“What’s in the cave?” asks Luke. Yoda responded, “Only what you take with you.”
What one of us doesn’t enter the vulnerable dark cave of isolation, disappointment, anger, hurt and fear, alone? While standing face to face with the screeching shrill of our imaginings and italicized stories, we only truly face ourselves.
Many of us have spent a life time trying to out run the vulnerable darkness, redirect through pointed fingers, or flailing our way out of a deep resting look within, through busyness, perfection, attempting to control everything around us, acting out, or the sugary sweet niceness of denial.
As a child it was modeled and I was taught not to give voice, attention, or credence to feelings. Ever been told not to cry? It demonstrates weakness, or ineptness. Children don’t understand that the admonition is purely sourced in the adult’s discomfort of vulnerability.
I’ve been an artist since childhood. Weren’t we all in our carefree early years before judgment and the demand for productivity arose in our consciousness? In my life those creative aspects never fell to the wayside, but have in fact, become more of a life style than merely a product producing activity. I have never stopped creating even though at times I’ve tried to tame the wild unboxed nature of this gift and hide it beneath other aspects of myself, be it life coach or activator.
The way I see the world and seem to process life is through two unique lenses that for a great deal of my life I struggled to recognize, own or articulate, often attempting to put on other lenses that caused confusion and blurred vision. These lenses could best be described as that of an artist mystic. Though I didn’t always understand this, these lenses, offer a way of seeing in which everything rises and reflects a mirror of the whole of life.
Everything in life offers an invitation to wonderment and awe. Yet it is the artist mystic’s unique nature and ability to recognize the spark’s light within a barren backdrop, the flash of recognition within a pile of rubble or the inspiration calling from a drippy faucet, seeing in the ordinary that which is anything but ordinary and that which the naked eye might miss.
For sometime I’ve followed the notion that things flow effortlessly and with ease when we get instep with what is being divinely initiated in our lives, rather than trying to assert our own effort and will.
Here’s where I get this notion:“God does not respond to what we do; we respond to what God does. We’ve finally figured it out. Our lives get in step with God and all others by letting him set the pace, not by proudly or anxiously trying to run the parade.” Romans 3:27-28 MSG
The thing that gets some people into trouble is that in an attempt to follow what God is doing; they shun anything they desire believing their heart is evil. But Psalm 37:4 tells us that God actually “appoints” and “bestows” the things we desire. That’s what the word “give” translates to mean in this verse, “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desire of your heart.”
He actually appoints the things we desire. When we deny the things God has uniquely placed and appointed in our hearts, we are actually resisting God. Instead we need to recognize that we are no longer living under the old covenant that states that the heart is deceitful and wicked (Jer. 17:1). We’ve been reconciled and given new hearts.
Should it all end today, tomorrow or next week, I want to know that I made the right choice and that I didn’t forfeit the greater by settling for the lesser. I had a first hand look at this reality eighteen years ago when my sweet young husband Bill left this world after a short five-week battle with cancer, leaving behind an indelible mark on those who knew him.
The evidence of his choices began to show up shortly after his passing and still lives on amongst us, long after he’s gone. The first evidence was when the small town of Sandwich, NH where we lived honored his contribution of coaching children’s sport leagues with a memorial expressing the kindness that he exemplified.
Strange occurrences also began to occur as one friend relayed that Bill came to him in a dream that caused a life turn around. These experiences went on for sometime. I even had my own encounter where I saw Bill and the host of heaven enthusiastically cheering me on to finish the race before me. And then one morning my young son Joshua excitedly came running down stairs to announce that he had a dream where his daddy was playing the harmonica with King David.
I believe TRANSFORMATION begins with a change in perception. As perceptions change, the old way of viewing the world in an “either”, “or”, mindset, gives way to greater possibility and wholeness.
Inspiration is important, but TRANSFORMATION is even more powerful. If we’re merely to stay in the reality that we currently exist, in a mindset that this is it, we fail to comprehend the vastness that exists beyond our mere rational understanding. TRANSFORMATION moves one into a new realm of awareness and experience beyond what can be seen with natural sight and understanding.
Richard Rohr wrote,
“We need to rediscover the Sic et Non approach in our politics and in our churches. Otherwise, I do not know what we are offering the world except violence, because angry conversation creates angry minds and angry hearts and eventually angry behavior. It seems to me that we have the possibility from our own Tradition of raising up the capacity for humane, dialogical, Sic et Non conversations—where I do not need to prove that you are wrong. I do not need to pretend that I am totally right. I can keep my mind and my heart open.
Dualistic people use knowledge, even religious knowledge, for the purposes of ego enhancement, shaming, and the control of others and themselves. Non-dual people use knowledge for the transformation of persons and structures, but most especially to change themselves and to see reality with a new eye and heart.”