Since there will always be voices calling us back, a central part of the work of awakening is the need to stand firm in our newfound wakefulness. The beauty and challenge of staying close to what matters resides in the truth that once we’re awake, we can’t un-know what we know. The gift and work of wakefulness is to believe that life is always where we are, no matter what it holds.
Living where we are requires that we bring a tender heart to the brutalities of life. Part of our spiritual work is to sustain the gift of our sensitivity, and to exercise the faith that our sensitivity will reveal itself as the source of our strength. As we negotiate the real work of staying awake, we need to be vigilant with the pilgrim in us who wants to move forward and kind with the fearful one in us who wants to go back. For all I’ve learned, for all my wakefulness and sensitivity, for all the turns in my journey, there’s always a small voice in me ready to say, “Let’s go back. It’s easier to hide.”
I feel this want to turn back because I’m human, even though I’m certain that inhabiting a former self is not really an option. It’s just familiar. The only way is forward, a step at a time, becoming ever more sensitive and resilient. Our enlivened sensitivity is our true enduring strength, by which we keep meeting and appreciating the world.
Once out of our particular bondage, self-made or otherwise, the long pilgrimage of spiritual work demands a commitment to wander into a life of authenticity and truth. Once awake, the journey of our promise is always near and challenging. At the same time, the journey of our bondage is still near and disheartening. This is our crooked path to enlightenment: two steps forward, one step back; two days of being heartened, one day of being disheartened. This is the dynamic of being alive. This is what we work with and for. ~Mark Nepo
keep moving. keep living. in spite of the direct longing to stop and give in to something less skillful….
inquiry for today~ where do you leave yourself behind? can you coax yourself back to living well? what does that look like?
This is how I practice inner dignity. My love is patient. My patience is love. I am clear in my love. I radiate love. I act from love. I grow my love. I respect love. I take time for love. ~Elena Brower