There is only Life
This spring, spring 2018, is a very different spring for me, and not just for weather that on certain days reminds me more of November than May. This spring has brought me a gift along with a lot of painful and complicated news and forced me to experience unexpected dynamics, moments made of long waits, uncertainties, diagnosis, patience and so much vulnerability.
I have fallen into the world of illness and death. And I'm learning to walk in it without losing my peace, my strength and my balance. I’m learning to walk inside of it, daily practicing everything that I have intellectually and emotionally learned in the last few years. I know this may sound absurd, but it's damn wonderful to see how all the pieces of my personal history have fitted together perfectly since I stopped worrying about trying to make everything work.
The only thing I have to do is be there, with all of myself. Not holding back. Not being scared of anything. Being there with a full love for whatever comes. Regardless of what comes. Because I'm ready. Because inside myself there is everything I need, because behind the smoky screen of circumstance and superficial and external events, everything is fine.
In recent days, in my readings, a prayer that has been attributed to St Francis has reappeared. I found it there, under my eyes and my heart got lost in it. As a child, St Francis was one of my superheroes. I loved the humble but powerful saint for his ability to connect with animals, for his ability to think and for his profound independence.
And he came back to me, at a moment when things got hard, to remind me of who to be.
"Lord make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
O divine master grant that I may
not so much seek to be consoled as to console
to be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it's in dying that we are born to eternal life
If I can love anything, I stop erecting walls of defence and resistance and life can continue to flow. I cannot deny myself the polarity of the life experience on this planet. I chose to be here for that. I chose to be joyful and to cry in pain, I chose to win and to lose, I chose to give life to a body and take life away from that same body. And so what comes is all right. I just have to ask myself how I choose to interpret what comes. This is my profound freedom of choice: choosing who I want to be, so I do not feel a victim of what comes.
I'm “growing older" and the more I grow the more I realise that growing implies the ability to let go.
I will let go my attachment to things, let go my attachment to details, let go my attachment to my personality, let go my attachment to my thoughts and emotions, let go my sense of seriousness, sacrifice and suffering that taught me to become an adult, I will let go fear, let go the sense of doubt and uncertainty, let go the sense of powerlessness that the experience of life often gives me. The more I let go all of that, the more I feel light and the more I let myself expand. The more I expand, the more I realise that there is nothing greater than the awareness that animates me; this awareness makes me feel invincible and caresses me with infinite peace.
This is a strange spring, but I love all its nuances. Behind the clouds the sun does not cease to exist. Behind everything there is only life and more life.
(Pic courtesy Unsplash - Galen Crout)