Life is for the Living

I often talk about “Now” as being the only time we ever have without really addressing the bigger question: How much time do we really have?

That question can be answered in two ways:

Our true Self, the consciousness that resides within these temporary vessels, comes from the Source and returns to it after our time in this form is complete and while whatever happens after that is open for debate it is seldom argued that the Source, The Universe, God, whatever name you choose to call it, is timeless. Infinite. So we too are also infinite.

At least for a time.

Yet, it can not be denied that we, here, now, in our physical form, live in a space of linear time. We are born. We exist for a while. We return to the infinite. Time exists only in that brief existence between birth and death and the time we have is incredibly short.

While in this form we experience a physical reality. We touch, taste, see, smell, think, feel. We age. We laugh. We cry. We love. We experience pain and joy and suffering and gain and loss and, eventually, ultimately, we experience death.

When I look at myself in the mirror I can see the passage of time. The laugh lines and crows feet. The greying. The scars that serve as reminders of who I have been and the things I have done. The man I am becoming day by day. Minute by minute. Second by second.

That man I see is no more “Me” than the boy I saw at ten exploring the world. Or the young man on his own in his teens and twenties finding his way, losing himself, struggling to become. Or the self critical man in his thirties hardened by experience. Or the finally awakened man in his forties.

When I close my eyes I can see that I am all of those previous versions of myself.

And none of them.

I am more, and I am made more by my experiences. All of them.

Like I said, however, this time is short. Too short. Too short to experience all the things I want to experience. Too short to “get over” the negative things that have happened. Too short to learn all the things I want to learn. To laugh as much as I want.

It is long enough to experience amazing things. To learn from all my experiences. To laugh joyfully. To love deeply.

But only if I keep my intentions alive and maintain a balance.

I will never laugh enough if I don’t seek out the company of those who bring me joy or do the things that make me happy. I will never learn enough if I am not constantly aware of how limited my time here is and how important it is to always be learning. I will never love deep enough if I keep the people I love at arms length or withdraw or set myself to fail or if I never truly love myself.

The balance is found in how I live and the best use of my time here, Now, is to live as fully and fearlessly as I can.

Life is for the Living. Live, Now.

Change happens

Change is the only real constant in the Universe and it happens whether or not I want it to. It is a guarantee.

If I allow myself to be swept up and carried by that inevitable change there is no way to know how it will affect me. It can carry me to places I am unfamiliar with. Places I don’t want to be. That can have any of a number of negeative consequences: confusion, frustration, anger.

But, when I am aware that even change itself is impermanent, and accept that it is the only constant, I can be prepared when it comes and guide my own destiny by remaining focused on the things I want in my life. I can incorporate those changes, own them, make them mine, I can use them to become the very changes I want in my life and my whole world can change in an instant.

Yes, change can, and often does, alter my path in ways that make progression difficult, even impossible, but when I step back from whatever situation has been created by those changes I can clearly see that I am always moving forward and can always choose where my next step is.

Change happens. Where it leads is almost entirely up to me.

———–

Image: “Icarus” by JMGreff.

You

You are truly extraordinary, a marvelous wonder to behold, a manifestation of the Divine, you are sacred and worthy and deserving and oh so unique.

So be the best You you can be and don’t judge yourself or allow others to judge you for being who you are.

You are perfect in your imperfections.

—————

Image colored by me from the Recolor app

You are Divine

That soul you carry, the one that can feel as heavy as a crate of stones or light enough to lift you to the stars.

The part of you that you ignore when it pleads for attention with pain.

That calls out to you and opens your heart to the exquisite heights of love.

That makes you dance and cry and sing and laugh without effort. Without thought.

It is a part of the living energy of the Universe itself which flows through and connects all things.

That soul is who you really are.

Not the physical being that experiences those things.

Not the thoughts that drive or replay those experiences.

Not the memories.

You are the life within this temporary vessel that is a gift of a million sensations and thoughts and emotions and that life is part of the very universe.

A part of God.

You are Divine.

———-

Image: “In Search of the Divine -Shiva and Shakti” by Pooja Bhapkar

Sacred Human

Every cell in your body, every muscle, bone, tendon, artery, vein, capillary, and the blood the flows through them, every neuron that fires thought both pleasant and unpleasant, every memory triggered, every emotion that accompany those memories whether they bring ecstatic joy or mind numbing, incapacitating, suffering, every breath and beat of your heart, has been written by the Divine who has designed your life specifically for you.

You are Sacred.

———–

Image: “Omniscience” by Carlos Quevedo

Evening prayer

Divine Mother, Sacred Creator, you who guide us with pain and joy and fill our souls with love, our bodies with life, and our minds with dreams, I offer myself to you, freely, and ask that you guide me now and always, in whatever manner you choose.

Teach me by your loving embrace or your firm hand. Guide me when I go off course, reprimand me when I need it, envelop me in your compassion when I ask for it, love me as I love you, and if in your infinite wisdom you see fit to send me tumbling from my chosen path then light a new one and tenderly or firmly set my feet upon it and show me the way as I know you always do.

Teach me to love deeper, laugh harder, cry truer, express clearer, to live more in union with our shared intentions and to become more fully the person you have planned for me to be.

I am yours and I am ever grateful.

———-

Image: “Spectrum” by Ludovic Cordelieres

Life is a Journey

 

“People are hypocrites” she proclaims. “No one lives the life they want.”

I have said those same words myself, or something similar, though it probably contained expletives and self pity.

How do I tell her what I have learned in a single online conversation? How do I tell her that there was a time in my life that I shared that view? How do I explain that my change of view was both instantaneous and took many years?

I had the four bedroom house on an acre of land with a six car garage, a cabin on a private lake, a boat, motorcycles, off road 4×4, a recording studio in my basement, my own construction company, everything I thought I needed to be happy, and in a moment of human failure I lost everything.

Even though it initially brought with it a physical, as well was emotional, pain it also brought a proclamation of “FREEDOM!”, shouted in big screen fashion, it took many more years to understand that none of the stuff I gathered and lost over the years ever really mattered.

At the time of the “loss” it felt like I had been robbed of my entire world. Like I was condemned. Cursed.

Now, looking back with unclouded eyes, I can see that I was most miserable when I had everything I thought I wanted.

It took many miles to discover that what I was missing couldn’t be found on a piece of land or in a store or online or was anything I could carry in my pocket or drive or use in any way.

What I was missing was found inside and I found it only by enduring, surviving, and exploring with gratitude the journey that my life became.

I discovered is that the journey itself is life.

Not the prescribed “this will make you happy” copywriting on a box of sugar sweetened cereal or the dictated image of perfection programmed by hours in front of a screen that insisted I couldn’t be happy unless I owned the latest fashion or drove the newest car or smelled a certain way or walked a certain way or looked a certain way or spoke a certain way.

The struggles and joys and passions and pains and heartbreaks are each but a single step along the paths of our lives.

Today my journey brings me back to the acquisition of “stuff”, but not in the way it did back then. Today my intentions guide both my needs and desires as they apply to others. They tell me that the life I have led these past years, paying off old debt, finding myself and being true to that Self, exposing my underbelly to the entire world, ready to feast on it, without fear, was necessary. Essential.

Each step I have made has led me here to this place of love and gratitude.

Now, in complete surrender to, and acceptance of, a grace that I work to prove my worth of receiving, I push forward with plans left by the roadside long ago.

Plans to live. Fully. One step at a time.

Because life isn’t a destination, it’s a journey.

Travel far.