It was so fun to write yesterday’s blog post!
I grinned on and off much of the day.
During these seventy five days I’ve tried to put my relationship with the Holy into feeble words.
Sometimes explained things conceptually.
Sometimes tried to *show* how spirituality works in this life, in this human body.
Not to explain so the mind understands, but to show directly in an embodied felt-sense way.
That’s the most fun. Even though a part of me loves putting life into a conceptual framework. Like a map. Like a map that leads to hidden treasure. Here’s where we are now. Here’s the treasure. Get ready, get set, GO! Open the door and let’s go in…
Here is what I believe, condensed version, once again: We can open to the Universal revelation of wholeness, Oneness, unity. But until we clear through repressed and unconscious emotions (and by “clear through” I mean befriend and welcome with compassionate heart) many of us are going to experience suffering. This is a path to joy and holy union. Not an easy one. It’s more like being whipped by tag alders in a swampy forest at times. But some of us humans are called to walk the pathless path less traveled.
One friend recently suggested that she doesn’t ponder emotional wounds because there are never conclusive answers to the questions regarding the whys and wherefores. Oh I so agree with this! I couldn’t ever get anywhere intellectually obsessing over emotions. I couldn’t think my way through them to any satisfactory conclusion. Uhg. Thinking about emotion felt like an endless merry-go-round to hell that went round and round and round without ceasing.
This new approach learned in the last couple of years really isn’t a thinking route to solve emotional turmoil. It’s a way of the heart gesturing toward love, befriending, compassion. It’s learning to allow whatever emotion wants to visit without pushing away. Or indulging it. It’s not about approving of it either. Or letting reactivity or unkindness rule the roost.
It’s not easy. (See swampy forest analogy up above. And also please visit yesterday’s blog post for a concrete example of how this might be done.) It’s like shining a light on what hurts or disturbs from the feeling of Presence and compassion, not understanding. Although understanding often arises like a clear sky, like an open gate.
Disclaimer– it’s not for everyone. The Holy either calls you or doesn’t call you. And it’s not necessary a sweet delightful calling. Part of me wishes the Holy never knocked on my door with this assignment. Part of me delights in positive thinking as the most lovely spiritual approach. Why would anyone ever want to open Pandora’s box?
A spiritual teacher once said–I can’t remember who–that you’re not really free if you’re still avoiding the present moment, trying to push it away. Rumi put it this way:
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
I used to think this was a nice poem. Yes, yes and yes! But it’s really a treasure map. That dark thought, shame, malice–to meet them at the door laughing and invite them in. Who wants to do this as a human being? This is really crazy! To let a crowd of sorrows violently sweep your house? Seriously, Rumi, you’re nuts.
Yet that’s what we can try to do. We may not meet ’em at the door laughing. Sometimes we meet ’em metaphorically kicking and screaming or begging them to just go away. Sometimes we push ’em out the door with a huge shove–don’t you dare show up today, you wicked meanness, you frothy malice, you flushed shame. Away, away, away–and don’t come back. And a crowd of sorrows? We hope they don’t decide to visit. But it’s up to the Holy, isn’t it?
But I do know it’s possible to learn to love, to keep opening the heart, to welcome it all. The holy embodied work of a lifetime…
It’s hard to learn to love these unexpected visitors, isn’t it? Do you like this Rumi poem? How does it apply to your life?
Day 62 of a seventy-five day journey to connect more deeply with God, Spirit, Holy, Love…to explore “What the Heart Knows” during the waning days of 2020.