There’s no getting around it. 2011 was a bad year upon a not-go-good year, going into an iffy year. There is not one person who has not suffered in some way, innocently or by their own behavior and actions.
We are all in this confusion and void together. It’s not the best way to be united as a country, as a people…I’d rather be dancing…but there is strength in standing together and facing it down.
Whether your grief has been emotional, physical, economic, or spiritual…or a combination of more than one or all of the above, the wall of pain can be walked through. You can come out the other side not only intact, but with greater peace. I may not have the answers to get you through it, but perhaps I can lean upon others for inspiration to help guide you.
It’s hard being in a void. The economy…environment…government…world unrest…nuclear threats. Who knows what the heck will happen to the world tomorrow…next week…next month. Election year only makes the void echo insanely because it is the same ole, same ole, with few promises acted upon. Andrew Peterson, EdD, in his book “The next ten minutes” looks at the void a bit differently though. He absolutely agrees it is a place of uncertainty and how we human beings are not wired to like uncertainty. But he happily goes on to say about the void, “…it’s the gap between the poles, where all things are possible. It is, in fact, the present moment.” He’s particularly delighted about that, because that’s what his book is all about: being in the present moment.
All spiritual books point to this present moment. “Be in the moment, in the now.” But when the present moment and the now are painful, why would you ever want to go there?! Give me a great fantasy escape any day.
But I get their point. In spite of our humanness to avoid uncertainty, we cannot avoid the lure of beauty. And there is beauty in the moment, even if it means just paying attention to how you breathe and how you don’t even have to think about it to stay alive. Can you imagine how tedious it would be if you had to remind yourself every few seconds to breathe?! If I want to be reminded to “breathe…just breathe” or to “take a deep breath,” I want it to be because I am so excited about something that if I don’t slow down my breathing, I will surely faint dead away in pure delight. But it doesn’t have to be as common as paying attention to your breathing…whatever causes you to concentrate so heavily that you hear nothing else around you…that’s the present moment. That’s the now. That’s pure delight. That’s the best escape fantasy going.
I certainly hope that Andrew Peterson is right, and that all things are possible at this moment. Because that’s how I want my dreams to come true…when I’m not paying attention because I’m having so much fun, just being.
Next I turn to Julie Cameron, a particular favorite artist/writer of mine (The Artist’s Way, Transitions, etc.). In an inspirational prayer book she offered this consolation:
“Sometimes people fail us in terrible ways. We are betrayed, abandoned, cast aside. In times of such personal trauma, we must hold to the larger picture….I realize that while people may indeed fail me and turn away, there is an underlying goodness to the Universe which brings to me new friends and new situations. These gifts heal and soothe me. I see the merciful hand of providence despite my pain.”
The larger picture can mean many different things to each of us. For me, it’s the idea of goodness; that it can exist in one human being or another without ever disappearing completely. When you can reach outside of your pain and grab on with all your might to that goodness – kindness and respect – and offer it to others, you find the friends who are connected to the higher picture and can elevate you to that higher place of healing and peace. And, better yet…
sometimes those friends even find you.
But for me it’s Don Miguel Ruiz and his book, “The Four Agreements” that really brings things home on this idea of we humans suffering at the hands of others. Maybe I’m quoting directly or maybe I’m paraphrasing…I’m most certainly jumping around…but he gets the credit for the following perceptions:
We all love the best we can. We all can trust ourselves. We all suffer.
We can’t always give what the other wants or needs. Sometimes, someone leaving your life or disappointing you is a gift. It hurts to be with some people. But the hurts will heal. When the hurt heals, you can choose what you really want, how you really want to relate to others. You don’t need to trust others as much as you need to trust yourself to make the right choice to be with them or not. Your sadness, anger or humiliation will disappear. When you establish a new belief you won’t be in that hell of pain ever again. You will become immune to disapproval, shame and harsh resentments.
As for the gossips, the hell that they create when you go your own way, don’t take it personally. It won’t affect you. You can stand in that hell, in serenity. The poison of harsh words will poison the sayers of them, not you. You are not responsible for their words, neither is your behavior responsible for their unkind actions. You did not cause the harshness, resentment of abuse. You can stand in the middle of this pain and still experience inner peace and happiness.
Every day you will become better at being you. You will remain a beautiful soul and you will live up to that soul. Accept yourself. Do not commit the sin of self-rejection.
Regardless of how high or down you are in this challenging year of 2012, one bit of prophecy or truth, if you will, keeps popping up…kindness and respect connects you to the innate goodness of the universe to other like-minded souls. So if all those you are connected to are neither kind nor respectful, just hang tough and don’t waiver…those who already are will be grounded in your space even more deeply. You and the goodness of others in your space will draw to you the same. And the best part is, that those in your life who aren’t kind or respectful and can’t/won’t become so, will suddenly find there is no room for them at your inn.
Too bad, huh. And you didn’t have to do anything, except be your higher self and stay the course. See? Life can be good.
(Because chose it to be.)
— ( c ) St. John 2012