Tag Archive | being present

The Tunnel of Life

In the tunnel of life we are always told to keep facing forward. Our eyes must remain fixed in place at all costs. Even on our most broken days, we must keep marching towards the tunnel’s illuminated endpoint.

The light at the end of the tunnel holds the All of Everything we need to finally be whole. Redemption awaits us there. The banquet tables of celebration are set in anticipation of our arrival.

We are not to question anything. We are not to notice that the light seems to move farther from us with each step. The light is not for the weary of faith. It is for the believers. Believers never question.

Eyes forward, no questions.

Keep marching.

The world and its wisdom shouts at us to keep trudging. Even if we stumble and twist our ankle, we grab some crutches and go.

The light waits for no one.

We march in packs mostly, but today, as exhaustion settles into me, I find myself unable to keep pace. At first, I slow my gait. Eventually, when this does not quell my malaise, I come to a halt.

I am not going to make it to the light.

My hands scrape down the tunnel as I fold my legs into a seat on the floor.

It is cold. It is damp.

It reeks of utter defeat.

I try to comfort myself. I gave it everything I had.

It was not enough.

I begin to accept the quiet possibility that I am not enough. I am not made for this journey. The light is not meant for me.

My heart drops low in my chest. As my senses adjust to the absence of light, a spark at the edge of my despair catches my eye. Fear forces me to avert my gaze.

Yet, it is persistent.

Soon, the all of my sadness is alight with bursting, blinding, brightness. It fills my being, my heart, and my soul. The entire tunnel is shining. I am able to see in all directions. The past, the present, the future.

As I take in this new source of light, I notice for the first time the full magnificence of the tunnel as it is.

Right here, right now.  This moment, this beauty.

It is everything.

Until now, I never considered the tunnel was beauty.  No one ever said the tunnel itself was beautiful.

If I never make it out, I have enough right here to sustain me.  Here I am fed by eternal, untouchable beauty and reminded of my inner light.

The tunnel and I are one.

The tunnel is the light.

Therefore, I am the light.

I am the light.

I have always been the light.

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New Beginnings

What if today, if only for a moment, there was a total trust in life’s unfoldment?

Could you rest?

I cannot make any promises for you on life’s behalf.

Life knows better than we do.

Pain and loss often teach us more than laughter and joy.

Collect each experience, as best as you can, and place them in the basket of your soul.  The depth of these experiences will soon surpass your need for happiness.

For happiness is fleeting and leaves as quickly as it arrives.

Truth, the kind that holds our being together through the storms, can only find us when life is unexpected.

This is how we stretch and grow.

This is why endings sometimes hurt us.

All we have is this moment.

Best to leave the rest up to tomorrow.

 

 

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Beauty is Nigh

I have been climbing this mountain for a while now.  The path is uncertain and jagged rocks claw at my boots causing countless falls.

I am covered in dirt.

I am tired.

Yet, I keep going, keep pushing.  I am bound to break through to the light.

Hard work means success.

Hard work means success?

Why do I not see the progression?

Where is the top?  Is it buried in the clouds?  Will it never lend itself to me?

I have to keep going.

Think positive.  Be brave.  Keep moving towards the light.

My legs ache with exertion, my back caves into the pressure.  I am not sure how much further I can go.

In my tired confusion my eyes skim an upturned root a second too late.   I crash face first into the mud-covered path.  Pain sears through my skull as it connects to the ground beneath me.

I am jolted to a dead-stop.

Fear immediately washes over me.  No one has ever given me permission to quit.  All the heroes’ journeys are about motion.  Movement.  Doing.  Slaying. Fighting for your Life.

What about a journey that stops right in the middle?

Did I fail?

Am I a failure?

I give up completely.

The pain is too great to continue.

I have nothing more to give as this path has robbed me of my hope.

I flip myself over and sit squarely upon the very root that upended me.

My head tilts forward as the tears begin to catch at my feet, mingling with the puddles and earth below me.

Out of the corner of a tear-stained eye, I notice movement. A cardinal flutters nearby.  The bright red punctures the landscape with truth.

Once my eyes affix to it, she gently floats away so my gaze aligns with the path behind us.

All I see is beauty.

All I am is beauty.

The light filters in through the towering pines that flank the pathway.  This light dapples and dances across the greenery before us.

As I soak in the majesty around me, I understand that the only fear I was running from was my own.  This fear masked a deep, guarded pain that I keep hidden by always moving.

I have to stop running.

It is time to be still.

The only thing running gets you is tired.

Beauty is already here.

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Drop the Illusion

Once upon a moment in the story of time and space, I believed that I could change.  I believed that what I did would impact outcomes and shape the tides of transformation.

This was a lot of work.

I was so busy, and by design, that my ‘work’ to control my life consumed me.

One day, as I set about my work to make my life what I wanted, the veil of illusion lifted.

Life was unfolding and I was simply along for the ride.

While I am grateful to know this and happy to slow down my efforts of control, I have to accept the truths I have been avoiding.

My life may not change to the story I want.

I may not find peace or be free from fear.

Yet, in acceptance of what is, I am finding a degree of freedom.  Inaction is a balm to my overtaxed soul.

With this acceptance, hidden pain I had long ago buried has floated its way back to my awareness.

Instead of working hard to eliminate this pain, I am letting it be, letting it unfold.

Letting it teach me.

Drop the Illusion

 

 

Truth Sparkles

It is perfectly ok to polish the externals of your life until they shine.

Shiny things are pretty.

They also use their speckles of light to catch your attention and move you away from your Home.

Home is where all things are equal.

There is nothing to shine.

There is nothing to be.

There is nothing to do.

Truth sparkles on its own accord.

 

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What We Carry

Through my entire existence, I have been labeled by others and self-identified as sensitive.  I did not know I could change the oft unflattering connotations that this label has held for me.  I have carried the burden of being so completely outside the norm that it broke me.  It broke me hard.

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Eventually, I realized that it does not matter if I am or am not sensitive.  I am dropping this story as much as I can in as many ways possible. So what if I am?  So what if you are?  Let us look instead at where these false assumptions about ourselves lead us.  If we stay stuck in the personal, if we stay married to the labels, then we miss the entire point.

Every single one of us is somehow ‘not enough’ or ‘too much’ or ‘too this’ or ‘too that’.  If you want to spend your days in judgment determining what are acceptable levels of these traits in yourself and others, then this is your right.  Maybe sometimes a little good will come from these judgments. In my experience, this is rarely the case.  I believe labels and our judgments about them keep us looking outward where no solace can be found.

If you want to keep focusing outward, I hope you are able to at least consider the crosses you bear only hurt because you carry them.  

Lay them down.

 

 

 

The Stages of the Path

A spiritual path is not chosen.  It is given to everyone.  Every single one of us has the chance to journey inward to our highest self, or remain trapped in the machinations of the seemingly unfixable external world.  Honestly, I’m not comfortable with either, but the inward path, while currently quite painful, makes more sense to me than anything that unfolds in the world.

The first stage is recognizing that we are more than our bodies.  That part is easy.  Once our self-identified egos realize that we are open to the Truth beyond our personal selves, this is where it becomes treacherous.  Most of us abandon the path at the first sign of trouble.  That is okay.  Whatever you do or don’t do aligns perfectly with however the eventual awakening of the planet happens.  Do not worry one bit if going inward hurts too much because believe me, it does.  Maybe some day you will be ready, maybe some day you won’t, you are perfect right where you are at.  As much as I’ve tried to avoid going beyond the self, it hurts me more not to.  So, I keep going, one painful step at a time.  On to the next stage…

This is where you understand that there are two thought systems in your mind.  One that is full of judgment, blame, guilt, fear, comparison, lack…these all are personal self-ways to stay mired in the story of life.  The other thought system is LOVE.  This isn’t love in the traditional sense (as related to a personal self or selves).  This love doesn’t transform the outer world, this is the love that transcends it.  Very different.  This is the love that accepts the world exactly as it is because it is beyond the world.  This probably doesn’t make a lot a sense, that’s the trap built into it.  It seems to make no sense to keep the personal self denying the Truth. Even slightly entertaining the thought of something beyond the self might make you angry, upset or spark a myriad of malaise and maladies.  If it seems like too much trouble, then it is.  Let it go and if being a self in the world works for you, then keep going as you are.  Nothing to change, nothing to do, all is well.  However, if something inside you is recognizing even a tiny speck of the truth beyond the veil of the world, then you might make it your life’s work to consciously discern from the two thought systems in your mind.  If you do this, it is the hardest work you will ever do.  Your personal self will fight you tooth and nail.  It will be subtle, sneaky, overt, mean, seductive, and whatever else it can throw at you to keep you engaged in its story.  The personal self knows if you are outwardly focused on making the story of your life different, better, shinier… then you don’t have to do the work of letting it all go.

The next stage is the letting go part.  I’m not there yet so all I can write about is what I imagine this to look like.  This is where the thought system of love wins all the time.  There is no need or desire to change the self, the world or anyone or anything all.  This is where we are liberated from thinking we need to change anything about ourselves.  There is nothing wrong with us.  The only idea that is wrong is that we believe something that isn’t true.  We are more than our bodies.  Believing we aren’t is the source of all our pain, separation and angst.  However, I will say this again, if you are at peace with the story of your life and the world as is, it is okay to stick with it.  On the other hand, if something feels off or like you will never quite belong here, maybe consider the inward path.

I used to think that it was all up to me.  It’s not.  It is inevitable.  We all awaken in our own time and at our own pace.  This I know for sure.

“The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”

-Steven Pressfield, The War of Art