Let’s imagine that everything you’ve lived until now
was a dream,
and suddenly, you’ve awoken, and realized you were sleeping.
You finally can see that everything you’ve ever lived
is your own dream creation,
and as the Creator of this dream existence
you’ve also constructed the ideas of “right” and “wrong.”
Let’s further imagine that upon recognizing that you’ve awoken,
you find it quite funny how you believed
that “right” and “wrong” actually existed.
Now that you know there is no such thing,
you take a deep breath and relax,
realizing that peace, too, is your creation.
Learning to trust the Self…
not the little ego self
that’s always wanting and grasping
and never satisfied,
but the Divine Self,
the deeper, more expansive Self,
the One who moves with the currents of Nature
and who listens and waits
underneath the noise and turbulence
of our contrived human sorrow.
The One who waits for us to wake up,
and pause, and breathe
and see how beautiful peace is—
this is the One I practice to know,
this is the One I show up for every morning,
this is the One I am when I become still
and close my eyes, and journey inwards…
This is the One I am learning to trust.
Where is the balance point
between the effort and the ease?
Where is the grace
that allows forgiveness to find me?
Where is the sweet one
who will coax my heart out of hiding?
Where is the soul nourishment
that will sustain me?
I keep trying, trying, trying.
I’m exhausted from the effort
of teasing apart the jumbled mess
of other people’s perceptions
and finding my true self
concealed somewhere deep within.
Where am I,
who am I,
in the midst of all of this chaos?
Knowing myself better.
Diving deeper, exploring.
Looking up, looking out,
Reading, reading, reading,
exposing myself to new ideas,
a wealth of information,
developing a treasure trove within,
treasure no one can see and yet
a treasure that is more real than any other.
The medicine man sings
Invisible es mi camino,
and I sing along.
Taking a deep breath,
watching my mind
desperately attempt to understand
through the lens of the past,
and patiently, firmly
holding up and looking through a new lens—
a wide open future full of possibility.
Hmmm. In today’s prompt we were invited to write a poem in which something big and something small come together. I immediately think about (big) ideas like love, marriage, hopes and fears, beginnings and endings, and (small) units of time, like just one day in the life. The trajectory of our (big) lives is made up of countless (small) days. If I were to examine one small day in the life of my marriage (which, now that he has moved out, is swiftly approaching its endpoint) do I pick a day when things were going well, or do I pick a day when it had already gone to hell? Do I count the years of our marriage as a (small) period of time in comparison to the (big) trajectory of my life? Is this how I find healing? The (big) emotions of grief, pain, betrayal and loss meet the (small) moment to moment experiences of breathing, eating, sleeping, and taking one step at a time. In order to live skillfully as humans we must be deeply aware of all of these juxtapositions and learn how to navigate among them with grace and intention. Can I let the (big) vision of stepping into my highest self be embodied within the reality of my shortcomings as one (small) woman?
I see her now,
how she tried so hard to be good.
I see how she wanted it to work
and in ways big and small
sacrificed the best of herself
for a vision she held
of the grand institution of marriage
and the complexities of life with young children.
He held no such vision.
Unlike her, he saw their conflict
as symptoms of a mismatch.
Where she was ready to confront the issues
and find solutions,
he invested in the belief
that things should be easier than they were.
So he took the easy way out.
He blamed her for his pain,
told his story to countless others,
created an army that supported his victimhood
and started a war in their home.
She dove deeper into herself
to find the sanctuary promised by the scriptures
of all the world’s faiths.
As she came to rest in the arms
of divine union with self,
he sought the embrace of another,
one outside their sanctified union,
because by that point,
what they had once shared was dead to him.
She grieved. She lost weight. She lost sleep.
She lost friends. She lost hope. Almost.
From the tiniest stirrings of hope almost lost
emerged a new awareness, a strength
forged in the fires of mourning.
One day she looked in the mirror
and realized that it had to happen this way.
He needed to reject the self she was
so that she could discover
the self she was born to be.
Yes it hurts sometimes still…
but behind the hurt there grows
something that will never be tarnished
by the stories of victimization,
justification, and rationalization:
the big Self,
the miracle of existence,
the song of gratitude,
the promise of forgiveness.
Forgiveness leads to peace.
You can give yourself the gift of peace.
Search in your mind
for those against whom
you hold grievances.
Do I want to carry this burden any longer?
Really listen to the answers that emerge
from the depths of your truest self.
Your truest self is peace.
Grievances hide this self from you.
set this self free from the prison you made.
There is so much beauty in the world
beyond your story.
Awake early after going to bed late
and I feel just fine.
My spirit calls me out of slumber
to commune in quiet
with the best part of my Self—
the precious treasure
at the center of my being.
This treasure is yours too,
the Universal Soul
that moves and expresses itself
through all of us.
Maybe one morning
you’ll rise too
and meet me
in the place
where past, present and future converge,
in the place
where true union is possible.
Forgiveness means freedom.
It is a gift you give first to yourself
and then to everyone else by extension.
When you are willing to live
from a place of true freedom
the resources appear
and you see beauty everywhere;
the voice speaks
and guides you closer
to what feels good;
the path ahead is lit brightly
so that you can find your way back home
to the warmest welcome
and the safety and comfort of good friends.
Who is the self
behind the stories
behind the words
behind what I have seen
behind what I have heard?
Who is this Self?
I keep looking;
I cannot find it.
I can’t see it or hear it
or taste it or touch it
or smell it…
But I can feel it.
It’s there when
I get still and silent
and go inside myself.
It’s behind the noise
and the heartbreak
and the dissatisfaction
and all the stories
of all the mistakes I made
and all the reasons
I can never be truly happy…
It’s there shining, smiling gently,
arms open wide,
ready to welcome me back home.
I love this Self.
And then I asked myself,
Why am I trying to hold it all together?
What if I let myself fall apart?
What if all the pieces fell,
and the wind blew some of them away,
and the rains washed others away,
and a broom swept still others away,
all that was left
were the pieces that mattered,
the pieces that couldn’t be
blown or washed or swept away…
And what if I took all those pieces
and began building myself again?
Or if some great mosaic artist found them
and created some new work of beauty?
I won’t know until I try.
Maybe I’ll let myself fall apart
and see what happens.