Friday, December 17, 2010

At peace with the dance of the world

"All that we possess and are is a gift given us by the wholeness from which we come and to which we return... Awakening to oneness, we discover that we have the same last name as the mountains, the streams, and the redwood trees... 

When our identity expands to include everything, we find a peace with the dance of the world.  The ocean of life rises and falls within us -- birth and death, joy and pain, it is all ours and our heart is full and empty, large enough to embrace it all."
  -- Jack Kornfield, After the Ecstasy, the Laundry

It sounds wonderful, doesn't it?  We read this and think, Yes!  That's what I'm hungering for!  And then time passes, and the excitement fades and the practicality of making room for spiritual practice becomes less obvious... and then, BOOM!  Something new hits, and you're wishing you'd stayed on top of things so you had the resources to cope.

That was me yesterday; I spent much of the day counseling, advising, comforting, and I found myself SO MANY TIMES sitting there, on the couch, staring out the window, feeling helpless as the person beside me continued to wipe tears from her eyes.  What can I say?  I thought.  But mostly, "I got nothing."  And, occasionally, when a statement of hope escaped my lips, "Ouch" -- because those mostly seem to come back at me as angry projectiles.

I definitely seem to have lost my chops as a counselor.  But it's also true that the older we get, the problems get more complex and the solutions less easy to find or offer.  And so I think it's time to forgive the poor Transcendental Meditation instructor who, when I asked for help with a straying husband some 35 years ago, said "You need to take up meditation."  I didn't do it -- and I was furious with him for giving what I saw as a totally pat, self-serving answer to my pain.  Now I see myself longing to say the same thing.

Maybe it IS pat and self-serving.  All I know is that it helps -- and I've been missing it.  So I made time this morning, and I'm so grateful.  I may not be "back in the zone," but at least I found a few minutes of peace.  I wish you the same...

1 comment:

KimQuiltz said...

Giant hugs to you this morning!!