“My silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you. What are the words you do not yet have? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you sicken and die of them, still in silence?
… And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.”
“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” ~Elie Wiesel
It can be difficult to follow the current political news, much less act on it. So much of what is happening now is crazy and scary. I try to hold this quote from Elie Wiesel (above) close to my heart.
Sometimes I have powerful negative feelings bubble up when I see what’s happening in America today. I feel deep fear and anger and even hate at times. That’s ok. Those too are normal human emotions. It’s all spiritual grist for the mill – even the crazy ugly stuff.
Denying or stuffing my negative reactions to the news doesn’t help anyone. Denial ties me up in knots. I lose my ability to act. But if I can allow myself the space to feel whatever I’m feeling about the chaos around me, no matter how uncomfortable, I come out the other side stronger and clearer and more capable of acting from a space of love and compassion.
Can you stand at the edge of fear and hold to the truth of who you are? No matter how big the abyss of fear feels, it is nothing in comparison to your truth. When you truly know yourself, fear is merely a tool that the Universe uses to get you to pay attention.
Change is inevitable. Nothing stays the same for very long.
I take the same trail beside the St. Vrain river almost every day, and yet it is never quite the same path two days in a row. One morning last week on the trail, I was surrounded by tree branches filled with fiery autumn leaves. A few mornings later, snow completely blanketed the flaming trees and the sights and sounds of winter engulfed me.
Life is filled with cycles and shifts. From the passing of seasons to the aging of my body, change surrounds and engulfs me. And life continues to shift and change every day, every month, every year. Grasping at the old form, resisting change, makes today hurtful rather than joyful. I learned this lesson the hard way; years ago I owned a property south of Kansas City that I loved. I adored every inch of those 3 acres – every tree, every bush, every blade of grass was special to me. The property was so significant and special that I wrote an entire book about the place (my first book, A Still Place).
And there was nothing bad or wrong about my love of that little parcel of land. The only problem was I clung to it and vowed to live in that spot until I died. Silly, silly woman! Well, life happened; I got divorced from one man and married another. I had a second baby and still I held onto that property. I refused to even think about moving. Then my husband’s job dried up and we faced a move cross-country to Chicago. And I had trouble letting go; I resisted leaving my lovely little property. But we needed to move! The only thing my resistance caused was a slow, slow house sale and a ton of pain and angst.
We eventually sold the property and moved to Chicago. I was so sad, missing my little plot of land, wishing things were different, wanting to roll back the clock and undo the move. But gradually, I let go. And when I finally stopped holding onto my past, I “woke up” and discovered that I was living in an amazing spot. I found myself LOVING this new place and my new life. All it took was letting go of the old life.
That experience left me knowing that my life is WAY less painful when I allow things to change and shift without resisting or pushing against the change. Resistance is futile! Resisting change only leads to pain and misery.
I seem to periodically have to revisit this lesson in letting go and allowing life to unfold organically. I can still make myself miserable trying to force today to look like some “perfect” day long past – or some fantasy day that I’ve never even experienced. I can be so stubborn! But when I remember that little piece of land that I adored so many years ago, I remember the value of letting go.
It’s odd; I have so many fond memories of that land south of Kansas City. 🙂 But now, I also remember all the amazing and wonderful stuff that happened to me when I let it go and moved on with my life. And you know what? Today, I live in a space that is even more amazing! And I would have never ended up here, if I hadn’t let go of that old place.
Life is a river; it keeps flowing and changing and moving. And in every moment I have a choice; I can cling to the riverbank and wear myself out trying to stay right here in this spot. I can fight and resist moving downstream. Or I can let go and allow the flow of life to take me. I can let go and trust that life can be even better around the next bend.
Can I stop resisting and be grateful for change?
Can I let go of my urge to control and push and grasp?