These questions as always made me to start reflect deeply. And this statement from Mark Nepo’s latest book that I am reading called “Endless Practice” added some clarity to the question above. The statement is “How can I stand before what life has to offer without removing myself and without drowning in it? We tend to fall to one side or the other; shutting down our feelings for fear of what they will do to us or following what we feel at all cost, fearing a life with no passion.”
I can so relate to that statement as I am currently struggling with the question – How can I stand before life without removing myself or without drowning in it? Right now if I leave myself in what life is offering me, I am drowning in being a demanding, judging, criticizing nasty person who has her own self protection paramount, who is making ‘her’ the central part of every story she is encountering. The fear of what this is doing to me is keeping me from experiencing life with passion – here I equate ‘passion’ with ‘Love.’
Experiencing life with passion does include feeling the pain as it is inevitable. But ‘pain’ is only painful when ‘I’ am the centre of every other’s story. The moment ‘I’ become the central part of the other’s behavior, I lose the capacity to try and understand and when I don’t understand, I will not be able to make adjustments. This results in the thinking of “How could she,” or “Why would she” etc. and the end result is a “poor me…” state of being which only drives one towards indifference and that’s more harmful than actually imposing and inflicting hurts.
My life currently is filled with loved ones who all are steering through varying degrees of mental health issues some labelled and others not. I feel the massive responsibility of helping them paddle through their oceans of pain while I am trying to keep afloat. The dangers of me drowning in the ‘poor me’ state of being are very real and to stay afloat is exhausting.
Again borrowing Mark Nepo’s words – “how can I withstand the tension of feeling both the truth of love and the truth of life, without minimizing either?”
What can I #stop in order to do that? What gestures are waiting inside me to be released by love or crisis?
Can I be like a massive gum tree standing tall and strong, forever embracing the sky, never turning away either from the harshness showered from above, or the hardness of the ground poking from underneath right through to the core?
Should loved ones troubles weigh me down or should the fact that I have love in my life lighten me up? How can I stand before what life has to offer – fully engaged without fear of drowning or being indifferent?
After much pondering, I come to the same answer as always – don’t know why I don’t recognize the answer immediately – here it is.
Giving all of me in the moment that I have, without making ‘ME’ as the centre of every unfolding story, without translating all happenings through the filters of ‘ME.’ When I stop being the centre story of all life, then I am capable of standing in the middle of life watching ‘Pleasure’ and ‘Pain’ with equal passion, strength and energy.
So what do I need to #stop doing in 2015, well actually from today – I do not need to make other’s pain, confusion, worries and anxieties etc., “My Story,” all about me, poor me – the victim.
What I can do however is – I can continue to love, and that’s all I have to offer – an unconditional love from moment to moment, each moment and only in the moment, because there is nothing else outside of this moment right now.
Unconditional Love towards myself and unconditional love towards others -that’s my intention and what do I need to do to make that more than an intention?
Remembering that I am neither a martyr nor a saint – I just live life with love attending to whatever is coming at me with total acceptance and gratitude – moment to moment, right here and right now, starting each moment fresh – if slipped, which I will — pick up, dust off and remind myself that only this moment exists and continue to love.
That is my intention moving forward and into 2015. What is yours? Waiting to hear…
With Love and Respect