Coming into wholeness



I have been thinking a lot about wholeness this week.  My friend, Deb, shared a post on Facebook recently about how she’s achieved wholeness in several areas of her life:  as a parent, as a spouse, as a descendant.  She spoke of past trials and failures and not-knowings and how she’s moved into a place of wholeness.

I sat with her comments for a long time.  At first, I couldn’t relate.  To me wholeness felt a state independent of success or failure, although that’s probably not what she was attempting to convey. Something inside urged me to dive deeper, to discover a tidbit attempting to surface, to illuminate the path.



Sitting with the churning not-understanding for a long time, clarity began to shine its beacon.  I witnessed areas in my life–and the unfolding of others lives–where division reigns.  Where it just feels hard.  We’re divided in how to respond, where to turn, how to act.  We’re confused, grieving, suffering, pushing away.  We don’t like how life is appearing in this moment and it just hurts too damn much.

In so many arenas of our life this division arises with its accompanying thunderstorms of emotion.  By division I mean that we’re not clear, that we’re not allowing, that we’re not bathed in a sense of wholeness and completion.



All this week the phrase “Coming into wholeness” whispers.

It feels more clearly that part of our life journey is about accepting our division, our feelings of brokenness.  Instead of pushing these to the farthest reaches of the mind where we won’t feel so darn separate and confused and hurting and compulsive and scared and devastated.



Death will rob us in this lifetime.  Of loved ones, and then our bodies.  We won’t get everything we want.  We’ll get sick. Our loved ones will suffer. We’ll feel unfulfilled with jobs, partners, living situations. We’ll feel angry. The country’s government will seem just wrong.  We won’t be able to figure out how to proceed. Horrible things conspire to break our hearts.

Some folks nudge that this dark cycle of the moon of our lives could be illuminated by positive thoughts and actions, turning us away from a darkness that can splinter and shatter a tender human soul. While this may be true, there often exists a turning-away in this positive movement, an inability to engage with suffering because the knives penetrate too deeply into the heart.

Bean again

Bean again

Coming into wholeness is a hero’s journey, a journey some choose to walk through the valley of the shadow of death.  What if, at the core of life, at the very heart of life, exists this desire of the holy to move from division to wholeness?  What if this is the natural breath of living itself?

What if it’s not about warring against darkness, cancer, loss, pain, illness, unruly emotions, addictions?  What if it’s about making more and more room in our essence to allow and examine and tenderly hold our grief?  To envision a wholeness that hugs all of us–imagine that, all of us–so very tenderly?  Even the broken parts.  Especially the broken parts.



The more we open in the face of everything that wants to turn away and protect ourselves, the more we bring our shields of courage and love into what used to be a battlefield, the more we relax into the holy work of transformation, then a deep healing can unfold.

A way we get stuck is holding too closely to our stories and interpretations of suffering.  Wholeness urges us to expand past these limiting stories which shatter more gunfire into our hearts.  Wholeness whispers that it’s possible to open other doors of understanding.  Not by turning away, but by continuing to pour loving awareness and inquiry into what hurts.



If we’re downright stuck in pain that will not ease, it’s so often our stories about grief and suffering and addiction and unworthiness which keep us jailed in our interior prisons.

The challenging thing is this: we usually don’t know how to do this. In every new situation it’s as if we’re toddlers attempting to piece together jigsaw puzzles.  We have to learn our way anew to wholeness, every single time.  We have to find a way that works for us, in this new moment, in this new incarnation.  It’s like starting all over again.

Coming into wholeness may be our live’s work, our holy alchemy.  Again and again and again we discover our division, our slivered fragments, our broken ceramic chunks of heart.  We give them our tender affection, our understanding, our love.

And the circle births in wholeness.  Once again. We see that the wholeness has been there all along:  we were just blind to its full revelation. As perhaps my friend Deb discovered, we’ll know we’ve turned full circle from division to wholeness because we’ll sigh in blessed relief.  Oh yes, we’ll see, now I see.  Oh yes…


About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in August 2018 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Coming into wholeness

  1. absolutely moving! thank you for posting

  2. debyemm says:

    Yes, it wasn’t intended to look as though I was claiming success or achievement. It was a recognition that wholeness was present. I didn’t actually create that wholeness, it revealed itself to me and I saw it already was there. Yes, acceptance that it all serves the trajectory of Life somehow. Trusting that. Knowing that in all those hardest places, we are moved in a necessary direction, even if we didn’t think it was necessary.

    My friend Burt Kempner posted a quote from Courtney Walsh that I found the most profoundly accurate in its descriptions of human life and experience that I’ve yet encountered. So I share that –

    “Dear Human: You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love. Messy love. Sweaty love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of messing up. Often. You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And then to rise again into remembering. Love doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks that you show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU.”

    • Kathy says:

      It is such a gift when that wholeness reveals itself to us. And the fact that it’s always there! Wow, such amazement when I’ve discovered that again and again and again. I loved being able to use my initial non-understanding of your post as an illustration of how staying with it and moving deeper revealed that wholeness which I just hadn’t perceived. Yet it was there all along, just obscured by some underlying story. So, once again, deep gratitude for you sharing that post. It cracked open this human by revealing–yet again–the love that always exists. xoxoxo

      • debyemm says:

        Such a gift. It has been that. Never in my wildest dreams would I have predicted where I find myself now. To say it has been life changing would be an understatement. It is quite humbling to think I was any kind of inspiration to you, Kathy, who I have long considered much further along in non-physical understandings than I. FONDLY !!

        • Kathy says:

          There may be certain areas where you have much more depth of non-physical understanding than I. And areas where I just don’t get it–and the Mystery has revealed itself deeper to you. So it’s humbling for me, as well. To keep seeing that I only sense vague shapes of “reality” and the next person steps up and allows it to be seen more clearly. Thank you another time, deep bows.

  3. Brenda says:

    Oh my goodness, this is soooo beautiful! You and your friend, Deb have touched my soul! These words in particular…”To envision a wholeness that hugs all of us–imagine that, all of us–so very tenderly? Even the broken parts. Especially the broken parts.” ❤ Thank you, both for sharing! ❤

    • Kathy says:

      Brenda, this post keeps teaching and re-informing my soul today too! All of my broken parts keep coming forward for communion, for benediction. And I am trying to meet them with a loving heart instead of turning away… Thank YOU for the love in your comment!

  4. sybil says:

    For now we are in part?

    • sybil says:

      That should have read: For now we see in part…

      • Kathy says:

        I am glad you clarified that! I wrinkled my nose and tried to decipher the first comment every-which-way. Yes, for now we see in part. Perhaps that’s our price for being human. But the whole is always unfolding the part in us. At least that’s what I believe… Blessings to you, Ms. Sybil.

  5. Beautiful words and terribly profound. This post makes me wonder if I have missed something in order to be more at peace with myself. I don’t exactly understand wholeness and can not fathom how to get “it.” Maybe one day I will understand where I am coming from or in what direction I should take in my advanced years. However, the way I see it, I’ll continued to coast along and strive to be a better person.

    • Kathy says:

      Yvonne, thank you for sharing your thoughts with such openness. In the moments that I am not at peace, it’s as if there are two parts which are in conflict or divided. And, like you said, I don’t understand wholeness in that moment or how to get it or what to do. Something inside doesn’t see the larger picture, doesn’t see how both parts can work together. Then comes the confusion or restlessness or sadness, because it can seem there isn’t a way out. It has felt like a long journey, but perhaps it can be seen (if we’re interested and diligent and it matters oh-so-much to us) that Wholeness already exists. That the parts we’re judging and blaming and pushing against can be seen to be an integral whole. Remember one of those snow balls that you shake? Inside the ball it’s snowing like crazy on the plastic people and trees. Outside it’s a smooth calm ball that encompasses the whole scene. It’s like re-directing attention from the crazy squalling snowstorm to the glass ball. The snowstorm doesn’t go away but you can see the wholeness of the glass ball. You and I don’t know each other very well, but right now I just sat with closed eyes and felt the wholeness of you that you perhaps can’t see in this moment. It includes everything in your life, even the parts you haven’t liked. Trying to be a better person is not a bad path to walk. And I remind myself: keep relaxing into each moment without believing the mind’s assessments totally and sense the snow globe ball that surrounds your life.

      • Thank you, for a wonderful analogy. I think I get it and I will take your word for it. You are quite good about explaining wholeness. None the less I will continue to seek out all that is good and merciful even though their is pain in just living. I think some of us have more burdens and worries to deal with on a daily basis. You are such a kind and gentle lady. I admire your talents and compassion.

  6. Stacy says:

    I love your interpretation of wholeness. And after the devastating summer, “my” kids have faced (and by default their suffering becomes my suffering), this is the very thing I struggle with. I get stuck on the pain so much so that it almost becomes comfortable. I am still not resigned, but I’m trying! Your words keep inspiring me to wade through the quagmire – and not get stuck there. ❤

    • Kathy says:

      And Stacy you are so right! Getting stuck in the quagmire is what brings so much suffering. It seems anti-intuitive to move toward that pain. It is not comfortable. It hurts like hell. And it can take years of moving through pain, time and time again, before the wholeness starts to glimmer like starlight overhead. When I’m in the pain, words like these seem almost useless and nonsense. Because moving towards seems to create MORE pain. But there is a depth inside us, an awareness, a river of light, that flows endlessly with love. To me life has been all about finding that river. That is the river that cleanses, that shows its wholeness in choppiness and death upon the rocks and silky smooth waters. Perhaps it’s more important to find the river, and then let wholeness reveal itself. I am only beginning to glimpse it. xoxoxo

  7. Alanna says:

    Thank you for this post, Kathy. I need to hone the practice of acceptance- sometimes a very challenging thing to do.

    • Kathy says:

      Oh my Alanna, I think it’s the most challenging holy work of a lifetime! Acceptance and our human nature don’t always travel hand-in-hand. Thank you for sharing and resonating with this post. Blessings!

  8. Barb says:

    Each photo shows a birth, an unfolding of the mysteries of life. I know intellectually that wholeness in life must contain both dark and light (just as photography\must contain both dark and light). My mother told me long ago, “If it’s too easy it’s not worth it.” I thought of that when I read your post, Kathy. I’ll have to think about the words here for awhile to come to a deeper understanding. Sometimes, I make things harder than they’re meant to be. Thinking of you on this cloudy day in Colorado – hopefully it will bring us rain.

    • Kathy says:

      Barb, it’s interesting how I took the garden pictures several days before the idea of this post even birthed. When I chose which pictures to include it did seem as if they were perfect to illustrate what is trying to express itself. I keep thinking of these words again and again, and deeper understandings keep sprouting like bean flowers on the vine. We have a rainy morning here and we’re headed off to the fair (Barry has to cover it for the newspaper) and then up to Houghton for shopping and lunch. Hope you’ve had some life-affirming rain, as well.

  9. Elisa says:

    Kathy? I am reading and I am yessing and then inside I am shouting I am sick of being sick and I am sick of having to work THOSE other people have it so…fill in blank with any lie ya like. First the Edge States and now No Mud No Lotus…three different posts this morning about doing an inventory in what for me, is a different way, even Oracle cards for what do i need to know today and YET i still have this FOOK off part of me that just digs in my heels. That part doesn’t treat me nicely nor I it. My head tells me OMG always diagnosing some thing or picking apart that thing just LIVE (silly trick it plays on me) thanks for sharing the post today!

    • Kathy says:

      I have that part, too! I think we all have it to one degree or another–the FOOK off part of ourselves, lol. It’s not a nice part on the surface. How I keep coming to terms with Ms. Fook when she shows up is to first see the love in her. What deeper love is she trying to express? Sometimes it’s possible to see that–at her root–she just wants to protect us, to keep us safe. She frowns at the others who are behaving impossibly because she truly, truly, just wants the world to be nice and safe and loving. But her energy is not kind because she’s truly so frustrated. Then, when she arises, I sit with her energy. Not the stories she’s telling because that just gets a person sick to death, watching the stories circle round and round. I sit with her without believing her thoughts. And somehow that’s enough to get the body to relax. And then I do it the next time and the next time and the next time and maybe in five minutes.

  10. Bonnie says:

    Ah Kathy, once again you are able to reach out and touch me with your words and thoughts. I struggle with finding wholeness, and not even sure what I would do with it when I found it. It has been too long.

    • Kathy says:

      Bonnie, so glad that this touched you. It touched me as the words poured out the fingers, too. I think we all struggle with finding wholeness. We think it’s something other than it is. (At least I did and sometimes still do.) But what’s amazing grace is that it’s already here. That it already surrounds and encompasses us. Blessings…

  11. pumppunter says:

    Hi Kathy! I couldn’t find your email so I guess I’ll ask for your guidance here. First off thanks so much for all your enlightening blog posts, simply beautiful.

    Aya speaks of non-abiding and abiding awakenings. A few non-abiding glimpses awoke in me a strong, painful desire for permanent abidance. I know I know, it’s so silly, I love what is and how things are unfolding, it’s all so perfect…yet there is still this lingering longing for an abiding awakening, for Awakeness to wake up from it’s dream of “me” permanently. I know I know, it’s always there, always awake…but sometimes it wants to play the game of “me” and forget itself. Which is amazing. Haha, as I type my questions dissolves but still…any advice for someone longing for abidance?


    • Kathy says:

      Dear Coop, I am excited about your question because the same one has interested me so much over the years! I will send you a private email with (hopefully) some responses within the next day or so. Blessing your longing heart, Kathy

  12. I have read several personal blogs today and many mentioned, talked about and even tried to figure out some of the things you mentioned here, Kathy. Division, angry, pushing away….it is not a happy time right now and the people who should be trying to heal it are openly embracing and enhancing it. I sure these times do pass…I surely do. Take care, my friend.

    • Kathy says:

      Scott, thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. Hoping for healing on so many levels–for all of us. May you continue to have fun on your vacation! You’ve been bringing back memories.

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

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