No less than everything

Life is tough. When I started this blog it was with the intention to speak about how to live with integrity against the tide. With Bucky Fuller as my mentor, and some very clean and clear guidelines about what is integrity,  I struggle to maintain my centre so often of late.

Sometimes the effort of keeping up a happy face is simply exhausting. Of maintaining positive thoughts. Or feeling how I want to feel. Truth is I often feel like shit. Burdened, confused, lost, alone, abandoned by God, the Universe and everything.

It is during these times that I do take solace for the many many who have walked the path before me. Not just the Saints and Mystics, but the ordinary men and women who have spent years of their lives wondering if ever the darkness will lift. Hoping and praying. Nelson and his 27 years. St John of the Cross and his 9 months in a hole in the ground. Viktor Frankl and all the victims of the holocaust. Or the Aussie equestrian, Shane Rose, who, for the second time, has had to pull out of the Olympics the week before the games because his horse Taurus, is lame. This after 5 years of training. Or the many people around the world who have a serious illness that has become a part of their day to day existence.

Hopelessness is near bottom. When it seems there is no way out. Often this is the time the closest to the dawn. But how do we know that? We have to keep moving towards the possibility of light. Descent into hopelessness is when we let go of the last thread that keeps us breathing. I am reminded of Mary Oliver’s poem, Are we breathing just a little and calling it a life? How many people are living a half life?

I have been asking the Universe…why me? Why pick me to bare this cross? How much more is required of me to give?

…..No less than everything.

To be stripped bare. Am I able to endure that? I don’t know. One day at a time. One moment at a time.

Today I am not going to pretend to be happy, or successful. I will show up. I will believe in miracles, which by definition is what happens when the rules of time and space are bent.

During these times it is important to go to the level of the mythic and symbolic. To be mindful of the larger story being written. To remember that everything will be all right in the end… if it’s not all right then it’s not the end.

That for whatever reason, I am being asked to endure. To find faith when it seems to have left the building. To surrender when I want to cling most desperately to what remains. To know that in the realm of the mythic I have countless allies, holding me up, cheering me on.

And so it is to the mystics I return. To the words of the poets, knowing that to reach a place to write as they did, they  had to go through the valley of the shadow of death. And that on the other side of my own valley, I too may be able to write the transcendent. And in the journey that I am being asked to endure, if it brings me to that place of writing transcendent beauty, will be a worthy one.

A Cushion for Your Head

Just sit there right now
Don’t do a thing
Just rest.
For your separation from God,
From love,

Is the hardest work
In this
World.

Let me bring you trays of food
And something
That you like to
Drink

You can use my soft words
As a cushion
For your
Head

Hafiz

 

If you are enduring at this time, then you have my prayers.

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4 Comments on “No less than everything”

  1. Thank you, Christine, for you keep doing your honest, great work! I´m following you from afar. You are a great inspiration.
    This year, learning about teenagers, I was told high expectations were cause of suffering, and part of the process toward healing, or relief, was to examine them.
    I’m sure there’s always a middle way. Anyway, like you, I prefer big expectations. I like your suggestion about myths. Among my resources are the film of Gandhi, by R. Attenborough, and the words of Carl Jung.
    Gandhi used to pray, retired until having an answer. Jung went to play like a boy, with mud, for hours. They allowed themselves not knowing, searching… Where came this imperatif of having to know now, to master now, from? In the end all lives are too short, what matters is the path.
    As you walk ahead of me, I’m cheering you up. This feeling will lift. It always does.

    1.  Thank you for your lovely words. I might try both Gandhi and Jung’s methods…the mud sounds quite wonderful. Thanks for cheering. Deep bow to know that you are. Blessings, Christine

  2. Dear Christine, ahhhhhh I recently stumbled upon exactly the same poem from Hafiz, reading it to a coachee as she found her way from the stained-glass-window of her stories back to the never-changing ever-shining light that we all truly are. Separation from love, from God truly is the hardest work on this earth. I find the enduring is only needed when I am in the web of my stories, conditioning, wishing things were other than they are. And I liken myself to a car in which I can change gears and shift back, back into the light that is always whole, always one. I know you there.

    1.  Hi Lisette,

      so lovely to hear from you..and to read your comment. Today I was reminded to trust in the miraculous. And that St Theresa said not to insult God with a small problem. I can see some light.

      Blessings to you,

      Christine

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