hope and the point of pain

hope and the point of pain

I have just dealt with another loss. And loss of any kind is hard on humans, it’s not fun. it’s not fair. I hate it and the word hate doesn’t quite describe it. I have dealt with a lot of loss in that last few years. The loss of people family and things. And really I wasn’t in the mood for any more pain or loss for a while. Guess who had other plans for me and my tear ducts.

I have lost something of great value so that makes the loss sting all the more. And that gives me pain. I go through the steps of loss like everyone even when I know and accept that a greater power is in charge. And I feel inside myself a desire to be pissed off, again not a word that is strong enough for the emotion behind, Why God? Why me? Why again? I am mad. I am f**king mad.

I go to sleep with the feeling of loss I wake up with the sensation of loss. I lost something of great value and I can’t replace it, yet! My feelings are hurt and I want to blame anyone and anything. You can see it in my eyes you can hear it in my voice and my children are watching. My grandson put his arms around me the day the loss was something I had to accept, he felt it too. Loss is loss what ever you lose he knew that. But he spoke hope into my ear, “it will be ok Grandma”

The picture is the sunrise this morning. As I wait for work at my house to be finished I am staying at a room overlooking the lake. I am going home after a month of being away in California and now here taking care of business I have to carry this loss into my house. My grandson told me it would be ok. And as everyone watches I have to take it like a f**king champ. I have to stand in that space of everything happens for a reason. I have to stand in that space after every f**king loss in order for my kids who have no one but me leading our family ship to know that life will go on when really I am so done! But I just keep going. My grandson told me everything would be ok.

I woke to that sunrise. I woke up and that sun had the audacity to be so beautiful right outside of my room and right in my face. My heart is like a heavy burden overwhelmed by things I can’t understand today but I see the sun and it is another day and I am not dead, my kids are ok, my grandson is fine, and my  grand-daughter will be here soon. SO I accept the loss, these things that were of great value both in their worth and my love for them, and now they are gone, my grandson told me everything would be ok, he gave me hope.

I accept this loss but it feels like being burned by fire

through fire the phoenix rises

and through agony hope is born

Blooming means taking root wherever you are

IMG_0626I am at a mid-point in my life and not just in my chronological age. I am also at the end of a depression brought on by tremendous personal loss and that has helped put me at this crossroads. Having faced such vast personal loss I have been unwilling to look forward. I just moved through my days, no one day different from the next.

For a long time I thought my indecision about what to do next was more of a response to my need to be reclusive, a reaction brought on by the humiliation of betrayals and the loss of my mother. But now I know it has been so much more than that. I thought I wasn’t moving forward because I had wrapped myself in a blanket of emotional distance to give myself space, you know for healing. What I was really doing was using every excuse I could think of to stay where I was, lost in depression. I had every right to stay depressed for as long as I needed. That was until I was ready to grow again spiritually. Time to move forward.

Spiritual teachers move through dark nights of the soul just as everyone does. Especially when greater spiritual awakening is a life long desire. Suffering in any form is a great teacher and it separates the wannabe’s from the I will be’s. When as a spiritual student I thought I had finally found my path, my teacher, my way and was living a Godly life I stopped looking any further for guidance. I thought I had everything I needed and wanted. I thought I had control over my situation. Big stop signs threw me off course and I thought as anyone would that there had been a mistake. I am a spiritual person things like this don’t happen, obviously, God had other plans for the seeds that I was using to pave my life.

Of course I am reminded of the spiritual story about blooming where you are planted. When I am in LA I see sprouted seeds all day. There are flowers everywhere, growing everywhere they can. Plants and flowers exotic to us grow like weeds and are barely acknowledged they are just blooming where they are planted. The moral being not to wait for ideal growing conditions to sprout your seed but do your best to grow wherever you are at.

But after this rather long break from my life I see the idea of our spiritual seed blooming where its planted being applied to our mental lives as well. We may never get where we desire in our spiritual lives or what we think we deserve. We may have to suffer through many dark nights of the soul and feel we are never getting anywhere in our desire for spiritual growth. Rather than thinking we need a teacher to get out of our rut, or spiritual direction from someone to move forward, we might want to think on the idea of blooming where we are planted. Even when that means growing in a temporary garden of doubt and misery. Into every garden a little rain will fall.

A seed will work to fulfill its mission of sprouting, no matter the cost or the time spent, and it is driven to do so, I think it the same with the spiritual seed born within each of us. It is driven to sprout and just a little spiritual rain will do. We may think we need the perfect church, faith or religious community to bloom spiritually. We may think we can only practice our faith or belief system under ‘these perfect’ conditions. Not true. Anyone who has ever been locked up either in body or soul understands that freedom is all in the mind. A spiritual life is sprouted from the seed’s desire, in it’s will to be.

The spiritual seed can be awakened by living waters anytime anywhere. Just the smallest spark of spiritual understanding can be enough to sprout the Divine in man. Bloom where you are planted and start with the garden in your mind. And remember where ever you are is where your garden is at, and whatever you say waters it, and whatever you think fertilizes it, so tend to it correctly and there is nothing you cannot grow.

Walking under trees

filepicker-AXRWjWTF0ErRcHCehQgg_treesI am in LA while work is being done on my house in Duluth. It is an understatement to say it has been hot. The kind of heat that makes everything hard and getting outside is a far away dream a very hot far away dream. It’s funny after all those years growing up in Florida and dealing with the heat, I thought I liked the heat. Now as opposed to ass biting cold I do enjoy being hot rather than cold but being too hot is a miserable and dangerous situation if you can’t get away from it.

But, I like to walk and I love to be outside. Here where you would think it an easy thing to do can’t understand the nature of heat in the city. When we have heat in Duluth it is the kind of hot you may hate but it’s equally the kind of hot that doesn’t exist as soon as you move out of the direct sun and say move under a tree. Immediately there is a break from the insane heat and your body relaxes. It is one of my favorite things, that moment when the breeze moves the heat out of way, even if just for a second. Here the heat seems to chase you.

Yesterday again ass kicking hot I went to find a cafe to hide in and was going to see a movie, both good indoor activities. So I don’t know what possessed me but I changed my mind mid route to the movies and for some insane reason kept walking. I was just too early I guess and headed instead to a my favorite bookstore. It’s the only one I know like the ones in Paris, a book store for readers, books for the art of reading not just for entertainment. You know what I mean if you know what I mean. Anyway, it was not a smart move as it was already mid-day and busting ass hot.

Driven by the heat I instinctively became aware of every street along the way that had shade trees and would walk that direction. The rest of the way there and back I walked on street after street under the shade of the most magnificent trees . Some were so big as to bridge the road making an umbrella that stretched for blocks. Before I knew it I was there hot but not dead.

The walk back after the wonderful hours sent perusing the shelves was made all the less horrible as I remembered my trail of shaded streets. I quickly stopped in a cafe for an iced chai for the walk back as the heat outside the shop was overwhelming. I had to walk a few steps in the heat to cross the intersection and I hurried towards the shaded streets.

Outside I was surrounded by the noise of the traffic and as I turned the corner I was all alone on a quiet street surrounded by trees. It was like stepping into a fantasy world. I felt the wind and I become aware of the breeze making the leaves sing a tune and suddenly another gust and the air was alive with birds. For a moment it was as if I wasn’t in LA at all but a street I knew not where. But I was somewhere on the planet lost in a magical moment surrounded by trees.