"You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens." ~ Rumi
"We don't realize that, somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme self who is eternally at peace." ~ Elizabeth Gilbert
Sometimes something happens that knocks us off our feet. During times of confusion, during times of uncertainty, when you’ve lost all stable ground, how do you respond? Do you fake it, act as if you weren’t shaken, so that everybody thinks you’re fine? Do you use a facade in an effort to fool yourself? Do you react outwardly with impulsivity, making moves you haven’t clearly thought out, reacting to the emotion you are allowing to drive your actions? Do you push it away? Tell me. Do you run? I'm curious. Do you stop? Do you allow yourself to feel the pause and overcome the fear of the thought that you might be giving up? Do you surrender to this and thus flow beyond it? Do you offer yourself moments? Do you allow yourself to reflect?
How do you respond when you’ve lost all stable ground?
"Every moment and every event of every man's life on earth plants something in his soul." ~ Thomas Merton
Moments. We deny ourselves so many of them. Joyful moments, so caught up in the fear of them leaving us that we fail to appreciate them for the glimpses they offer us. Glimpses of a feeling so special and real that even words now fail me. Moments. Sorrow filled moments that break our chests wide open, so caught up in the wishing it would end that we miss the gifts they offer us. Gifts. When wrapped in the slightest awareness could break us free from the chains that shackle us to all the lives we live that we fail to turn our backs on. Seeds. Watered with the slightest awareness, festering, sprouting, reaching towards the rising sun. Seeds that have the potential to guide us from our darkest caves and lead us to our highest calling. to be of service. to gather courage. to go back into that cave. to tell the others of the beauty that awaits on the other side of their imaginary monsters and socially conditioned stories.
"It is the task of the enlightened not only to ascend to learning and to see the good but to be willing to descend again to those prisoners and to share their troubles and their honors, whether they are worth having or not. And this they must do, even with the prospect of death." ~ Plato, The Allegory of the Cave
I find myself in a place of reflection. A time of pause, a feeling of softness. It is strange to feel the softness, to feel a strength other than the fight. I have felt the fight so long that it’s all I ever thought made me strong. It’s a different feeling, a grounding strength, a stability. How do I respond when I’ve lost all stable ground? I began writing this answering that question for myself. in the process. as often transpires with heartfelt writing... I discovered something about myself. This feeling is different, it has not been known to me, until now. this softness.
When I’ve lost all stable ground outwardly, it’s the reflection, the pause that allows me to turn inwardly, only then am I able to realize that I’ve never lost my footing. The outward ground that has caved and sunken will always do so, it is illusion, and illusions all fall in time. The stable ground within does not desert me. The stable ground within, will not desert you.
"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish." ~ Psalm 1
In moments of reflection I may return to the meadows of green, I may bathe in the electric blue waters of the stream, and lay beside the white oak tree. It is here, where my soul remembers but my mind so willingly and aptly forgets, that I belong. I must remember that I cannot stay, I am never permitted to stay as the angel that guards the waters will always usher me on, reminding me that this is my home, but homes are meant to be left. My work is of the world, the broken hearts of men need tending and it is this soft and subtle strength that supports healing.
“Wherever you to there you are” ~ Confucius
Have you found your respite? A stable place of rest? Where do you go when this world becomes too much for you? When you feel broken, battered and beaten on the wheels of life. What does home look like for you? A beautiful soul shared something with me as we stood overlooking the rebellious corner of lotus flowers that unhesitatingly began their bloom in mid winter, attesting to their divine resiliency. Subtle. Soft. Inherent. Strength. They need not wait for spring to share with the world their beauty. We stood there and he asked me what does “home” mean to me. I don’t remember what I told him, something along the lines of a place of rest, a haven, a sanctuary of rejuvenation for my tired soul after the long days. Although, I am far less eloquent in conversation, for it is the reflection, the pause, the space filled with aware solitude that gives my mind the words to speak most clearly. So, truthfully, I probably stopped after rejuvenation. He thoughtfully listened and when he spoke, he said he had something he wanted to share with me, after which he playfully stated for fear of butchering it and it losing all its meaning, he’d better look it up. Upon finding what he was looking for he handed me his phone and I read:
“i have built a home with another person a few times now, always expecting it to be a lasting haven. as the storms came and went the homes would show their weakness and eventually come apart. being left with the dread of sadness and the hollow feeling of unwanted new beginnings, it has finally started to dawn on me that if i build a home within myself, a palace of peace created with my own awareness and love, this can be the refuge i have always been seeking." ~ yung pueblo | foundation
I have forgotten what I said after reading it, but I have not forgotten what he shared with me. It's rarely the words that leave the lasting impression, it’s the feeling that accompanies them. There’s magic beyond the mere understanding of words, you can feel words if they are spoken with the essence of heart, if they are written in the ink of truth. It is feeling that pens the lines of life upon our pages of living. It is feeling.
“be softer with you. you are a breathing thing. a memory to someone. a home to a life." ~ Nayyirah Waheed
Where do you go to rest your tired bones? After returning from the grueling life of the modern day. Where does your soul find repose? While your body is still breathing. I am curious. Where do you find comfort for your soul?