Feelings Nothing More Than Feelings

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I am just learning to appreciate the role my emotions play in assisting me in discerning and listening to the wisdom of my soul. As I do, I see and touch once again the unimaginable depths of Divine Love. And once again, I meet my own closed areas, my own fear that I may not be truly worth of such Love. Then through some sacred Grace, I know that this Love is freely given to me if I will just freely open to it. This is the place where the ever-flowing energy of pouring myself out leads me to the place where that same energy fills me, reflecting the presence of Love in everything and every moment if I am open.

So, I am slowly learning to be with my emotions; to be present to my feelings. For these are divine gifts that help open me, soften me, lead me toward my authentic self, free of the protective layers that bind me. Still, I have much growing to do. I get caught up in feeling that I need to compensate for my imperfection. I feel that there is some better way to say it, do it, be it and that I don’t have it. Ironically, having the correct words empty of correct presence would serve nothing and no one. It is my openness to presence or perhaps, being in the ‘correct experience’, that conveys the important message – not perfect words.

Love is I feel, the meaning of existence and it is my heart’s desire to be present so that what I am is what I love. For, what I love breathes life into how I live, what I do and all of this energizes what I emerge to be. I wish to live more fully in the awareness of the outward and the inward movements of my life. As I welcome this ‘all inclusive attention’ I am better able to hold my emotions letting them flow and understanding the gift of feelings as nothing more than feelings. And in this way, I open more fully to Love and Love in turn flows through me informing and evolving me, and the world.

“Sacred books we are, for the infinite camps in our souls. Every act reveals G*d and expands G*d’s being.” Meister Eckhart

 

 

 

 

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Serving Rather Than Achieving

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Having grown up in a large, dysfunctional family, I internalized the sense that earning love and approval were grounded in achieving success in the world. Self, chores, school and eventually career were measured by their intrinsic worldly value. Underneath this current of get out there and ‘do it’ there was a river of love and belonging that felt predicated on achieving. So, not so surprisingly, it took me a long time to dive deeper and surface in a new place that compassionately encompassed that personal history and moved beyond it. The roots of that new landscape are fecund and grounded in serving rather than achieving. Underneath this new landscape of being present here and now ‘to serve’ there is the energy of love and compassion that feel predicated on co-creating. So, serving rather than achieving becomes the means of co-creation in the world.

There are moments where the pull of my family life and achieving surface as distractions that I need to catch and release as I witness my authentic self and gently allow myself to be drawn more and more toward my soul’s discernment of what is real. This leads me deeper into loving and compassionate service.

Recently, one of the people I work with who is crippled by illness and bed ridden taught me anew the vulnerability of receiving and the gifts of opening and accepting. The encounter revolved around my offering Reiki for the first time to this person who has been bed ridden for more than a year. Disabled and living with the expanding diminishment of an illness that will end in death, this person has become bitter and closed. I have visited for many months now and offer what comfort through companionship I am able. I suggested Reiki and demonstrated on myself exactly what would occur. This person reluctantly agreed to try it caustically asking first, ‘Will it give my legs back?’ I responded, ‘No. But it may feel comforting to the emotional pain you feel about the loss of your legs.’

And so I served this patient through Reiki and once again touched the hem of authentic inward healing in those places we are socialized never to speak about. Just two human beings, in full and aware presence in, through and with each other sharing energy through the heart’s hands.

As I reflect on this watershed moment in our relationship, I am overwhelmed by the joy of serving. No thunder, no lightening bolts – just the gentle softening of a suffering human being – the opening to being fully seen, the vulnerability of our humanity. And touching humanity in this way fills me with awe at our capacity to care for each other. I am humbled in the wake of such ‘aliveness’. And, my capacity to serve expands as I wholly/holy surrender to this person – this amazing teacher- who serves me.

“I live in him, am him, am him-as-me Living as me, with me, as me-with-him.”   Rumi

Drawing Me Forward

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What a great laudable exchange: to leave the things of time for those of eternity, to choose the things of heaven for the goods of earth, to receive the hundred-fold in place of one, and to possess a blessed and eternal life. We pray so as to discover what we already have—the incomparable treasure hidden in the field of the world and of the human heart.   St. Claire of Assisi

Autumn is a rich and textured season of nature’s colorful transitions often referred to as fallow time. I always visit my parents’ resting place and adorn their grave with autumn flowers and other symbols of fall’s harvest. It is a peaceful ritual of each season for me and especially poignant in the beauty of autumn. Now that both of my parents have passed, I truly appreciate the metaphorical gifts of fall as they present themselves to me. I now come to understand more closely the deep ways my parents entered the fall of their lives. The wisdom with which they met their physical diminishments and embraced each day as the gift of be-ing alive.

From this place where I stand, I experience the interior movement and wisdom of Love’s infinite energy drawing me forward. I am aware of my parents as an integral part of Divine Love  beckoning me onward and it is a profoundly hopeful experience. This inner way of knowing and feeling the eternal nature of Love lends a meaning and pleasure to adorning the heart stone that symbolizes their time here with each other and me. It becomes a sacred ritual for me – an affirmation of presence : what was, what is and what will be evermore.

And so it is that now in this moment in the silence of my heart I give thanks for the gift of this day and pray for the life of the world…

Bless to me my days as I seek new ways to know You dwelling in the map of my heart. Bless to me my belief, guiding me beyond the ways of the self toward the rich mystery of your Love. Bless me with wisdom as I attend to my journey and the seasons of my life as labyrinthine paths of daylight and darkness – yearning for my own unfolding, and eternally longing to be drawn forward to You.

“For as the body is clad in the cloth, and the flesh in the skin, and the bones in the flesh, and the heart in the whole, so are we, soul and body, clad in the Goodness of G*d, and enclosed.”   Julian of Norwich