Tuesday, April 10, 2007


I spoke with a woman I don't know for over an hour the other day. She is trying to figure out the next step in her life, and someone suggested she talk with me. She is trying to decide what's next - trying to find the right signs to point her in the right direction.

I told her I don't know if I really believe in signs. 'Cause to believe in signs means to believe that there's a "right" answer that G*d or the universe or whatever you think is at work here, has decided for you, and your job then is to put together puzzle pieces to figure it out. That the "right" answer already exists, and you have to suss it out.

But that means the future has been chosen for you. Which I don't believe. We choose our future with every though, word and action we take and make. I think G*d or the universe (or whatever you want to insert here) is unconditionally loving. And will love you no matter what choice you make. And signs are just the things we use to give external credence to a choice we want to make, but need back-up to justify.

You can find a sign to support anything you want to do or not do. But mostly it's just a matter of choice. And sometimes you make choices that look good for all sorts of reasons, and sometimes you make choices that don't, and you have to deal with all of that, and I think that's just fine. Either way.

'Cause signs aren't magical talismans that prevent anything bad from ever happening. You can find 10,000 signs to tell you you're moving in the right direction, and there still might be difficulty in that choice. Magical thinking doesn't protect us. It doesn't change us. And it doesn't change the world to somehow keep us safe from sorrow.

'Cause what we have to confront ultimately is the sorrow that lives inside of us, and there's no sign that protects us from our own creation, from the mistakes and misunderstandings and mixed up way we've come to be. And there's no shortcut around dealing with it, going through it, and facing up to who you've become.

I know this with the authority of experience. Even G*d's protection doesn't protect you against your own creation. Otherwise the world would look like a "My Little Pony" playground, full of rainbows and ponies and fairies and butterflies and happiness all around. But it doesn't look like that. And there's no escape dealing with ourselves, except for whatever temporary distractions we find to escape into, which so often end up entombing us in the very sorrow we were trying to escape to begin with.

And all of this soul searching, sorting through, sorting out, transformation, etc., continues to feel brutally humiliating as I notice ever more subtle nuances about the complication of my own emotional nature. And even worse, how that complication has vomited up the worst of who I am into relationships and choices and left its stink and stain all over my life.

This is what I knew about myself a long time ago, that made me search so desperately for a place of complete purity, peace and safety. I needed a place free of my own sickness, and free of the sickness of others. I was at the point in my many lifetimes where I had no resources left to combat sickness, where I needed quarantine, for my own benefit and the benefit of those around me.

Fortunately, I'm better. I'm so much better. But I don't know if I'm well yet. I don't know if I'm robustly healthy. I know better than to think I suddenly don't need what restored me to at least this much health. The spiritual nourishment, the emotional sustenance, the deeper understanding, the pure love, G*d's arms wrapped around me in unending peace, complete acceptance.

We never stop needing the life-giving, health-giving stuff...not ever. But I don't need the complete isolation of quarantine. It's time to get sun on my face, feel the breeze on my skin. enjoy life and myself again. Not to throw myself out there carelessly, forgetting everything I've discovered, but certainly happily. And a bit more all the time.

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