The Sweetest Freedom that we can bestow upon ourselves and others, is to allow every, single thing to Be as it Is. 🙏🏻♥️✌🏻
I don’t tend to live in the past, but I certainly feel influenced by it at times. Things that have happened to me or those that I love; events that were significant; losses through death or estrangement. It seems that a sting still lives in me around past circumstances that stirred up deep feelings of fear and loss in me.
When I was younger, I would acknowledge a loss, such as the death of a loved one, by honoring the anniversary, the year mark of the event itself. By observing it, it seemed to acknowledge the pain of the loss in a way that would bring me comfort, and some form of peace. I don’t recognize anniversaries in any formalized way anymore, but it feels like when a certain time of year comes around, I am taken back to a period of my life that was especially painful and difficult.
Three years ago, at this time, it seemed like many aspects of my life were crashing in on me. Relationships with members of my family were deeply strained; my son was in big emotional trouble; and two people that were very important persons in my life, died. I felt like I was in a tornado of emotions, and reeling from all of the chaos and sadness that I seemed to be experiencing. To this day, parts of that time still seem to haunt me, to feel sharp and real and like they just happened yesterday.
Then, I gratefully recall all that I was learning then, and have been learning in a more deep way since that time. I remember that the past, and any recollection that I have of it, is simply a memory trace. It does not exist, just as the future does not exist. So, for me to ruminate on events that are long past gone, or worry about how things will unfold at some future time, is futile. In addition to that, doing so does nothing for my Peace within. There is no rest for my soul when I keep reminding myself of things that have already occurred and cannot be undone.
So, I remember compassion. I remember gentleness and love. I remember that to recall is only human; but to tell the story over and over again, in a way to condemn myself or others, or to act out a drama that I can suffer all over again, makes no sense, and is unkind. I remember to remember, without telling the story to myself. I remember to breathe. I remember that as real as it may feel now, it has already happened and is gone. It is as it is.
I get to find my Peace, again and again.
There has been so much going on in my life in the last few months, exciting, fun, as well as challenging and deep. I have gotten married; supported my teen through some difficult moments, and started planning a move to the south. In the most recent days, I have remembered again the gift there is in letting go and accepting what is.
My desire to hold onto things, situations, people or circumstances, comes from a couple very specific areas of my being. First, it is almost always an attempt to control the world around me. For me, control has been something that I have struggled with much of my life, wanting to have it when I felt I was out of control. This control has done its share in breaking down relationships in the past, and the need for it is based in nothing of substance.
Another reason I want to hold tight to things is that, especially in situations when I feel powerless, I want to at least do SOMETHING. I want to feel needed, of use to someone or something, or at least feel like in a difficult situation there is something that can be done, and I usually want to be the one to do it.
The one that may be the most powerful reason for wanting to hold on tightly to things in this world, is that I often have my own agenda, my own expectations about the way that I want my life to go or for things to work out. I want the wedding plans to go a certain way; I want my teen to choose this school or major; I want my job to be this certain way for me. Me, me, me. I know many of us can identify, and I don’t say these things as a way to criticize myself; it is just the way it is for much of the human psyche.
The beautiful thing that I get to remember, when it is that I do remember, is that in the letting go, in the acceptance of how things are in this moment, there is complete peace. Even if only for a moment, and there are many instances when I only experience this for a brief moment in time, I feel at ease, because there is nothing that I need to do, no one that I need to save, no expectation or bias that I need to cater to. I can just look upon the world with gentle eyes and accept it for what IS.
This doesn’t mean that there won’t be difficult times in my life, of course there will. It doesn’t even mean that those difficult times won’t fill me with deep sorrow, anger, or remorse of some sort. However, the more often that I can accept the present moment as it is, and be with it, no matter what it feels like, the more likely that I can be peaceful throughout it. And, it is also highly likely that I will judge others less often if I am accepting the world as it is.
You see, I am more and more often seeing the world with soft, gentle eyes, and therefore being able to see the beauty within it. The peace that rises in me when I am able to do this is tremendous. When I let go, and when I accept the world as it is, without judgment or authority, that is true surrender. That is what brings me peace.
That is the miracle.
When I decided that I would spend an evening hugging persons blindfolded, I had no idea what my level of energy and stamina would be. I had a hunch that I would feel completely invigorated physically, because of the excitement within me around the project. And, to some degree, I was correct in that.
However, there were periods of time that I was holding my arms up for awhile, and they would get tired. I would lower them for a few seconds, stretching them out, and then put them up again.
But, something really interesting happened along the way, and it happened a couple of times before I realized it. Even when my arms would get tired, as soon as a person would come up to me for a hug, and I would wrap my arms around them tightly, after they would walk away, my arms would not be tired anymore. If anything, they felt well rested and light.
Now, some of that relief was bound to happen, because in one sense, I was putting my arms down, and resting them on another person. Yet, my muscles within my arms were tense and strong when I would hug the person, and the rest would literally only be for a few seconds. So, I feel sure that the energized feeling my arms would experience were directly related to the experience itself, my own opening of my heart.
At one point, I had a person come by, who told me as she hugged me that she had hugged me earlier, and came by for a second one. Then, she went on to tell me, that her purpose was to help me to relax.
She told me after giving me a second, beautiful hug, to give my arms a rest. Her voice was gentle, kind and compassionate. And, her words went right to my heart. Right to the core of me, and was yet another confirmation of why this project felt so fulfilling to me.
To be offering a gift to the world around me, with little anticipation of what would happen, and little ability to see what would happen, was opening my heart plenty. But, to then receive from a person, in such a genuine way, was to understand that my offering was how I was to deeply receive.
My life is so full of magic, wonder and peace. And, that continues to expand every day. Yet, to be in that small chunk of time, and encounter so many miracles of humanity, has exponentially increased my awareness and deep appreciation for the humans in the world around me. Even when we are so bombarded with how messed up this world is, there is kindness and love at every turn.
What a miracle.
I got to meet my co-worker’s new baby yesterday, three months old of beautiful cuteness. He was sweet, smiley and easy to fall all over. And, he got me thinking about how easy it is to love babies. Babies are cute, they smell good, and they just ooze innocence. Their beauty is evident in everything that they do, from smiling to cooing to the way that they move in the world.
So, it got me thinking even bigger and more deeply about how easy it is to love some people in this world. For me, babies are easy. Puppies and kittens, they are really easy. Even small children are way easy for me. And, today I was thinking about why that is, why is it that those cute little creatures are so easy to love?
For me, it is all about their innocence. They are new to the world, or at least, relatively so. They have just arrived, and their slates are clean. They are open, and free, and just expressing themselves all over the place. They are open to learning without a filter. Their innocence shines like the sun.
But, here is the kicker. The innocence for me, of puppies, kittens and babies, is easier for me to see. But the real truth is, we ALL are innocent beings. We all have our core self that is completely clean and clear of the woes and darkness that we may encounter in this world. Amidst the choices that we make and the lives that we lead, we still all are innocent in our nature.
I find it so easy to see the innocence in beings that are new to this world, and not so easy to see the innocence in the faces of those that I see everyday, whether they be close to me in my life or strangers driving by me on the highway. I have many filters through which I view these people, and based on what I think I know about the world, I judge them as good, or bad. And, I rarely see their innocence.
Today, I am working toward, yet again, seeing the true innocence in others. It doesn’t mean that I don’t see actions from others as they are; or even that I am naive to the world around me. It just means that I remember, know and understand that we are all vulnerable being, and able to be seen through the eyes of love and compassion. I remember that I don’t know anyone else’s story, I remember that I don’t know anything about another person’s experience. And yet, I can still see them as whole and full of light.
I can still remember the innocence of all of us.