Monday, July 8, 2013

In the Undoing


We know how to “do”

To get shit done

To organize our days

By what we need to “do”

And this is necessary

To bring order to our lives

But it is in the undoing

That new life is hatched

New adventures are explored

The inner world is navigated

As we tune in

And discover

The power of our Presence

The magnificence that simply “is”

Not based on what we do

But who we are essentially.


I was having a rich, soulful conversation with a friend who is being challenged greatly by an illness that has rocked his world and taken him out of his life, a life he loved and knew how to do.  He wept as the enormity of what he was feeling bubbled up – at first, he tried to control them and pull them back but he couldn’t will them back so the inconvenient, uncomfortable tears came gracefully down his face.  Honest moments are healing – in spite of our best efforts to do what we have always done, the truth of where we are and all we are experiencing overrides our impulse to control, undoing what no longer works.

He expressed his struggle with wondering if or when he will ever feel good again.  He shared the pain of not being able to do the simple things he has always done.  He missed even the crap he had complained about having to do.  He grieved the inability to get shit done and create order in his life.   He feared that his life had no meaning if he couldn’t do what he had always done.  He questioned what he had done to deserve this as if he were being punished by God, as if God operated in a human sense of justice and fairness, sentencing each of us to private hells based on if we are good or bad.  He was fully and magnificently human exploring him Self, his inner world in ways he never had before in an attempt to survive the days, to make sense of this mess that is his life, to find a way through the darkness of the unknown.

Sitting there with him, face to face, honoring his vulnerability, listening and allowing all that sprung from the depths of him, I knew that my presence was the offering he most needed.  He didn’t need a “pep” talk where I dismissed his pain and struggle in order to make myself feel better; or well-intended platitudes like this too shall pass.  He needed me to bear witness to his truth, where he was in that moment at this time of great uncertainty, in the undoing of who he was.  I acknowledged and affirmed all he was feeling without judgment or imposing what I think he should do or how he should feel.

I shared my experience following John’s death:  I knew how to get shit done.  I knew how to do.  But in the undoing, a new life is hatched.  Out of necessity, the inner world is explored as never before.  We tune in.  And we discover the power of our Presence, the magnificence that simply “is” – not based on what we do but who we are essentially.  And we look at life, our life and all life with a deep sense of reverence made possible from the undoing.

There are times in our lives when our plans unfold like clockwork day after day and we do whatever needs to be done.  This is familiar and there is great comfort in this.  And there are times in our lives when our plans go up in smoke – poof!  Our life is gone.  The undoing of what was is painful; being with this allows us to be transformed, to experience greater joy and abundance, to live in appreciation for the gift of our presence in this world.  The invitation this day is to honor all the seasons of your life, finding a way to see the beauty in the doing – all that fills our days AND see the beauty in the undoing – all that is stripped away to make space for the new life hatching.

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