The title of this blog is borrowed from a message that Mark Nepo wrote in his book, “The Book of Awakening.” It is among my favorite daily selections in it because it so beautifully reflects the reality of our living in the world as well as revealing the transformation that awaits us each time we go deep within, listen and see from our inner eye, and then act in accordance with our hearts and minds, now aligned with divine order.
This is the message that not long ago was presented to me by Mark one morning as confirmation of what Spirit had led me to say to someone who had sought my counsel regarding a very troubled relationship the evening before:
“It doesn’t take very long for each of us to accumulate an emotional history. A child burns her hand on a stove and a fear of fire begins; in a tender moment, a hand is slapped and a fear of love begins. Our emotional associations and reflexes run deep. Often, the heart breathes beneath all our associations like a soft, sandy bottom waiting underwater.
“Thus, to see ourselves clearly, we must try to still our associations till we are as transparent as a calm lake. When still enough and clear enough, others can also see through to our bottom. It makes love possible again. But paradoxically, when someone is moved to reach for us, their fingers stir things up, sending ripples everywhere, and we and they can often lose sight of what matters.
“All this affirms the need to stay with our feelings long enough for the emotional associations–the ripples–to settle. No one can escape this. No matter how young or old you may be, no matter how innocent or experienced you are, if you’ve been awake and alive and in any kind of relationship that has in any way been real, your waters will stir, your emotions will ripple. It seems the only way we can truly know our own depth is to wait for our associations and reflexes to subside, till we are clear as a lake again. Only when what gets stirred up settles can we see ourselves and each other clearly.”
I admit I had been a bit troubled by my impression that what I had shared with the individual had not been received in the manner I had hoped. It seemed to me the individual’s responses kept their focus on the persons causing their grief, not on themselves. I realized self-doubt had crept into my consciousness, triggered by an old belief that I wasn’t enough. Aware of this, I spent some time in the Silence.
When my quiet time ended, I felt at peace and an assuring thought came to me as I once again reflected back on the exchange that had taken place earlier that evening. I shared exactly what spirit had inspired me to say, that it was the best I was capable of sharing in that moment. I also recalled something the person had said at the end of our phone conversation, something to the effect: “I guess you’re saying I should pray on it and then leave it in God’s hands.”
The next morning, I received an email from the person, telling me they too had spent some time in prayer the previous evening, visualizing a transformation, a healing of sorts, and had just that morning received an email from the person who had been a “thorn in their side” for so many years. The email message clearly reflected a change of heart and a move toward a healing of their fractured relationship.
What this incident has taught me is how easily one can be moved out of alignment with the truth of who we are when we focus on the desired outcome and it doesn’t seem to show up as we thought it should/would. That I needed to exercise more patience! God was always present (how could it be otherwise!). It was me that couldn’t see rightly, that had allowed my “monkey mind” to get in the way. Yet, even so, divine order was unfolding without much help from me! That’s a humbling thought, one that helps me align with the truth of who I AM, that I am in my right place listening to Spirit’s guidance and open to taking the steps I’m guided to take.
And where do you fit into all of this? What do Mark Nepo’s words say to you? Do they bring to mind any relationships you may have that might be transformed for the better by something you have the power to think, do, or say? Well, that’s for you to decide.
Here’s a toast to your Light shining even more brightly than it already is! Remember, there are unlimited possibilities to be fulfilled! So if you’re thinking there may be some outer obstacles getting in the way, re-read Mark Nepo’s message and then spend a few moments of compassionate self-inquiry and discover what self-limiting thoughts may still be blocking the way of your spiritual journey, may be blocking your peace.
Love & Light, Steven