Tag Archive | love

Courageous Grace

“Imagine you are walking in the woods and you see a small dog sitting by a tree.  As you approach, it suddenly lunges at you, teeth bared.  You are frightened and angry.  But then you notice that one of its legs is caught in a trap.  Immediately your mood shifts from anger to concern:  You see that the dog’s aggression is coming from a place of vulnerability and pain.”

-Tara Brach

True Refuge:  Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart

Opening ourselves to a wider understanding of another person’s perspective is the first step towards cultivating a compassionate heart.  We can learn to do this by becoming quiet in the easy moments.  Themes of our thinking may or may not show their constancy, but we soon learn individual thoughts come and go like soft waves lapping and retreating along a coastline.

By familiarizing ourselves with our thinking’s lack of structure, we realize that others may be experiencing an onslaught of confusion in their minds as well.  If they happen to attach to a negative or fearful thought sequence, this may spill over into their world experience.  They may lash out or in some instances, shut down completely.

If we are left to look at the surface of what they are presenting, we remain stuck in fear right alongside them.  If we open ourselves to the possibility of a deeper understanding, compassion naturally replaces our hurtful interpretations with grace.

From grace, we no longer need to concern ourselves with another’s behavior.  All we need is to recognize the mutual beauty that exists between us far beneath the surface of what appears in the world.

The only question is, how deep are you willing to go?

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Small Moments

As you come to embody your personal experience more fully, you will begin to notice life in a new way.  Living in Presence affords you the beauty of seeing Love’s abundance surrounding you.

Small moments become deeply moving as your heart awakens.

With all this noticing of Beauty, you come to know other truths about yourself.  You may find searing judgments and criticism below the surface of your life.  In fact, you may be shocked at how harshly you speak to yourself.

Therefore, as mindfulness breathes awareness through your experience, you have to fill your emotional stores replete with forgiveness.

Yet, as you grow your heart in its most Loving direction, you will become more adept at handling the hurtful stories you tell yourself.

Space begins to form around difficulty.  From this opening, healing may enter and wisdom may rise to your consciousness.

The greatest salve of humanity is forgiveness.  Forgiveness of the world, forgiveness of ourselves and forgiveness of each other.

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Loved

A perfect sky of endless blue greeted me with no judgment

Within its infinite reach, the sky held space for the changing weather

Rain, sleet or thunder moved through it unencumbered

No judgment

Could my soul become like the sky?

Could I hold my humanity, in all its heartbreak and sunshine, and still be endless?

I looked to the sky for validation.

The sky did not answer me.

Instead, its vastness descended upon me and washed away my wondering

It did not change me or challenge me

It only welcomed all that I was, all that I am and all that I might be

Part sky and part Truth

Endless and finite

Beauty and fear

Held tightly and set free

Loved.

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The Deep Heart of Listening

If you want to deeply listen to someone else, you first have to be clear on what your inner experience is.  You have to connect to the present moment and let your thoughts, judgments and feelings come into your awareness while not attaching to them.

The miracle of listening this way allows the talker to unfold into their own brilliance.  Without letting our busy-body minds interfere with their process, an invitation is extended so that Truth may enter.

When Truth enters, healing occurs.

The story and its circumstances are not altered, yet the talker is allowed an opportunity for inner transformation if they are ready for it.

However, as a listener, if we are invested in validating, interjecting and sharing our own ideas about how this story ‘should be’, we block the flow of the miracle.

Yesterday, I mindfully listened to a woman who shared a harrowing and unjust life story.  Instead of responding with my words or gestures, I let the story sweep over me.  I saw inside myself the judgments, labels and rising tides of emotions.

These were mine.  Not hers.

But because I waited through that uncomfortable urge to say something, the story slowly shifted to immense beauty.  While it included heartbreak, the lights of resilience started to shine through it.

My labels and judgments were soon replaced by sheer awe.

When awe enters, it is easy to detach and yield with an open heart to the Love that lives inside struggle.

Where else could we yield?  What miracles await us if we simply let go?

I am ready to listen.

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Honor it All

The root of all anger is fear.  Fear of not being seen, of not being heard and ultimately, not being loved.

Sit with that for a moment.

Where is there anger inside you?

Where are you holding onto something that needs releasing?

There is no need to change any feelings of anger, just notice where this anger might live within you.

Watch it.

Maybe it will teach you something.  Maybe it won’t.

Anger can make us feel powerful when our fear seems as if it may overtake us.  Anger seems to protect us.  Anger feels like the easier option when our authentic, hurtful thoughts bubble to the surface.

Consider anger might be masking something.  Just consider.  Honor wherever you are.  Angry, upset, peaceful, joyful, lonely, sad, happy.

Honor all of it.

We cannot know the power of our light if we do not investigate the dark.

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The Shift

Let’s get back to you.

Let’s get back to your story.

What are you telling yourself right now?

Take a deep breath and pause.

Listen.

Really listen to your story.

Is it kind?  Are roots of compassion flowing through it?  Is it scary?  Are there judgments of less-than and not-good-enough swimming through your head?

We are taught from a very young age to believe everything our minds tell us.

What if these thoughts weren’t true?

Would you feel freedom or terror?

Maybe both?

By observing the thoughts rumbling through our heads we make room for grace.

Who or what is watching these thoughts?

Is it you?  Is it me?

Is it all of Us?

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Going or Staying

As you connect to your True Nature, you will find life does not fit you the same.  Changes often start on a subconscious level.  Subtle layers are added to and subtracted from your everyday world.  Then, after enough of these layers push and pull against your normal experience, the tides shift and sweep away what no longer serves you.

This means you may have to let some people in your life go.

Not everyone, but some.

Some may be angry with you for changing.  They may try to use guilt to keep you where they are.

You are not better for needing to go.  They are not worse for having to stay.

Both different points on the path of awakening.

I used to mistakenly attribute others leaving my life to deep, unchangeable personal flaws.  My first error was believing that my wholeness was contingent on others’ acceptance of me.  My second was not knowing that I was projecting my own non-acceptance of myself onto others.  What I saw in them was what I was too afraid to admit.  

I did not accept myself.

Then, this too, started to change and shift.

Now, I see that as a personal self, acceptance in a traditional sense is unobtainable.  Personal selves are messy.  We will never be free of mistakes.  

What remains True for Me, what holds me together at the seams is within me.  

There is such Love within, personal selves and stories dissipate in this awareness.  It makes being human bearable.  

It is steady and sure. 

If people come or if people go, this Love does not change. 

It will not leave.

This eternal surety is yours for the taking.