Friday, September 12, 2014

Hoping for something more...

"When we feel suffering, it doesn’t mean that something is wrong. What a relief. Finally somebody told the truth. Suffering is part of life, and we don’t have to feel it’s happening because we personally made the wrong move.

"In reality, however, when we feel suffering, we think that something is wrong. As long as we’re addicted to hope, we feel that we can tone our experience down or liven it up or change it somehow, and we continue to suffer a lot.”

I wrestle a lot with the idea of hope - or maybe it is the experience of hope.

And yet, how in the world can a person wrestle with "hope?"

It seems I was raised with this idea that longing for something more, or better, or some days simply hoping that this day would end and that tomorrow would bring some relief ... My faith journey has included Christian teachings that promote the sustainable hope of heaven, somewhere far better than the suffering we encounter, at times, on this earth. Hope has become an acceptable and seemingly effective way to pound through pain and disappointments. We fantasize of our rewards once we leave this place.

Ahhhh yes heaven ... Where there will be no challenges or pain or suffering...

Am I addicted to hope? Have I turned to hope instead of considering the larger message to be heard? Have I falsely considered, even subconsciously, that my circumstances are meant for someone, anyone else? Do I refuse to even acknowledge that "heaven" may be found in the challenge - a greater truth that will be overlooked and/or unaccepted because I think the associated pain is too much - far too much for my heart and soul to bear?

Does a 21st century faith call for such retreat?

I was asked yesterday of circumstances where I have become disheartened - and I fell in love the word because it so captured my literate mind.
Oh yes, disheartened! 

And I quietly recited my list to myself, almost laughing at the sheer number of life-altering experiences of late.
Umm... SO yes! Disheartened!

So few of the challenges of life can be undone, I mean, right?? We don't have a rewind button that will take us back to the challenges of yesterday - that now seem like luxuries if we were to take time and compare! We reach the summit of this mountain and turn around to marvel at our path - only to see a range of mountains that needed to be scaled in order to get to this one.

Why can't I enjoy this amazing view? I can see things from here I have never seen before, above the tree line, where the air seems extrordinarily thin... 

Instead, foolishly, I spend far too much time hoping this leg of the journey will end - that I will soon be on flat ground where I need not be concerned about my footing, or becoming lost, or falling into a deep and bottomless pit where no one will ever find me - or even know that I am gone!

Every single choice I have ever made has brought me to this moment, writing this sentence, suddenly being enheartened that I have made it this far on the journey... From this peak where I have found my heart again ... How could I hope for anything more?

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

A life of expression for a larger harmony...

I have been thinking a lot about what it means to “express” what is on our minds or on our hearts. Express. What does the word we use rather freely even really mean? I googled and discovered this: convey (a thought or feeling) in words or by gestures and conduct. Expression is defined as the process of making known one's thoughts or feelings.

What of those who choose to express very little? What of those that express way too much? What if we do not feel comfortable expressing anything at all?

I don’t have to be told that I express too much – though I have been told as much by others who are uncomfortable or bored with my expressions. I have been told that my more emotional expressions are off-putting, that I can be critical or angry or too syrupy or too loud or too much or too little or too forward or …

Geesh! Give me a break! Why is it such a challenge to find someone who allows me to express whatever (within reason, mind you) - whatever is on my mind or heart without attempting to challenge it, fix it or completely shut it down? Can we really be in a relationship with anyone who chooses not to express at all? Is it really a relationship when one expresses and the other remains silent?

But then I read this: “In a similar way, what we feel, think, and experience is often inaudible until it’s expressed. The life of expression that moves through us allows us to hear a larger harmony. When we ground what we feel by touching another, the interwoven nature of things is amplified and we’re brought closer to what matters.

"When we don’t give voice to what moves through us, we become entangled with life, but not connected to life. When silent with our love and pain, we can’t distribute what we feel and so our heartaches and pains are intensified as they only bounce around within us. The way a lightning rod standing in the open attracts and grounds the lightning, the life of expression grounds the intensity of what we feel on any given day.

"To practice the life of expression enhances all the other practices, the way blood is needed for each organ to do its work."

And I am emboldened.

And while my relationships may change and I no longer feel the freedom to simply say or be or speak what is in my thoughts or on my heart, the desire is still there – and maybe still there for all of us human beings who have not shut off their own expressions due to fear or boredom - or the inability to find someone who will simply listen.

The author suggests we keep trying, we keep looking, we search for a larger harmony discovered when we can touch one another and be brought closer to what really matters.