I’m learning how to simplify… I can’t anticipate what’s next, but I can be here now. I can’t know what will happen tomorrow, but I can attend to what needs to be done today. I can’t know if my friends will be in my life forever, but I can love who they are right now. I can practice this willingness to stay in the simple present moment so that when the time comes, I can simply let go, simply let go.
I ended up in a twelve step meeting a couple of months after my husband decided he no longer wanted to be married anymore. I was devastated; having trouble eating and sleeping, feeling isolated because I had lost a lot of friends in the separation. The coach I was working with suggested a meeting, and found one for me in town. The first meeting I inwardly criticized the room, thought it needed to be redecorated. The second meeting I realized everyone in my life is codependent. The third meeting I started to believe that the program might help me if I worked it. Two and a half years later, I know my program has saved my life. I have found a sponsor and am working the steps slowly but surely… getting ready to do a fourth step soon. When I was ready to give up on life, this program showed up to demonstrate that grace is active in my life, and I am truly grateful.
Who waits patiently for you to finally wake up and realize that you were the one you were searching for all along? Who reminds you to breathe, when, in the midst of daily effort you realize you’ve taken on some old struggle that isn’t yours to endure? Who waits for you through all the years of your life and at the end of it all stands with open arms to welcome you back home? Your Self, Your True Self, The only reality, The consciousness that pervades all…
I keep asking how I can get myself to a better place And the inner voice keeps saying You need to be more fully where you are right now. It’s so demoralizing to understand concepts like Self-love, compassion, forgiveness and acceptance and yet have no idea how to embody them, no clue how to move from intellectual understanding to grounded action, authentic experience. If only I could apply what I have in my head, I could save the world… or at least myself.
I was sifting through mountains of papers looking for something. One of the mountains shifted, sending an avalanche to the floor. And then in the next second, another avalanche. And I said, Okay, me too. So I fell to the floor, lay down on my back, stared up at the track lighting on my ceiling. Here we all are, on the floor. Now what? I felt my body was tired. I didn’t want to search anymore. I knew that whatever it was, either it would turn up, or I would replace it. So I went upstairs, and I got in bed, and had dreams about mountains and avalanches.
Don’t read this with your mind, read it with your heart, because your heart will know that it is true: There is nothing missing in this moment, and you are whole and complete as you are. Don’t listen to your mind respond to what you just read! You’ve got to hush that thing up, give it a vacation. Say to your mind, Yes, dear, I know, you don’t like this… why don’t you take a nice hot bath or something? Meanwhile, just run right out the back door, get back to the love that is this moment. It waits for you like the best lover you have ever known, open, available, ready to give you everything, if you just show up and allow yourself to be held.
You can’t heal what you can’t feel… and so my biggest task has been just allowing the feelings to rise, to be seen, acknowledged, embraced, and finally felt. For a long time I attempted to deny my feelings, because they appeared too painful to accept, and I was afraid of what might happen if I allowed the tidal wave to crash over me. It turns out that I was giving my attention to my fear of the difficult feelings rather than to the feelings themselves. The fear made it all seem so much worse that it really was. Once I peeled back all my layers of distraction, denial and defense and exposed my tender heart to myself, I saw that there was nothing to fear. As the grief came up, the doubt, the self-blame, the regret, the anger, the loneliness, the abandonment, the resistance and all the others emerged as a procession, one by one, to be fully received and welcomed by me. As I allowed these feelings to flow through, I sensed underneath them my resilience, my strength, and finally my hope for new feelings to arrive once I’ve made enough room for them by letting the old feelings go…