I think it’s easy to look outside myself and find a reason to be upset or angry or sad. I think it’s easy to think someone else is the cause of my suffering. I think it’s far more difficult and courageous to stop and turn around, to turn inward, and face that the darkness I see outside of myself comes from within myself. I think it is the greatest challenge to take complete responsibility for my life and all of my reactions and to just sit with my own thoughts, watching them rise and fall. Isn’t that what spiritual practice is all about? And, isn’t it why “many are called but few are chosen?” Maybe we’re all called but do not all respond to this Call at the same time. Doesn’t it make sense that there might not be too many people who want to take on such a task? It is hard and it is painful. And, it is healing. That is what my summer has been about.
I haven’t blogged much nor for awhile having instead to face within myself the old and persistent patterns of self doubt and self defeat. I have had to make peace with myself -with every decision and with every action I have taken and to finally, stop judging myself. This isn’t easy. The result is just now coming to fruition. In fact, this isn’t just the result of a summer in retreat but rather, this summer in retreat has been a way to review my life and to make peace with all that I am now; good and bad, in sickness and in health, for better and for worse. To finally consider the vow we take in a marriage as a vow between this small self and Something Greater. Taking myself as the bride/groom and allowing myself to be loved. To do this, I have had to stop -to give up. What am I giving up? Trying so damn hard. I’ve tried too hard to overcome what I felt were obstacles but, in fact, were judgments. There isn’t anything to “get.” There isn’t anywhere to “go.” There isn’t something to fulfill. There is nothing to prove. Only when I hit a terrible rock bottom did the realization really come – all along I was only seeking something inside of me that seemed to allude me.
Sooner or later, we all come to this place. And, it’s not easy because there are so many distractions keeping us so very busy. Do we keep busy to avoid seeing this? I believe we do.
And – sometimes we take time out. This weekend I have the privilege of facilitating a workshop on a small book I wrote, Buddhist Footprints in a Christian Heart, and reviewing this material, I finally felt a deep compassion for myself and for this obsessive dedication I have had to this spiritual seeking and pilgrimage I have been on. I finally let myself off the hook, I think, and looking over these experiences, fell in love. Maybe, finally, with myself. Actually, I think I just feel in Love. In Love.
It is as if I just dropped in completely. This “dropping in” is a way to be very present. In this present moment and only in this moment, I fall into Love itself. It’s always been there inside of me. I felt this very palpably this summer, ending this 7 week retreat. I fell in love. Not with someone. Not with a situation. If anything, the situation or circumstances would have been a reason to doubt. I just allowed this falling. This witnessing which created a space to watch this process unfold without trying to make it happen.
Just falling…. into love. Finally. It’s very surreal. There have been many obstacles again, challenging even this experience. I just watch. But, from this place, without judgement, I witness and in that witnessing? great compassion.
So, this weekend, I will be sharing this pilgrimage with others and in so doing, make peace with all the seeking which led me back to the place it all began, within my own heart. My wish for you? Keep going until you fall in love. Just fall in love. Let’s not make anyone else responsible. Let’s not condemn anyone for failing to love us. Let’s just love.
Let’s be in love. Love alone Is. Let us be with It and with each other. All of us. Without exception.