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.
When we are born we discover the most amazing things: the world develops before our very eyes and as we grow it expands as if we, ourselves, are the gods that create it moment by moment.
In our teens we discover complex emotions that threaten our very existence: rage, pain, immense joy and sadness, and, for the very first time, even though we may not recognize it for what it is, Love.
We go through school being taught pointless rhetoric: math, science, history. All the while being taught none of those things that could lead us to deeper paths; mindfulness, loving kindness, compassion. Those are supposed to be taught by our parents. Parents who never learned those things either.
Learn them. They will lead you farther than you imagine.
Later still, we discover that we wished we had learned more of those worthless ideas. Paid closer attention. What was that formula for finding the volume of a circle again? That will come in handy later. I promise you that. So pay attention if you can. But there’s more.
We discover the value of money. Of friendship and of hard work and of possession. We go into the world discovering fine food, good company, bright lights.
Too often people don’t make it past those last discoveries. They base their lives on the hedonistic values of life: a big house, a nice car, good clothes, physical pleasure. Discovery ends. Life has been explored and all that it offers has been found.
Those discoveries become empty. Meaningless. Superficial. Life becomes meaningless. Emotions become an intolerable consequence. A side effect of life.
If we are insightful, or have a fortunate predilection for it, or have a loved one willing to force our awareness, or we are just plain lucky, or unlucky, we push deeper. Struggle harder to find meaning.
Our path of discovery narrows to two distinct paths: inward or outward.
The outward path leads us to medical discovery. To miracle cures. To pills that end our suffering. To gurus and healers and shaman. The path can branch over and over from here but it always leads us to the discovery of the inward path though very very few can make that transition.
If you find yourself at that transitional fork in your path I hope, I truly hope, you find your way to the inward path. Reach into that place and you will find a hand willing to lead you farther than you ever imagined. I promise you that.
The inward path leads us to ever deeper discovery: understanding, self love, honesty, acceptance, awareness, unity, Love. True Love.
Discoveries that lead us to higher planes of existence. Planes where loss and suffering are accepted as simply a part of life and where the value of a single breath, drawn long and slow while listening to and feeling the beat of our own miraculous heart connect us to the very soul of the Universe, is beyond measure.
What we discover there can never be fully expressed in words but in that place are experiences outside the realm of comprehension and yet understood as if we were once again children creating, moment by moment, the very fabric of our own distinct, yet combined, reality.
My wish for you is this:
Continue your journey. Never cease in your struggle of discovery, because even further beyond that point lay infinity: a point of chaotic generation and regeneration of life where the distance between infancy and eons are but fractions of moments of the life of a single drop of moisture on a spiders web and all that we have discovered between birth and true life, the life that always awaits, that bekons and welcomes all, are a single reflection on the surface of that dew that shimmers a while before dropping into an endless ocean that rises as mist to condense on the web over and over again.
In that chaos of constant re-creation resides the Divine where She rests on this, the Seventh Day, with arms wide and welcome, to bring us into Her embrace.
It is a place of constant discovery and awe and wonder where a word as simple and complex as “Love” or “Gratitude” can define our very existence.
Though I tend to speak of it in terms of enlightenment and higher planes of consciousness it is not some mythical place reached only through lifetimes of deep meditation and study. It does not require the use of psychoactive compounds or healers or teachers.
With that single line St Francis defined a life of mindfulness and loving kindness long before those terms were first used. Long before pop culture turned them into an industry. A t-shirt slogan.
He goes on to describe how that instrument looks. It is one of understanding and giving. A life in service of love.
“Lord make me an instrument of peace
Where there is hatred let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
Oh divine master grant that I may
not so much seek to be consoled as to console
to be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life”
This is how I want my life to be yet I often fail in these intentions. Instead, I want to be understood. To be consoled. To wade deeply in my sorrow. To be loved despite my shortcomings.
When I find myself on the needy end of the spectrum that runs from giving to receiving I remember that I can not only offer these gifts to myself, I should.
My efforts to be an instrument of peace must begin with myself because to offer peace to others I must first have it within me. The good news is that inner peace is often gained in the offering of it to others. It is a beautiful, endless, self-sustaining circle.
This was my meditation this morning:
That I forgive myself and not beat myself up for being human.
That I keep strong the faith that brought me here.
That I keep the flame of hope ever burning within me to light both bright days and dark nights.
That I be willing to find and feed my joy, especially when it seems so far away.
That I love myself as I wish to be loved by others and that I share that love regardless of my pain.
That peace isn’t just something we feel, it’s something we practice.
Some time back I set myself the unexpectedly difficult task of setting poetry to a list of words gathered from readers as well as from my own list of loved words. Words like “passion” and “joy” and “entwine”. This little piece evolved from that list of words and required constant editing because each word seemed to give birth, or shed light on, other words that were connected. It grew, large and unwieldy. What follows is the latest edit of that poem reduced to a manageable size that, I hope, makes sense while staying on task.
So long I waited
My life spent in beautiful surrender
How I longed
To hold you in my arms
Knowing you existed
Without ever knowing your name
To touch you
To invite you close to me
To feel your heat next to mine
Like a slow fire
With hopeful desire
To share a lifetime with you
In romantic wonder
With mouthwatering dreams of us
How long I prepared
In fearless devotion
To kiss with passion
and gentle abandon
your exquisitely tender flesh
To taste your delicious spirit
Bathe in your intoxicating soul
To share my heart
With hopeful gratitude
Now you are here
Close to me
Laying right there next to me
Singing your song with me
I am seduced by the sound of you
Awakened by the scent of you
Your body calling out to me
I reach out
and find you reaching back for me
and all I dreamed
is made real
You call out my name
With sweet moaning
Press your body next to mine
With tempered fury
Our souls connection
A perfect union
To light the sky
with joyful passion
Our sacred space
with intense pleasure
Our one heart
Throughout our days
and into the nights
I offer you love with thoughtful intention
and give myself to you
You are the gift
I never thought I deserved
The treasure of a lifetime
I am yours
I sit in silent contemplation and awe of the direction my life has taken. Where I’ve been. Where I’m headed. I am amazed by the change that has manifested in my life because of my persistent dedication to my intentions but if I allow it, and I do allow it, I feel a pressure in my chest, a tightening of my throat.
It is anxiety. Stress. Worry.
It is a reminder of those things that brought me to this point; hard memories of hard times that led to hard decisions that brought me to who and where I am now.
I allow those feelings to express themselves completely. The disappointments. Failures. Shame. Guilt. They are the voice of my soul asking for my attention and tender affection. I listen.
I don’t ever want to forget those things. They keep me grounded. On my path. But I never allow them to control me. My past has no place here. Now. Except to keep me on course by reminding me who not to be.
I have allowed those hard times to make me soft. Vulnerable. I am ever grateful for that. There is strength in that softness.
With eyes closed, I breathe deep and slow, acknowledge those feelings, then treat myself with the same loving compassion I would treat anyone else who was suffering.
I lay one hand on my belly, the other on my heart, and, with honest sympathy, I repeat those same words to my Self that I would tell anyone I care about;
“I love you.
I am listening.
I am here.”
In doing so I release those feelings and love rushes in to replace them.
I keep a place in my heart
for my Beloved.
I keep her heart in my heart.
For it to be a place
where she feels the care
and passionate love
I keep there for her
it must be a place of love.
For it to be that place
I must first love myself.
In loving myself
I love her.
This is what it means to love myself and why it is so important.
So I sit in quiet contemplation and awe of the direction my life has taken and in that quiet contemplation I find gratitude, even for the reminders of the past that led me here.
Life has been hard on you. It has given you challenges you never expected. Pushed you to do things you never thought you would do. It has kicked you when you were down. Stomped on you. At some point it convinced you that you are unworthy. Less than perfect.
Yet here you are, embracing those imperfections. Finding strength in courage and hope. You are authentic. Unafraid to be vulnerable. Honest with others and with yourself. Compassionate. When life knocks you down you simply get back up and proclaim, “You hit like a bitch.”
You have uncaged your wild nature and embraced the divine feminine.
You are a goddess.
You deserve the worship and love of a warrior. A god.
He will support you. Go out of his way to show his appreciation and his love in every way he can. He will dance with you while doing dishes. Kiss you long and deep without reason. Ride the stupid spirit wagon with you at your kids football game just because you are on it.
He will caringly touch and lovingly kiss all those areas, physical, mental, spiritual, that are hard for you to reach or uncomfortable for you to touch alone.
When you are down he will help you up. When you are up he will raise you higher. When life hands you shit he will make fertilizer from it, plant seeds in it, wash it from you, and put you to bed with soft words and hard passion.
He will reflect those things in you that make you a goddess without fear. You will see yourself in him and you will like what you see. You can be vulnerable around him because he will never take advantage of you. Never use your vulnerability against you. Because he is also vulnerable.
He will bring out the best in you by being his best. Only his best is good enough for you.
He will encourage and help you to grow and in doing so grow with you. Not separately. Not as competition. Together. As One.
He will do these things because he wants to. Not because he needs to. Not because he feels obligated. Because he wants to. He wants to because he loves you.
You are a goddess, you deserve to be loved like one.
Image: “The Fountain of Love” by Jean Honoré Fragonard, c. 1785