Tuesday, August 8, 2017
How well did I love?
It may feel as if today is just another ordinary day, in an ordinary life, on an ordinary star. We meet the morning and we’re just not sure. Don’t I have some problems I need to attend to? I’m pretty sure there’s something wrong, just somehow off a bit. Isn’t there? Isn’t there someone I need to become? Something to resolve and figure out? Change in some way? Shift? Transform? Manifest something? Awaken? Heal?
It is so easy to take for granted that tomorrow will come, that another opportunity will be given to witness a sunrise, to take a walk in the rain, to listen in awe to the birds as they remind us of our longing, to share a moment of connection with the one in front of us. But another part of us knows it is so fragile here, so tenuous, and that this opening into life will not be here for much longer.
Recognizing this, let us surrender the dream of postponement by doing whatever we can to help others, by taking a risk to fully show up here, never forgetting what is most important, no longer apologizing for our uniqueness, our sensitivity, and the gifts of our vulnerability.
At the end of this life – which is sure to come much sooner than we’d like – it is unlikely we'll be all that concerned with whether or not we accomplished all the tasks on our to-do lists, perfected ourselves, transcended our humanness and shaky vulnerability, wrapped up our self-improvement project, played it safe, or “completed” some mythical spiritual journey. Inside these hearts there may be only one burning question: how well did I love?
Did I pause each day to behold the wonder of just one unfolding here and now moment? Was I willing to take a risk, to feel more, to care deeply about this life, to let another matter, and to honor this very experience, exactly as it has been given?
Was I willing to behold the sacred offering of the natural world – the sky, the snowflakes, the mountains, the sun, the mud, the deer, and the lunar offering of the moon as she floods our hearts with her secrets?
Was I willing to fall in love, to truly fall in love with this life, exactly as it is? Was I willing to have my heart broken and to enter inside this breaking as a portal to the aliveness I have longed for for so long? Was I willing to provide a home, a sanctuary, and safe passage for all of me, an environment of wholeness and integration to dance, rest, and play in?
Was I willing to set aside the unending need to make this moment different?
What is it that remains unlived… for you? How have you been holding back? What are you waiting for? What is your heart asking of you? What is most important? What are you unwilling to compromise any longer? What are you no longer willing to apologize for?
In what ways are you not living your own life, but someone else’s? Or living out the fantasies of a society or culture that has forgotten about love and what matters most… for you? The bounty and the harvest of this world is upon you. It is always already here, erupting in each moment, and is not waiting.
One day we will no longer be able to look at, touch, or share a simple moment with those that we love. When we turn to them, they will be gone. One moment will be our last to witness the immensity of just one more breath, to experience awe at a color or fragrance or blooming of a flower, to enter into union with the vastness of the ocean. It will be our last chance to feel the presence of a tree, to have a moment of communion with a friend, or to weep as the light yields to the night sky.
One last moment to have a thought, to feel an emotion, to fall in love, to smell a flower, to taste something sweet, and to know heartbreak, joy, and peace – to behold the outrageous mystery of what it really means to be a sensitive, alive, tender human being.
What if today is that last day? Or tomorrow? Or later this week?
Knowing that death will come to complete the cycle of the beloved in the world of time and space, how will you respond to the breath that is moving within you right now, to the feelings washing through you, and to the opportunity to know and to be the activity of love here?
What would it be like to fully allow in the reality that today may be your last? Will you open your heart to the gift of life before it is too late?
Perhaps your “life's purpose” has nothing to do with what job you will find or what new cool thing you manifest or what awesome soul mate you might attract or what mythical awakening journey you complete. But that the purpose of your life is to fully live, finally, to touch each here and now moment with your presence and with the gift of your one, wild heart. And to do whatever you can to help others to remember this, and how precious and unique they are. Perhaps this is the most radical gift that we can all give.
Please don't forget how rare and precious it is here. And please don't forget what it is that really matters to you.
My new book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available