, stuffing our closets with skeletons until the door falls off the hinge. We hide our crying faces behind the filters of social media or we throw our sob stories at anybody who even mildly looks our way, in a desperate cry for help. I find it so fascinating that we can become addicted to the facade of perpetual positivity in the same way we can become addicted to our stories of unending pity. Even those who speak of nothing but their pain often do so to mask the core of where it truly lies. When did you turn your face away from your shadow, hoping that it wouldn't keep up with you? Why do we dictate with suffocating control which parts of us we will let another see? How can you use your story to be truthful in the surrender to your pain? We hide our pain from the world, we hide it from ourselves, and yet, secretly we're often attached to it, fearful of the winds of change we distract our minds with anything and everything to forget its origins. We bury it, and we bury it deep, our minds may have forgotten, but our bodies remember.
"Beauty is truth's smile when she beholds her own face in a perfect mirror." ~ Rabindranath Tagore
I cannot be genuinely with another who has not befriended their pain, for if their ego remains so unshakably intact, they are incapable of being genuinely with themselves. In a world of illusion the truth can get tricky, especially when we've become the most cunning con artists, convincing ourselves that we're fine, no, we're great, replacing the dead sod with vibrant turf all while masquerading as an accomplished gardener. Lay your self-righteous deceit to rest, surrender to the pain, allow it to shake the truth from your lips. It's okay to not know what it feels like to be okay. Lay down your tired head, you've spent a lifetime running from the wounds you still carry with you. Sit with me darling, let's listen to your pain. Tell me, what truth does she whisper in the stillness of the night? I'll tell you of my pain. Today she brings me to my knees, she folds my hands on the bed at eye level, she casts my shaky voice upwards towards the sky. She softens me. She stayed with me to write this and when she left me, she left me tired, but she always leaves her gifts, today a new insight.
"Doubt though the stars are fire, Doubt that the sun doth move. Doubt truth to be a liar, But never doubt I love." ~ William Shakespeare
I hope you're able to allow your pain to soften you. This world gives us many gifts, blessings of change, challenging perspectives, new insights. I hope you let the world break your heart daily, with beauty, with wonder, with pain and all the treasures of what it means to truly be living.