“Inside yourself or outside, you never have to change what you see, only the way you see it…”
We live in a world of opposites: good/bad, happy/sad, day/night, up/down, left/right. Carl G. Jung speaks about maturity being born out of the ability to endure the tension of these opposites. As I have aged, I have settled into an acceptance of this truth. Our ability to shift between extremes must be developed to manage skillfully this terrain of the truth. In the face of bad luck or adversity I strive to see any hidden potential for good that may lie within.
Have you ever felt trapped by events allowing you no way out? We may feel this when we are on the cusp of something new or are moving from one stage in life to another. I have often found that even when good things happen to someone, their next thought may be one of doubt or uncertainty, as if matters should not be as they are. I notice in both others and myself this human tendency to resist change, whether it is bad or good.
It is our attitude toward these episodes that makes all the difference. I use the image of two wings to work with this: one wing holds what is true, just as it is; the other wing, compassion and acceptance for this truth, regardless of what it may be. Working with this image allows me to grapple with my feelings so as to move towards understanding. Can a bird fly with only one wing? No. Both wings, interconnected, allow space for this tension of opposites to be held, endured and brought to resolution.
Can you sit for a moment and just be? Can you focus on what is without wanting to change it? Can you say yes to what is here right now, regardless of your desires? This practice of accepting truth, regardless of the situation, holds the potential for freedom and liberation.
Take a moment to sit with something with which you may be struggling. Breathe in, still your mind the best you can, focus on your chest rising and falling. Accept the present just how it is, nothing more, nothing less. Visualize these two interconnected wings. What is the truth of the situation right now? Name it, say it to yourself. Then feel the other wing, the one of compassion and humility. See if you can feel acceptance for just what is without judgment, blame for your perceived shortcomings or engagement of the inner critic.
I have found that with a little practice, acceptance may be found when slowing down long enough to reconnect with ourselves. Fly with the wings of truth and compassion to discover the gratitude and grace born from this acceptance of the moment. As a Spanish proverb so wisely puts it, “Dance to the tune that is played.”
my mother said. “Just be ready
for what God sends.”
I listened and put my hand
out in the sun again. It was all easy.
I have been thinking about FAITH, not the kind I learn from any religious training, but the kind that is expansive and travels beyond my own limited thoughts or yours.
FAITH as a noun, I feel across my back and into my toes, it is a bridge that crosses an expanse to others and it carries my imagination and builds association beyond words, emotions, images and thoughts.
If there is such a thing of particles within silence, it is FAITH that connects these particles together. In a teaching group I did recently, I asked the question about interconnectedness….all five women arrived dressed in grey and black! Is this coincidence, synchronicity, randomness or the collective unconscious becoming conscious through FAITH?
There are many people suffering in the world these days, we are in a time of discordance and tensions. There are many who are witnessing and holding their own suffering and those close to them. This is what we do as humans, we rejoice in our connections and we grieve our losses…these are the particles that weave us together.
This is what matters most, to be a part of the thread that is woven together….
Tell me, what is most important to you about your connections?
I want to write about faith,
about the way the moon rises
over cold snow, night after night,
faithful even as it fades from fullness,
slowly becoming that last curving and impossible
sliver of light before the final darkness.
But I have no faith myself
I refuse it even the smallest entry.
Let this then, my small poem,
like a new moon, slender and barely open,
be the first prayer that opens me to faith.
— David Whyte
Ok, so you think that I know what I am doing, well, I don’t and I don’t care…what matters most is a place where I will be writing things, posting things, asking questions, inviting you to be a part of this blog along with connecting with others who also think that what matters most is actually something we should all be thinking about together. My intent for this blog is about connecting and not just with dots or dot coms, but with one another. So, what matters most today is learning something new, how to choose a name, a picture, what to eat for dinner and what time to go to bed. Mundane, yes, but this is how we start….
I realized after seeing Mary Oliver last night, listening to her wise words that it is not always that easy to see, to see on a regular basis what is right in front of me, the moment opening to the many layers of perception. This is a deep desire to see…this is what matters…..to be able to really completely read a poem, to let it wash inside my mouth and let the images twirl around inside….to slow down, to listen again…this is what matters….so I begin and invite you to join me….
Under the orange
sticks of the sun
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again
and fasten themselves to the high branches —
and the ponds appear
like black cloth
on which are painted islands
of summer lilies.
If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails
for hours, your imagination
And if your spirit
carries within it
that is heavier than lead —
if it’s all you can do
to keep on trudging —
there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted —
each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.
– Mary Oliver