A new day, a new year. So what do you want to be different for you in 2017? What changes are you contemplating to move you closer to the life you long for? All living things are nourished by unconditional love and suffer when it is denied or withheld, so how can we bring more unconditional love into our life and the lives of everyone we touch? From what reservoir do we expect to find the unconditional love so essential for our mental, physical and spiritual health?
Someone recently asked me how I dealt with the fear of losing my most treasured possessions. I told him that I choose to think of my possessions not as things I own but as things that are temporarily loaned to me by the universe. They flow into my life for a time then move on. I said I don’t own my possessions any more than I own the oxygen I breathe or the warmth of the sun that wraps me in her life-giving embrace. Each is a gift that the universe brings into my life for a time and the only reasonable approach I can take, in relation to these gifts , is to appreciate and celebrate them for the length of time they are in my life and then bless them as they continue their journey.
Recently the wind roared across the Langley countryside with the inevitable loss of power. As I sat in the dark I was again reminded of how little actual ability we have to influence conditions beyond our personhood. What we retain, regardless of conditions, is our ability to choose how we will “show up” in the world. As we approach the season of giving we are bombarded with messages suggesting that particular things are the way to express our love and affection for those we care about.
Have you ever received an unexpected gift…a smile from a stranger, an insight from a song, a feeling of joy watching children play, awe at the sight of a flaming sunset…?
What we accept as truth bears no necessary relationship to objective reality. Belief alone is sufficient to validate our perception of truth. Humility of perception is the means of holding our “truths” lightly knowing they represent our truth rather than the truth.
What perspectives (truths) about me, others and/or the world have I revised or replaced when new information came along?
What did I learn about my truths as the result of this change in perspective?
Am I willing to consider that I may be holding onto other truths that may also change?
How does this impact my sense of certainty about what I think I know about me, others and/or the world?
We laugh when we yearn to cry our loneliness but fear the embarrassment that would surely follow such a naked revelation. We regress into bathroom humour in an attempt to recapture the acceptance that such childish musings provided us in our elementary school days of innocent ignorance. Sexual innuendo becomes the conversational substitute for authentic engagement. We surrender to superficiality, secretly hoping no one else notices.
I am looking out from my balcony seeing the varied textures of clouds splashed across the sky. A subdued light plays across the trees. Sometimes bright, sometimes muted. It is a magical view. I am taken on a journey to the earliest days of human kind and wonder how they experienced and interpreted a morning such as this. Did they reflect on it? Was it even part of their consciousness in their life and death struggle to survive another day? What was "the day" to them? There were no calendars, no clocks, only the moment to moment reality of now. My how far we’ve travelled from then to now. I can’t help but imagine that our relationship with measured time has complicated our perception. The cry of the enlightened is to return to the now rather than spending most of our time in the past and the future. How ironic that we have to learn what we knew intuitively.
Dawn’s early light spills out across the landscape like a brook meandering across the rocks, sharing all that it is with careless equality. Judging not the things it touches but offering itself wholly to all that comes within its reach. Like birdsong it includes everyone and everything within its circumference, sharing without obligation or expectation, seeking only to pour out its nature into the larger mosaic of life.
The other day I was sitting on my deck and noticed a shadow of a tree reflected on a wall nearby. It occurred to me that when we are living in our ego-constructed identity we are much like that shadow. While a shadow reflects the general outline of a thing it is a pale comparison to the thing itself. In the same way when we are showing up, in our own live and/or the lives of others, in a state of self-protection or behind one of our masks what we/others are able to perceive is no more than the shadow of our true self. Is it any wonder we feel unseen and disconnected when all we are willing to project is the shadow of our true self?
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