Today I pretend that I am a bush woman, collecting firewood for my fire, my knife sharpened to carve goddess figurines when the chores are done.
But I know this is a choice.
It is just as likely today that I might click the up button on the thermostat, and those “chores” involve little more than merely feeding our excess into machines that do the work for me.
This is the blessing of living in the first world; this daily choosing to consume or not, to participate or not, to harm a little less today, handed to me well before the age of deserving, dubbing me winner of some cosmic lottery I never even bought a ticket for.
As if the real Goddess half way across the world has had anything to do with deserving her lack of choices.
No, there is no reason in how we’ve been assigned these very different human experiences. Her yearning for opportunity and justice, the intelligence and strength it takes to care for her babies is something I can’t even imagine, never mind compare mine to.
Today, as I feast with blessed friends, I pretend that I’ve done my part,
but know deep in my bones that being kind to the other elites
and hiding my privilege under gratitude does nothing for the other 7 billion today and their countless ancestors, upon whose suffering my pleasure is precariously perched.
Yes, I feel thankful. And know that simply isn’t the point.
You seem to think that there is something that needs healing in you?
Without negating your very genuine suffering, I wish to invite you to consider what may be more true than your commitment to the pain of what happened.
There was a moment when you knew. That first time another human held your quivering body and looked into your terrified eyes, we all saw your perfection. And then with that first breath, the layers of forgetting began to pile on. And so it was with each of the 7 billion and their countless ancestors; can you invite yourself to comprehend? Care (and lack of care) comes only from similarly veiled others.
You have moments of reckoning where you are reminded of this. Many call it empathy, or self care. Or love. Or enlightenment. It is that moment, as fleeting as that first, when you become aware that no one has harmed you that isn’t also terrifyingly harmed themselves.
Do not despair at this news! There is nothing to fix. Simply remember. Do what helps with that, hold rocks or slip beads between your fingers, gaze in that way that sees something more beautiful than you think your burdened heart can bear, and simply call your attention back to what you’ve known longer than you’ve known any of these stories.
I beg you, please don’t fool yourself into thinking you must dig through, analyze, or somehow comprehend what has happened. You are not meant to be an archeologist of happenings, and we need you for more essential work. As you grow your tiny protected heart from within this deeper place of truth, it will expand out and all those layers will simply crack and fall away of their own accord.
And there you will be, nothing to heal, ready again as you were that first moment to offer a daily practice and commitment to listen to the call that your only work here is to help others remember as well.
There are no answers here.
Facebook doesn’t have them. They aren’t in GMail.
They aren’t in the thing you stopped yourself from saying
Nor in the thing you wish you hadn’t said.
Sweet girl, why are you looking here?
The answer isn’t even in the daily practice,
it IS the daily practice.
In the breath. In the stillness. In accepting the chaos.
The answer is in loving your lover when he stomps around,
your sister when she cannot see you,
your child when he withdraws,
and yourself when you know not which way to turn.
In the being with.
Do the work. Just do the work.
Bow to love. Bow to kindness.
Listen to the deepest stillest voice.
That is the sound of The Beloved.
Listen to the most Loving Action available in each moment.
Be sure that action includes loving you.
Move in that direction.
That is the Deepest Truth.
All of the organized
and disorganized religions
are no more than
beautiful word salads
in imprecise proportions
to feed us the unknowable
combination of nuggets
we each should be craving.
Will you pick through
and take only the bites
you already know?
Or invite your gut
to digest unfamiliar
and potentially dangerous
and even more potentially life-saving
new soul foods?
Or can you be brave
potent and broad enough
to close your eyes
open your heart
and lean your head up,
gape-mouthed like a newly hatched chick
and embrace what is dropped into you?