You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says,
“My God, you’re right! I never thought of that!” -Dave Berry
Lately my head’s been spinning with all the things I want to do. It makes me feel exited to be alive, but often one thing after another pulls me in a different direction. As I’m distracted from what it is I wanted to be doing, I find myself sorting through some old paper work throwing this and that away. I find some notes I wrote down from the book “Tuesday’s with Morrie.” It’s Morrie’s theory on the tensions of opposites. He says, “like a rubber band life pulls us back and forth. It pulls us in one direction that we think we want to go. Then it pulls us in another direction of what we think we have to do.”
Wow! That’s exactly the way it feels to me.
Morrie goes on to say, “it becomes like a wrestling match.” When asked who wins in the end, he says, “love always wins.” However, he goes on to say, “when you can’t see it yet, maybe it’s because the game isn’t over yet.”
So I’m thinking, what’s love got to do with it? Then I realized many of the things that are getting in my way are simple distractions I create myself. That’s where the real wresting match begins, and that’s not loving myself very much. All the other things that seem like have-to’s have actually been opportunities for me to love others. So, in the end, Morrie’s right, love really does have everything to do with it.
God always find a way to show us what we need to hear when we need to hear it, and today I found his message from an old scrap of paper I wrote a long time ago. Amazing!
I think as we journey through life we come to the end of each path wondering how am I going to get from here to there? Sometimes the next journey requires us to walk through valleys or up steep mountains, maybe even across paths of hot coals, or over wobbly bridges, and what about the ones that are paved in stones across the sky. Will, freedom, choice, trust and faith come into play surrounding me, and ego steps into view with its limited human perspective announcing that there is no way on earth to get from here to there. All the while the spirit within waits and watches patiently until will, freedom, choice, trust and faith can finally see past ego and into the depth of their purpose.
We walk through a period of our life being host of our soul. Showing it all there is to be seen through our eyes, senses and emotions much like a tour guide on a trip. But eventually the spirit within the soul becomes bored and tired of seeing the same thing as we circle round the Ring of Kerry over and again. We are at the point of our crossroad and it’s time for the ego to get out of the drivers set and let the spirit take the wheel. The spirit doesn’t’ need the maps or GPS to get us to the next path in life. It tells us now to sit back and enjoy the ride, choice is our ticket, trust is all we can take, will is what pushes us on the bus, and faith is what gives us the courage to take the first step, freedom is the weightlessness we feel as we let go of all the things that hold us back from moving on. As we travel once again around the Ring of Kerry on our way to the next destination we see as if for the first time because now it’s through the eyes of God.
For the 3rd time I’m pulling out these entangled vines in my garden. Every time I think I have all the thick twisted vines pulled, a week or so later they find their way back to the top of the soil. As I stand looking at their fresh green heads poking through the soil I can almost hear them laughing at me, as they say in their wee taunting voice, “we’re back!” I dig deeper with more determination to get to the source of each plant. Hum! I think to myself. There’s something awful familiar about what’s happening here besides the mere fact that I’m pulling these vines out again.
“Okay God, what are you trying to show here?” I say to myself
I’ve been doing the same thing in my own life pulling out the stuff I don’t want anymore, pulling out what isn’t good for me, and pulling out what no longer has a purpose. I do feel much lighter in many ways, but the vines from all that stuff is deeply rooted and intertwined so even when I think I’ve pulled it all, it finds a way back into my life, temping me and trying to sabotage all my efforts. Pulling out the entangled vines feels as if it has a hold of me. It doesn’t want to let go of it.
“What am doing wrong God?”
“It isn’t the vine that has a hold on you. It’s you who won’t let go of the vine.”
Woo! I didn’t see that one coming!
I guess since I’ve come into my new family’s life I’ve turned it upside down a bit. I don’t know why because to me everything seems as it should be. I’m 6 months old which makes me about 3 1/2 in people years now. I’m easily distracted especially when I go out to pee. If I see a bird, bunny or bee I forget what I came out to do, and want to play with all Gods creations. I love being outside in the world walking bare paw on the grass, I don’t care if they get muddy or wet. I love digging in the dirt smelling all the scents, hearing all the sounds even taste-testing different things like those lip-smacking rabbit turds, yum!
I think I’m good for my people. I keep them hoping up and down as they have to take me out several times to pee. It makes them walk in their bare feet too as they don’t always have time to put their shoes on. It also gives them a timeout from what they were doing. I look up at my Connie and see something as she breaths in the fresh, is it happy, peaceful, contentment? I don’t know a lot about these things yet, it just looks like she’s feeling and sensing the same things I am, and everything seems as it should be.
Then there’s the leader of our pack, Tom. He’s like the lion in our tribe. When he roars, he expects me to listen. I just love teasing him. When he points his finger at me with a roar to stop, I jump up and nibble at his finger. He roars some more, and I jump back and forth yapping at him. He says, “don’t you talk back at me!” and I ruff, ruff, ruff right back again. The whole time my Connie is laughing at us both. My Tom tries to keep that stern look on his face, but I know if I keep it up I can melt that look right into a smile even a chuckle or two. He loves me, I know it. Sometimes I don’t know who I love more…my Connie or Tom…maybe I just love them both for who they are. What I do know for sure is that I like making them happy and I think I’m doing a pretty good job at it even if it is in upside kind of way.
Until next time,
A friend asked me a few weeks again, what is it that you want out of life? All I could think of was that I simple want to “be.” I’ve been on my caterpillar journey. Moving upon the various path. Taking in all the nourishment, knowledge and understanding I could get along the way. Never quite knowing where I’m going, only knowing that something instinctively inspires me to keep going. Now I find myself up a tree and resting upon a branch. I can see from this place everywhere I’ve been and what I’ve learned along the way. It’s time to begin to let go of what no longer serves me at this point in my life, but this is the hardest part of life yet because it means trusting in what seems illogical. I mean how can I let go when I need to hang on in order to go through the process of metamorphose or transformation.
And so, this is where I’ve been these past few weeks sitting on my branch looking out over my life. Getting rid of this and that. Feeling lighter with less weight holding me down. Yet I find myself holding on tighter as I pray for the courage I need to move onto the next stage. I contemplate the quote above that reminds me that, “Nothing happens until the pain of remaining the same outweighs the pain of change.” I’ve still a long way to go, but a caterpillar has many feet to hang on with. I’m learning to let go one foot at a time, and each time I trust a little bit more in that which goes beyond the self. For I have come to believe that the God I know wants nothing more then for me to become the beautiful butterfly…He created me to be.
I have a wonderful morning ritual that I’ve spoken of many times. It’s not only the most important way to start my day, but it’s the part of my day I look forward to the most. It’s a time of prayer, contemplation, spiritual readying, journaling and meditation. But sometimes even with every good intention I get distracted. Maybe it’s by what’s going on in my life. Maybe it’s what’s going on in someone else’s life. I become discouraged because I think I know enough to be able to center myself and get back on track. The one thing that I haven’t quite mastered is meditation, yet that is the one thing I know I need to practice the most. It quiets my mind, brings me back into the moment, and allows me to see things clearing and more simplistic. So today that’s what I did and when it was time to open my eyes the first thing I saw was the word “love” written in big read letters on my door of art where I tape the pictures my grandkids draw for me. All their pictures are about love, maybe that’s why we’re called to be more like the little children. They remind us how easy it is. If life is lived in and through love then how can we go wrong throughout our day in all we do. How can we not find comfort in the love that’s all around us. All we have to is open our eyes for as Gandhi said, “Where there is love there is life.”
“Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” -Leonard Cohen, “Anthem”
Everything starts from a seed including us. I wonder if we live within that shell all our life with the seed being our soul and our lifetime here on earth being a gathering of all we need to slowly begin the painful process of cracking open. Many of us have felt the harder blows of life that leave an opening so wide that it goes straight to the heart of the soul. Whether our cracks are big or as small as a tiny papercut it is how the light gets in and once we experience the warmth it brings the more our soul craves it. Like our hands reaching upward we begin to sprout moving toward the unknown yet a knowing that it’s the natural process of who and what we were created to do. Yes, there is a comfort in staying within this place we’ve existed, and a fear of being exposed and vulnerable to the unknown. It’s never easy to step outside of our comfort zone to leave behind all that’s been a part of us, but the light continues to pull us toward it, and it is only in the letting go that we can fully begin to blossom in the fullness of the light.
Most importantly let us not forget in the process of breaking free…to ring the bells that still can ring, and forget out perfect offering. Look around there are cracks in everything. It’s how the light gets in.