My 75 day commitment to connect more deeply to the Holy Heart, Spirit, God, Love…to explore “What the Heart knows” during the waning days of 2020 is halfway over now. We’re counting down toward year’s end. Thirty eight, thirty seven, thirty six…until we hail 2021 and greet her newness with hope for an easier year for us humans.
This journey has proved so interesting thus far. Am I connecting more deeply, as the heart yearns to do? I am not sure. It’s a practice: pivoting again and again toward the Holy. Losing a sense of connection to Spirit over and over again (although it’s really impossible to actually lose our connection to God–it is possible to think we’ve lost our zipline and flounder about before realizing: oh, the zip line’s been here all along!)
I love the idea of turning to the Heart again and again and yes, again. No self-flagellating and beating ourselves up for getting lost in the Halloween mazes of the mind. Just returning to breath, prayer, presence, love–whatever works in our personal bag of tricks. Remembering that we’re unique beings of God’s expression and learning to walk step-by-step like a little baby outside any hallways of fear and into the spacious field of love.
Earlier this week I talked with a very wise young person.
She shared about her spiritual and political beliefs. Laughing a little, she shrugged her shoulders and talked about her brothers with very different outlooks on life. She traveled to visit them earlier this fall and shook her head as she described giving them little bits of advice about how to stay safe during the pandemic–all the time knowing they probably wouldn’t take her guidance.
As she told her story, I could see love shining out her eyes for her precious brothers. I also noticed how they did not think at all alike.
“One thing I ‘ve learned in this last year,” she said, “is that it’s about letting people be who they’re gonna be.”
Immediately my chest filled up with waves of love. My body felt what it would be like to love that fully. How utterly beautiful.
And how far I have to go before reaching that all-inclusive compassionate state where love trumps judgment. (no pun intended 🙂 )
Life is just life. Appearing as it’s appearing, moment after moment.
Whether we like it or not.
Whether we stamp it with approval or long to toss it in the garbage.
Seeing the Holy is a way of glimpsing the such-ness of life.
We’re not just focused on the wee self anymore–there’s a sense of spaciousness and relaxation and encompassment that doesn’t deny the wee self, but doesn’t keep it highlighted at the center anymore.
How is life appearing here this morning?
Barry lingers longer with his coffee on the couch these dark November mornings. He’s not leaping toward work at 7 a.m. I am pondering that he’s starting to relax towards retirement. He’s thinking he’ll wait until age 66–about a year and a half away now– when it’s possible to collect full social security, but who knows? I just watch him comfortable on the couch with coffee and wonder if he’ll delay that long.
We don’t know much of anything these days, do we? (Spirit says: And can you relax in not-knowing?)
Time to face the facts–no one is coming over for Thanksgiving or Christmas during this covid year. No one will visit our little house in the woods all winter. We’ll be lucky if we entertain friends or family in the spring. Maybe, god forbid, until next summer. Or later (ominous music plays…)
The facts are such: I do not like to clean house down to the cobwebs in the basement on a regular basis. Our little house is usually neat and tidy and relatively clean, but it takes visitors to get me truly reaching every out-of-the-way nook and cranny. It takes visitors a’coming to scrub, scour, dust, wash, wipe, brush, vacuum, and declutter for maximum results.
So what’s to be done about this sad state of affairs?
One of the things I struggle with is feeling and allowing anger in myself and others. A friend or family member posts something political or hateful on Facebook. I can feel a reaction arising immediately in my body. It’s a mix between what feels like their contraction and my aversion to it. It also can sometimes feel like their opinions are a slap to my own beliefs. It’s hard and it’s challenging and it still needs tender loving care to digest this into a place where I can feel compassion for both of us.
A couple of days ago Robin at Breezes of Dawn wrote a post titled A Monday Meander: Vulnerability Please detour over and visit her post if you haven’t read it. It prompted me to want to explore vulnerability so much more. About why, when and how we learn to share our most intimate selves with the world. Perhaps even about when it’s more advisable to keep our treasured fears and secrets inside.
When I started blogging years ago I was afraid to post anything that felt too vulnerable–like the first paragraph I just typed about anger. To shine light on fears or confusion or awkwardness in the public realm. Something inside was fearful: you will see who I really am and not like me. You will see I’m not a polished invulnerable put-together person. You will see my confused, not-knowing, hot mess, silly, stupid, awful, compulsive, angry, wild sides and you will say–no, not her, I am not like her. You will run away. Or worse–you will try to fix me instead of listening compassionately.
It’s day 31 of this 75 day spiritual commitment. One month has passed already, days falling away like autumn leaves off poplar, oak and maple trees.
I am sitting here at the computer this morning aware of a silent background of Presence. It’s alive, palpable. It’s what we are.
Thank you for those who read and commented on the blog post yesterday. Something feels a bit vulnerable to have shared it here. But it felt like this story is the base, the foundation, of everything that ever appears on Lake Superior Spirit. A closed door opened. And once a door opens it’s impossible to see the world in exactly the same way, isn’t it?
It’s possible–just possible–to drive up the road toward your favorite co-op on a sunny July birthday morning–and watch yourself–who you think you are–completely disappear. An hour earlier you considered yourself a human being in a physical body, a separate distinct human being with quirks and flaws and ego. Suddenly all that is gone. Instead awareness shines out of your eyes. Awareness IS you. It’s been a case of mistaken identity for 52 years but now you see.
This happened to me in July, 2009. After six years of intense meditation and longing to “awaken” to the truth of who we really are–I woke up. But that is wrong. No “I” woke up. I disappeared. And all that remained was the Holy.
What is remembered is that the Holy loved everything it saw. It gazed at stop signs and blue skies and garbage and pine cones with utter delight. Everywhere the eyes lingered it saw Itself materialized in physical form. (This was realized later. On that July day it was just silence and awareness pulsating in love with the world.)
What bliss! The bliss rose from the heart as the constriction of human incarnation lifted. Joy radiated because all the human boundaries released. Oh, the challenges of being human–gone! Just THIS. This seeing, the silent knowing, this delight in everything appearing.
It was everything I dreamed about for years. Forever, maybe. Ahhh, THIS. Wordless. Filled with pulsating feeling and appreciation. Wow.