There is a lot of healing ahead of us and yet we are not through the traumas. Trauma is really about things happening that are too much, too fast, without the resources needed to navigate it. So many humans are heart broken and suffering. Individuals are traumatized, the collective is traumatized and although we are still in the midst of it, healing can happen.
Healing can happen simultaneously to the ongoing wounds as we draw from the ever abundant resources from the Divine within and beyond us available to navigate it. Not only can we heal, but we have an opportunity to be transformed, to be birthed. Many paths point out that transformation comes from great suffering. There is Great Suffering right now and we can allow it to draw us into the unknown, into something new. Bede Griffiths said it well in a conversation with Andrew Harvey, "All great births are terrifying because they are more than transformations. They are mutations. They are the birthing of a new species, a species that has taken a quantum leap of embodiment.” Might this suffering be part of a mutation we are undergoing?
At any rate, Great Healing comes from Great Love and is the Balm that we can spread throughout the earth and cover humanity. Great Love must be both personal and interpersonal. Love your Self. Take care of your Self. Tend to your own Being. Do this in small ways like discovering and choosing little pleasures, tiny joys throughout your day. Weaving them like bright beautiful threads that can sparkle in each slice of the now. Use all three centers to engage these precious glimpses and allow them to grow. What we give our attention to grows. Make this a ruthless commitment. Self care is not something reserved for a bath, massage, yoga, etc. It is a lifestyle of maintaining the unique vessel that is you. Do this in big ways like making sure your daily, weekly, monthly, yearly rhythm support have enough life-giving activities that create a sustainable energy output and input. As we steward our energy, we can offer Love.
Authentic Self Love and healing is always interconnected with the Whole. Our unity and our particularity get to be a part of a dynamic mysterious dance of Mutual Love. The Christian Wisdom path, and indeed all the great wisdom traditions, posits that our life can become an offering, poured out in, for, and as Love. We can use this time to continue to tune our hearts for Love. When our hearts are aligned with God’s heart, we can touch into a deep knowing that we have the inner strength to endure all things including great births or mutations.
We can hold onto mystical hope that is beyond attachment to outcome. This allows us to keep our hearts open and broken because we know we will ultimately be okay. We have support can draw on resources that are always available to us if only we have the heart to see. Many of us have been watering internal and external resources for a very long time. Anchoring, tethering, surrendering, trusting, connecting, inter-abiding, freeing and widening. Many are just beginning. Together we do this not only for our own well-being but for the well-being of ALL. Let’s keep it up.
Also, February is Black History month. Black bodied friends, I honor your history and will continue to learn more fully how this history has shaped your experience in the world. I love you. . . I hope you get some rest.
White bodied friends, I love you. . . keep reckoning with the implications of white advantage and remember that what is an awakening or ongoing journey of understanding for you is a longstanding wound for many BIPOC folx. Keep doing your work and let your life speak rather than sharing your process with BIPOC folx who are tired and trying to continue to heal. There are so so many resources to support your journey. Here is one article that a friend passed on called 'No dismantling without intimate reckoning' and a few more can be found at the bottom of this post.
May we be anchored and tethered.
May we be surrendered and trusting.
May we be connected and inter-abiding.
May we be free and wide.
May we trust the invincibility of our heart.
Here are most of the readings from the ‘Collective Contemplative Pauses’ this week:
“What actually happens when you "let go" of a thought during Centering Prayer? Let this question rest in the back of your mind as you continue with your daily practice of Centering Prayer. Letting go is not simply an attitude; it is actually physically embodied. Most people will notice a small "drop and release" in the region of their solar plexus that allows them to move ‘downward" in their body: out of their heads toward their own physical center of gravity. Centering Prayer turns out to be well named! This is more important than it looks, for it catalyzes and gradually stabilizes the subtle physiological rewiring that will allow you to begin to see "with the eye of the heart," i.e., from oneness or nonduality. As you practice today, look upon your thoughts not as interruptions or annoyances, but as an opportunity to joyfully practice this release and drop. It is good spiritual aerobics for sure!”
— Cynthia Bourgeault
“Evolutionary thinking is actually contemplative thinking because it leaves the full filed of the future in God’s hands and agrees to humbly hold the present with what it only tentatively knows for sure. Evolutionary thinking agrees to both knowing and not knowing, at the same time.”
“ LOVE REDEEMS. DESPITE all the lovelessness that surrounds us, nothing has been able to block our longing for love, the intensity of our yearning. The understanding that love redeems appears to be a resilient aspect of the heart’s knowledge. The healing power of redemptive love lures us and calls us toward the possibility of healing. We cannot account for the presence of the heart’s knowledge. Like all great mysteries, we are all mysteriously called to love no matter the conditions of our lives, the degree of our depravity or despair. The persistence of this call gives us reason to hope. Without hope, we cannot return to love. Breaking our sense of isolation and opening up the window of opportunity, hope provides us with a reason to go forward. It is a practice of positive thinking [think focusing on what is good and right]. Being positive, living in a permanent state of hopefulness [think mystical hope], renews the spirit. Renewing our faith in love’s promise, hope is our covenant.”
— Bell Hooks
“In that calmness we begin to understand that peace is not the opposite of challenge and hardship. We understand that the presence of light is not the result of darkness ending. Peace is found not in the absence of challenge but in our own capacity to be with hardship without judgment, prejudice, and resistance. We discover that we have the energy and the faith to heal ourselves, and the world, through an open heartedness in this movement.”
— Jack Kornfield and Christina Feldman, via Bell Hooks
The trance of separation, of "us" against "them", is powerful. Yet... "Greater still is the truth of our connectedness." Beliefs lose their force whenever we take refuge in actual experience. If we really pay attention to another person, if we really listen and try to enter his or her experience, we may begin to discover who she or he is beyond any preconceived notions...
In just the same way, when we bring full presence to our own experience, we see beyond the confining stories we tell ourselves about our own unworthiness, badness, unlovableness. Rather than living from these stories, we becomes increasingly free to trust and live from our natural intelligence, openness, and love. then, like the poet Rumi, we might realize:
"I've gotten free of that ignorant fist that was pinching and twisting my secret self. The universe and the light of the stars come through me."
— Tara Brach
“Mercy is the great weaver, collecting and binding the scattered and broken parts of our lives in a tapestry of Divine Love.”
– Cynthia Bourgeault