“For that is the way of the Universe”*
Dear Friends, hello.
Have you ever:
- Known positively that you’ve worked through an issue, only to find it rearing its charming head yet again?
- Renounced completely and forever the Devil Sugar, only to find, remarkably, a donut in your mouth?
- Committedly practiced lovingkindness, only to hear yourself cursing the car ahead of you, whose only crime is driving the speed limit?
Welcome to the human dilemma, where forgetting is part of the process,
An inevitable, essential and sacred part of the process.
You want to become more mindful? It is guaranteed; you will notice all the ways you are NOT mindful. Ironically and perfectly, that shows that your practice is working.
As my past few blogs have reflected, I have been wrestling with ancient demons triggered by current events that overtook my summer. Many feelings, much angst, exhausted me. Time passed. The heaviness of the feels was grueling, insufferable, non-ending.
Then, as it does happen, through a series of miraculous events, both physical and emotional, I suddenly (or not so suddenly) felt myself lighten, release, breathe, let go.
It was remarkable; I found myself freed up, for days and days upon days, freed from the angst of it, the heaviness of it, the interminable density of the feelings.
I outlived the process.
I did a tiny happy dance in the kitchen.
I waltzed with Zac the Dog around the living room.
It was over.
Deep inside of me, however, there was a teeny voice, whispering quietly, “Pssst. Aruni. This is a process not an event.”
I pretended to not listen.
Yet, of course, I heard.
And, of course, that teeny voice was the voice of truth.
Surprisingly, and not surprisingly, there was a shift, a change, a reversal.
Due to several powerful triggers converging, an anniversary of a past leaving that merged with an anniversary of what could have been, along with my sober anniversary (always evocative), all came together and landed upon me. Coupled with the inevitable imbalance of travel, boom!
Down I went, beneath and into the heaviness of the process.
In I went, into the density of the feelings.
My breath was tight, my chest closed. My body felt awful, and tears spilled out of my eyes for seemingly no reason.
Wait! I shook my fist at the universe.
Didn’t I already do this?
The answer; Yes. And now, do it again.
We remember, we get it, we lean toward freedom and Grace.
And boom! We forget, again.
The fluidity of the healing process, the dance between remembering and forgetting, all wrapped together in non-judgment, is the key to freedom.
Non-judgment is the key.
There is no wrong/right, no good/bad. There is simply fluidity and movement, remembering and forgetting and, through the brilliance of non-judgment, the return to remembering.
In talking to my wonderous rabbi, Kaya Stern-Kauffman, master-teacher and major-heart, about my “regression,” my “relapse,” my “slip,” she offered this profound biblical perspective:
“There is an image from the prophet Isaiah who describes a vision of the angels surrounding the throne of the Godhead. He describes them in perpetual motion, darting back and forth, in and out, moving away and then moving close again in a rhythmic motion. The Ba’al Shem Tov (Jewish mystical rabbi from Poland, considered the founder of Hasidic Judaism) understands this rhythmic movement in terms of the soul of every person, that comes close to the Throne at times and then retreats, flees, and then finds its way back again, only to flee again… So, he teaches, we should take heart when we feel distant, less shiny, less miraculous because the tide will pull us in again, for that is the way of the universe.”
Hearing her words, contemplating the image of the darting angels, falling into the arms of the words, “the tide will pull us in again,” I felt such a release, such a relief, such a lessening of despair.
Such a lessening of despair.
If only we could see ourselves as angles,
Darting, back and forth,
Closer to authenticity,
Closer to Grace.
Again and again.
If only we could see ourselves as angels….
For that is the way of the universe.
Is the way
Of the universe.
What do you notice about your darting back and forth, between remembering and forgetting? What patterns do you see in your angel-dance? How do you access non-judgment? What helps your return back? What doesn’t? Please, send on, as always, any and all comments. All are cherished.
You can reach me at— firstname.lastname@example.org.
All blessings, Aruni