Archive for the ‘Surrender’ Category
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
The brilliant lessons I learned
have washed away.
Now there’s room for more.
Do you miss me? …… Call me
Want to meet up? …… Invite me places
Want me to understand you? …… Open your heart to me
Want to know something about me? …… Ask me
Don’t like something? …… Please tell me
Have some advice for me? …… I want it
(I need all the help that I can get)
Have nice thoughts about me? …… Share them with me, in exquisite detail
Want/need something from me? ……. Ask for it
Love me? …… Let me know
(Don’t let anything or anyone stop you)
The frontier of vulnerability
I wrote this down after listening to David Whyte’s Midlife and the Great Unknown.
Usually I write little things like that and the blog post ends, but I think that this one needs clarification.
So, what is this post about? It’s about the fact that I used to think that to become a fully open and vulnerable person one had to take a tremendous leap from where one stood.
But this is not correct.
All it takes is a very small step: the step of lowering one’s guards. And this will appear to be difficult, but there is always a gentle way to take this step. For example, if I resist making myself vulnerable in front of my Dad, if it feels too steep, I can say to him: I sometimes think about opening up to you and I don’t because I fear you will not know what to do with it, I fear I will put myself out there and not be understood, and that scares me.
See what I mean? The first step feels too steep, I acknowledge this, and this acknowledgement becomes the step I take. Still too steep? Say: Sometimes I want to tell you how I really feel and I notice I stop myself. Too steep, still? Say: I want to get closer to you, but I don’t know how. Do you have any suggestions? Too steep, still? Sit next to him, in silence, even if only for a few moments, and appreciate his company, the sweetness of his presence, just that moment. Still too steep? Do this, from the distance, for a briefer moment still. We all start somewhere.
Most importantly, this is not a consolation prize to true intimacy. This is true intimacy, because it is growing out of the moment where I’m at, rather than from some mental/emotional state I think I’m supposed to be in for such intimacy to take place.
What I’m trying to say is that the edge of where I have to be to grow in love is not somewhere out-there where I take visibly heroic actions but rather somewhere in-here, nearer than near, where I show something authentic about myself to the person in front of me, and to myself.
All other frontiers of vulnerability are imagined
And writing this makes me very emotional because, well, this is not theoretical. I fear telling my Dad how I feel almost all the time, and I haven’t told him this yet. It feels too steep. So I’m telling you instead. That’s the step I could take today. And it is bringing me to tears.
We all start somewhere.
Every warrior of the light has been afraid to enter a combat.
Every warrior of the light has betrayed and lied in the past.
Every warrior of the light has lost faith in the future.
Every warrior of the light has trodden a path which was not his own.
Every warrior of the light has suffered because of unimportant things.
Every warrior of the light has doubted that he is a warrior of the light.
Every warrior of the light has failed in his spiritual obligations.
Every warrior of the light has said yes when he meant no.
Every warrior of the light has hurt someone he loved.
That is why he and she are warriors of the light:
They had endured all this without losing the hope to improve.
-Paulo Coelho, in Warrior of the Light: A Manual
When you can practice anywhere - that’s the great monastery, retreat center which is with you always.
Why don’t we skip the introduction. I want to hear your question, please.