Saturday, June 29, 2013

you have to put it down for awhile

A lecturer when explaining stress to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked,
“'How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g.
The lecturer replied,

“The absolute weight doesn't matter.
It depends on how long you try to hold it.
If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem.
If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm.
If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance.

In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”
He continued,  

“And that's the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on.  As with the glass of water,  you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again.  When we're refreshed, we can carry on.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

the light I take in

"The light I take in keeps the roots of my soul alive. 

We become so preoccupied with what we are not able to address, what we are not able to mend, what we are not able to leave behind, that we forget that whatever we are  - in the light of day - is slowly, but surely, healing the rest of us. "

Mark Nepo's wise words suggest that healing is a natural process happening within us even when we are not aware of it.  How comforting it is to think that healing happens without our dictating or trying to make it happen.  Grieving feels so effortful and confusing . . . and I know how much I try to shape my life myself . . . with my limited understanding of what is ultimately good.  So, to think that if I  don't resist the pain that is before me - if I  turn and face what is unavoidable - then healing is a natural flow of mind, body and spirit that will slowly soften the hurt into a new strength I cannot possibly imagine. 

This is a deep-seated trust we can lean into. 
This is the compassionate intent of a Benevolent Presence.

Monday, June 10, 2013

becoming porous

How can a parent live with the loss of a child ? 
What is the perspective that makes that even possible?

Healing from such grief is the answer to this question . . . that is, learning to take in the unthinkable truth and let it be part of who you are.  Patiently and compassionately walking through each day and allowing the sadness, the questions, the pain do what it will do.  It takes enormous courage to submit yourself to that . . . and yet, there is no other way.  

Eventually, we soften . . . become pliable . . . the heart grows big and wide . . . patience comes more easily because we know now how little control we actually have.  So, to live with what we now know and still love, laugh, cherish and give . . . it all takes a new energy.  As Etty Hillesum says, our petty desires fall away and we come to know that "all that matters now is that we be kind to one another with all the Goodness that is in us." 

Here is another way to put it . . .

I want to become porous
for life, love, pain and joy to flow through me
blessing each breath
I want to take the brittle
inflexible pieces of my life
people of my life
and carefully, delicately,
weave them together
until they flow
as one