A Path With Heart, and the topic concerned compassion, co-dependency, boundaries and self-esteem.
It seemed appropriate, given yesterday's belated post about learning to say no, and so I took those thoughts with me on my walk -- thoughts about being compassionate with ourselves; about giving, not out of fear, but out of abundance; about being honest with ourselves about what we need.
And as I walked this little refrain began to accompany my steps:
I can only be what I can be;
I can only do what I can do;
I can only give what I can give --
Life's not what it's not;
It is what it is.
But then I kept thinking about what I learned in my courses last term, about what happens when you put two or more people together in an open and safe space, and how the sum of what happens there is greater than the sum of the parts: it's a bit like that passage in Matthew 18:20 -- "Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I also." If you conflate those two concepts, then God becomes the energy that flows between us -- or perhaps it's that the energy that flows between us becomes Divine?
At any rate, the refrain went through some evolutions, and became this:
What we can be;
What we can do;
What we can give --
Is so much more
When we can be and do and give together.
So then I came back and found this image: a perfect pristine canoe, suspended above the water, completely apart from the world. But the canoe wasn't born to hang there; it was created to be in the water, to balance, to move forward, to ride the waves.
Though time for rest, retreat, and renewal is important to achieve the self awareness that can fuel us for the journey, it's not enough to perfect ourselves apart from our communities. Humans are primarily social animals, and at some point we need to engage, to get back into the fray and paddle as best we can. We can be all about looking good and seeming together, but the real test is this: can we stay afloat when we get back into the water; when we begin again to do and be and give what life asks of us?