Monday, February 7, 2011

The Full Picture

It has taken me 46 years to put together the pieces of my life into one cohesive picture, where I can finally see all of it coming together to tell a simple story, but for so long I didn't recognize the simplicity of the story.

All I've been able to see are the disparate pieces, and the ways they didn't fit, not with each other and not with me either.  And I've been so confused by that, not understanding how they could be do disconnected.  How life could feel so foreign and how, for all my competencies and capabilities, there was always underlying fear stopping me from...just about everything.

In the Ramayana, Rama gives Sita a clear message to stay within the safe boundary lines of protection he puts around her.  And she violates that boundary to disastrous consequences.  I was so familiar with disaster beyond my control, and so afraid of disaster of my own making, that I drew a line around myself tight and close, and not only didn't I venture outside of that line, but I never, never let anyone come past it either.  This kind of protection is effective if safety is your only concern.  But it's very lonely too.

If safety is your only concern, then sitting atop a mountain contemplating the nature of G*d makes a lot of sense.  But if you want to get to the heart of G*d, to the heart of yourself, you have to step right into the middle of it all.

I feel like I'm deep in the middle of it all at the moment, but also tangled up in that line of safety and protection still surrounding me.  And I'm trying to cut myself out of the mess of tangled line, but still holding onto the superstition that therein lies my safety.

Human nature is to cope - to manage.  And when faced with extraordinary circumstances, we cope however best we can, and we go on coping, sometimes long after it's required.  And our coping begins to look like who we are.  But it is not.  Who we truly are still exists deep inside, hidden away.  And if we can learn to put aside the coping skills we've relied on, the essential self can still emerge, still shine with pure expression.

I could say I believe the shining light of the soul exists no matter how much darkness covers it.  But I don't believe it.  I know it.  I live it.  I experience it.  Every day in my life.  And I see it in others too.  It's not spiritual belief or psychological understanding.  It is my life.  It is my reality.  It is, more and more, my story, and I'm learning how to tell it with all the pieces put together.

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