Listen to Mother Teresa: “If we have no peace, it’s because we’ve forgotten we belong to each other.” When we honor our vulnerability and our dependence on the community of life, we open to love.
Yes, you’ve been hurt and abandoned. But you found a way to survive your traumatic past and now the prison door is unlocked; you can walk out anytime. How long will you keep your heart closed? How long will you turn your back on love? Whatever blocks your love is, in the end, unreal. Take W.H. Auden’s advice and learn to “love your crooked neighbor with your own crooked heart.” Have courage. Tend to politics, care for the community around you, but remember in the end it is your love that matters most. Love is your gateway to freedom and your last word.
freedom from suffering is how I help to shape myself and then offer those sitting-ways to you….
inquiry for today~ what will you offer from the deep well of your simple day-to-day hurts? they matter……
At times, so many memories trample my heart that it biomes impossible to know just what I’m feeling and why: my first love laughing in a park whose name I can never recall, my grandmother dying near her dirty bricks in Brooklyn, the dizziness of the Rockies telling me to go back among the living, my ex-wife’s shoulders slouching tired in the rain, the old dog I used to live with chasing her tail- and a thousand more.
That all the ways we’ve been touched merge in the ground of who we are is a blessing, a gift of being human. It is what the sages of all traditions have called peace- the elusive moment that all things become one. That we can’t sort our feelings and memories once the soil of our experience is tilled is the nature of staying alive. That we insist on keeping old wounds alive is our curse.
Yet, as Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us, “Our mind of love may be buried deep under many layers of forgetfulness and suffering.” The difference, I’m learning, is in what e focus on. When I focus on the rake of experience and how its fingers dug into me and the many feet that have walked over me, there is no end to the life of my pain. But when I focus on the soil of heart and how it has been turned over, there is no end to the mix of feelings that defy my want to name them.
Tragedy stays alive by feeling what’s been done to us, while peace comes alive by living with the result.