Of varying form and purpose, we all arrive in a beautiful and powerful way – the key is to remain here not with force but with formidable grace.
Hidden inside us all is a cozy little spot where we can find respite from the heat of the sun, from the fear of intruders or encroachers, and where we can feel cradled and protected.
At first glance it may not even be noticeable, blending in with the roots and trunk of who we are. But, it’s there, between the knots and the twists that define our experiences and have grown us into this being.
To some, the nook may look like an imperfection. Some may see it as a weakness, a failing, or space to fill in or cover up. But this treasured gap, this space within, is of great value. For this refuge tucked just so can be bravely opened up to become a haven for others as well. The meek, the tired, the lonely, the lost, or simply those just wishing for a moment of cool, reliable coverage, can gather here in this nook. No matter how many come, when we rest here together we find plenty of space to live and breathe…just as we are.
Every day, I tenderly pluck and sort the unwanted guests between the treasured plants in the garden of this life of mine. I carefully reach between the stalks and flowers I choose to keep and arrange them all just so.
And, even with the most careful attention, I never leave my garden without scrapes, brush marks and bruises.
Yes, some of the most treasured plants in my garden have thorns. I move with particular sensitivity around them lest they snag my flesh. And somehow even as they cut me, I am still able to see their beauty and feel their special worth. They reach out and brush against me as if they just want to touch, to say “isn’t this all so grand that we are here?!”
It is at that moment when I am wounded but still capable of loving – even those plants with thorns – that I recognize that this coexistence is the essence of thriving.
These days have felt so heavy, so serious, and rather dark…so much sourness and bitterness. I get it – our experiences are supposed to be varied – not all sweet and easy to digest – and those moments that are toughest on the tastebuds could actually be what is needed in the end for optimal health.
I also know that as I strive to make forward progress, even as I check tasks off the list and move effectively towards growth and change, if I get caught up in what sour and bitter flavors are to come, I may miss out on the tastiest treats yet.
If I can find room to smile, to laugh, to accept all that stands before me just as it is, I may find that what I thought too sour to handle is sitting right there just smiling back at me, waiting till I am ready to dive in, knowing it will do me good.
Love everyone and everything around you as if it were an arm, a leg, an extension of you.
We are all formed of the same chemicals and the same energy as everything around us. In that way we are all connected – we are one.
So, when we love beyond the perimeter of what we perceive as our structure and identity, we exist in a pure space of love…of ease…of freedom.
Oh, but wait…that would require pure love for oneself! Perhaps the true challenge lies in forming a steady stream of love for ourselves in order to feel pure connection through love beyond us.
Love requires truth. Truth requires fearless looking. Looking requires unconditional feeling. Feeling requires objective knowing.
So what if we open our eyes to see without fear, our mouths to speak authentically and empathetically, our hearts to feel without labels and judgement, and our minds to accept unlimited possibilities?
What if we can each find the “coeur”age to unconditionally love ourselves, to bathe ourselves in love?
Then, could we live as one love?
There are thinks I follow through on and thinks that follow me.
There are thinks that motivate and thinks that discourage.
There are thinks that build me up and thinks that crumble me to the ground.
There are thinks I think of doing and thinks that do on their own.
There are thinks I engage and thinks I avoid.
There are thinks I want to have and thinks that seem to taunt me.
There are thinks I hope to have and thinks that linger long past their usefulness.
It seems my thinks are here to stay.
Thankfully, I know they are not all that is me…they are just my thinks…just resting in a small crevasse of my being…
…and it is okay to let some get away.
Whatever you do, do it with the essence of ease.
It doesn’t mean stop what you are doing. It means stay connected to your source, as if you are carrying your home with you, so you are not impatiently trying to get somewhere.
Slow down from the inside, even if the outside is wanting or needing to move swiftly. You can move swiftly, full of purpose and zeal, but on the inside remain steady, slow moving.
When I slow down on the inside, I find I don’t need to push so hard on the outside because I know I’m already where I should be.
Suppressed sorrow, inner anger, fear, hatred, and injustice boil inside of me.
My breath, my breath – it struggles to move. I feel all so intensely but for the capacity to breathe – to imbibe the life force of my being.
I judge with ignorance. I judge from a place of intolerance. I judge inaction and I judge action.
I accuse. I blame. I judge. I shame…it goes on and on.
I carry my own sufferings as well as yours, knowing the answer is to relieve from within, to activate a force of love so great that others and myself cannot help but be moved to peace.
I begin to see the mistakes and inadequacies and to release myself and subsequently you from the shackles of limited beliefs and misperceptions.
I begin to feel the shift. I begin to feel myself escaping…not as a victim but as a beacon in a rising space of forgiveness, freedom and love. The hate softens and I then hold so much more compassion, kindness and understanding for all the sufferings than ever before.
And, as this life would have it, the weight bears down once more on my throat, taking away my voice, closing off my airway, and so I begin again turning inward.
These times when the breath cannot be freed, I must turn to love and relieve the anger from within.
When I learn to let go of anger, you begin to feel ease.
When I stop shaming myself, you become less judgmental.
When I no longer let my past determine my future, you gain hope and excitement.
When I can forgive myself for every and any mistake, shortcoming, and perceived failure, you let go of regrets.
When I remain in a positive state, your fears begin to fade away.
When I unconditionally love myself through the darkness and fears that arise, I invite your inner light to shine.
When I love me, you love more.
When I free myself, I free you.
So proud of you for letting those tears go, no longer clinging to the emotions to which they had attached themselves.
When you cry, I do not see sadness. I see freedom. I feel the release of beliefs and emotions that are out of balance with your natural state of being.
When you cry, I see you coming home to the love and peace within you and coming into a greater knowing of who you really are.
Enjoy the cry my friend. Let the river of love crest it’s banks and pour out of you so that you can once more rest along its edge or swim in its soft currents as it washes away the imbalances, injustices, inequities, and imperfections that may feel as if they are confining you.
Let love flow freely on every tear. Fall into the comfort and release of crying.