Tenderly, I now touch all
knowing one day we will
By St. John of the Cross
The Bible tells us, “It came to pass”. It does not say, “It came to stay”. Life is fluid, experiences come and go. People come and go. Light comes and it, too, shifts with the passage of the day. The seasons flow, the seasons change. We know this. We understand this. Yet when we are met with a loss, with a change, our hearts lurch with surprise.
We can learn from the leaves. In their stunning demise, filled with remarkable color and brilliant hues, they fall onto the earth with effortless ease. Their surrender is blindingly beautiful. They let go into transmutation with such elegance.
We can also learn from St. John of the Cross, a nice Jewish boy from Spain in the 16th century, whose family was forced to convert to Christianity. A mystic, a Roman Catholic saint, he speaks to us in these stunning words of tenderly loving life. What a model he gives us.
I offer you now a one-step practice in befriending impermanence. ONE STEP! Ladies and gentleman of the blog, come on. Only one, damn step. Check it out.
A One-Step Practice in Befriending Impermanence—
Savor What You Love
Pick one person, place, or thing that lives deeply in your heart. For this one week, in the silence of your heart and on a daily basis, deliberately savor this person/place/or thing. Love the heck out of it.
Do some journaling during this week—
- Describe this person/place/thing totally. Be specific.
- What do you love about her/him/it? Again, be specific.
- On a daily basis, how can you best fully enjoy this being, this thing? What would it look like to fully there for the experience of loving? Be specific.
- Write a prayer of gratitude for this person/place/thing. It can be a tiny, a simple one word. Or it can be many words.
- Consider, as St. John says—since this person/place/thing will one day be gone from you, can you savor it even more deliciously?
- Fully enjoy what is!
- Hold it lightly, with gratitude and grace.
- Practice this one day at a time.
- As best as you can, one day at a time, practice for twenty-nine more days.
Okay, okay, perhaps the One-Step practice got carried away with itself. But the question I leave you with is this, dear friends: knowing that which you deeply cherish is, in fact, coming to pass, can you love it with even more deliberate savoring? Can you appreciate its beauty, like the leaves, knowing that inevitably it will change?
Doesn’t the inevitability of loss call us into a deeper and more delicious loving?
Please keep your emails a’rolling in, friends. What did you notice in this blog’s invitation to savoring? Do you think it’s possible to become even more present, knowing it’s all changing? What do you make of this conversation? I would love to hear from you.