I call this set of stories "Little Things" due to many reasons. They are little stories along the path of life, and they deal with little and everyday issues and situations. At the moment I feel that the great issues and changes have passed, and life proceeds in peace dealing with little issues - leading to better knowledge of myself, towards deeper rest and towards restful growing of love. These stories are small signs of healing or small challenges towards growth, freedom and trust. I write for myself, to process my feelings, to clarify my thoughts, and to learn my lessons, but I put them here. I am not trying to heal you - I am healing myself. Yet, I wish that they could encourage you forwards, since I have learned that life and love have no limits. Life and our Higher Power love us all the time, with all of their essence.
Little Things 1
1. Heavy Feelings
There are times when we walk surrounded by sadness and heavy feelings. Joy seems to be nowhere to find. We walk in beautiful landscapes and in the middle of cheerfulness of life, but it misses us. It just feels good to be quiet. The joy of others appears wearisome, especially if it comes too close. Then something simple happens. A child smiles at us, we notice something delightful, or someone looks at us with questioning eyes. We learn that we have lost the happiness of the moment. We are no more children of the moment, but in the midst of memories and feelings of the past. Something inside us flinches, and we detect how earnestly we yearn for being in the moment, like a small curious child. But no. Even the thought hurts and feels heartbreaking.
Let those moments be tender reminders of the still concealed sorrow inside you. Admit yourself that this does not have to be. But don't force yourself. You have the right to be sad as long as necessary. You can be in your heavy feelings, but you may also notice that you miss something different. Sometimes it is necessary to grieve for a long time. But at times, our identity can be so focused on sorrows that we feel like dying if we would have to let go of them. It is not grieving, but identification with the past. We may be so devoted to our role that we don't even want to let go of them. Recognize the desire to stay, the losing of yourself with the losing of your sad self. Then let it be. Just recognize the desire to be a child of the moment, living, curious and energetic. Or do you desire it? Maybe you resist it, after all. Then you have identified yourself, your ego and your existence, with your losses and sorrows. But there is nothing you can do to change it. You don't have to. Admitting it is enough.
The moment you recognize where your identity is tied to, the tie breaks off. At first, it may be gone only for a short period, since your identity is afraid of dying. Then it returns. Ask your Higher Power to give you reminders of your existence in the moment. He wants to lead you to joy, but he does it gently, without violating your weary mind. He will lead you to joy that lasts, and to joy that merely exists within, with no efforts required to keep it alive. Every time when the bond of ego identification breaks off, the ego lets go of it a little bit deeper. Let yourself recognize what you need, and what the richness and delight of life can be. Let yourself also recognize that you may fear losing yourself with the departure of the weariness of your mind. That's all you need.
2. Living our own life
We can live only our own life. Still there are times when we try to change the lives of other people, or to heal the pain of the whole world. When we are busily taking care of others, we run away from our own pain. Something inside may restlessly drive us, and we are not able to stop. We think that if the world changes and other people change, all is well.
Yet it is not so. If we try to heal the world before healing ourselves, we will do a poor job. The world will not become enjoyable, and even we don't become healed. How could we help the world to cope with its pain, if we can not face our own pain? Often, we may feel that a feeling urges us to do something. But feelings don’t require works. Feelings demand that we feel them. If we don't know how to feel a feeling, it urges us to restlessly attempt this and that. But it is enough, that we feel our feelings while living our own life. If we have to clean the house, we do the cleaning feeling distressed and with a broken heart. We iron our clothes feeling pain. We make our beds in great sorrows, letting our consciousness disclose our pain. It is enough. We pray and talk with our Higher Power about our issues.
We do not allow aching feelings to remove our focus from ourselves. They are speaking to us, and they are telling us about ourselves. We listen to them, knowing that the only way to deal with them, is to feel them wherever we happen to be: at work, when cleaning the house, on the seat of the car, or on our knees in prayer. If we find our courage to face our feelings without irritation, we know how to help others. But if we, driven by our pain, try to help others, we don't yet know anything. My favourite place for feeling heavy feelings is at night, on the sofa of our living-room, with a blanket on my shoulders. There I sit in front of my Higher Power, often thinking of the Serenity Prayer. Find your own favourite place and time, reserved just for you. Make it a place of healing where your feelings can flow. Make it a place where you find rest.
3. Our shape
Each of us has his own shape. We may have used to other people shaping us. We are flexible. When we were small, we had very little space, and we never learned to take our own shape. Still we may wonder, how other people would like to shape us, or how they would like us to behave. Often we can afford some flexibility, but sometimes we may go too far. We lose something of our shape. Other people don't see what we really are, and we don't get what we really want.
Our shape is like a glass painting in a window that other people watch on the outside. Even in daylight it can glisten beautifully, but its real beauty is revealed when the outside world is dark and the light inside our window is lit. Does the light reveal something else than what other people have painted on it? Does it reveal them something new and different? Do they see something else than their own expectations, or what we thought they expected? We do not paint the window with our intelligence, with our brains. We paint it with our heart. We paint it with genuine humanness, and often with brokenness. We paint it with hesitating hands and shy moves. We do not paint the forms of life by force. We do compel or smother them on the surface of the glass. We paint them in silence, where we look at our heart and paint what we see in it. We paint shapes that dazzle with beauty, especially when the outside is dark, and the Inner Light is lit. The light does not have to be especially bright to reveal the grandeur of the window. The light brightens slowly, sometimes becoming weaker and then brightening again. Such is the light of our heart, and such is the beauty of our painting, of our shape.
4. A Fine Man
What is a fine human being like? Take some time to memorize a fine man or woman. Nearly without exception we think of someone reflecting genuine humanness. He doesn't have to be an unbroken man, but he is in harmony with himself. He may be shy and quiet, but in the time of need he is courageous. He is someone who stops in front of us and sees us. We meet someone, with whom we can rest, quietly and without forcing.
We do not become fine people by studying or by trying to accomplish perfection. We become fine individuals be facing our own brokenness and letting it be. We don't have to hide our brokenness, since when others see it, they see permission to be broken, too. They may make mistakes and try again. It is not our intelligence that makes us fine, but our heart. Our shell does not make us fine, but our transparency. We become fine people when we accept the whole of ourselves - event the part we think is not especially fine. And we don't have to wait for it. When we allow ourselves to rest as we are, we already are fine people. When we don't have to pretend, we allow others to see our heart. When we make a mistake, admit it, and humbly start over, we can not find a finer man.
Life around us flows all the time. It meets us, at times cautiously asking, at times almost commanding. The river of life is always full. If is full of comic, sorrow, pain, creation, death, coming together and setting apart. Nothing stays as it was. People change and circumstances change.
Sometimes we try to stay. Our mind, our thoughts or our feelings try to stay. We are like a heavily loaded truck that would want to go straight when the road under us turns, or like a boat that would not want to follow the river, but stay in a familiar place. We may have firm presuppositions of the thoughts of other people, or we may think we know what they are like. We may have firm opinions about ourselves. All these make our life rigid. They make us slow to turn. They make us slow to receive. We try to stay, and often the place where we wish to stay is an illusion, something that does not exist. If staying is wearisome, it can be due to life being different from our thoughts. When the truck is heavily loaded, it is hard to steer it. No matter how hard you try, it does not turn easily.
We learn very little of ourselves by looking back in the past. If we live in the present moment with our eyes open, ready to question our thoughts and feelings yet accepting them, we can learn much more of life and of ourselves. The circumstances of life can trigger our feelings, and sometimes we may admit that our feelings are related to old tapes and not to the events of the present moment. If we cease adding the question mark after the events of life, and place it after ourselves, our reactions and our feelings, we will find freedom to change. At times we kick and shout, but then we don't kick and shout against life, but because it is sometimes so difficult to look at ourselves and to accept what we see. But only by working with the knot that holds the boat, we can release the boat. Then it is free to go along with the river. We don't have to make the boat move; we just release it. Then it will move on to new places. We may be nervous when challenging old reactions and ways of relating. But we grow. We change. We do so by staying in the flow of life and living through its lessons.
To be continued…
copyright Healing Eagle 2005