The path of the heart is not only one of transcendence, rising above our humanity, vulnerability, and brokenness on a journey from matter to spirit. It is also one of descent – of shadow, failure, and disappointment – beholding the mystery as it spirals out of the heavens and into the mud, the mess, and the chaos of the unknown.
The latter is not as clean, white, consistent, or safe. It is unclothed: of fixed concept, a clear map, and knowing how it’s all going to turn out. No promises, no guarantees. No solid reference point to organize around. We are naked, unsure, but alive. The field of this unknown is an environment of pure creativity.
At points along the way, the movement from “here” to “there” is washed away and only wonder remains. The fantasy of completing some mythical journey is replaced by awe, as we bear witness to love as it infuses matter with its qualities.
The great miracle will never be realized there, but only here, buried in each astonishing synapse, hidden in the cells of one beating heart, and concealed inside a mirror neuron as it lights up and crackles in a moment of curiosity, listening, and compassion.
The fantasy of “there” is as valid as any other, but at times the invitation is to bow down to the altar of “here” and receive. On this altar are the holy images of our broken dreams, disappointments, realizations, and joys – the entirety of our lived and unlived lives. Grief is there, as is bliss, pain, and the beloved in all of his or her forms.
As we practice intimacy with the entirety of the spectrum, we fall to the ground at the opportunity we have been given and the revolutionary implications of what it means to be an open, sensitive, broken, and whole human being. Succeeding in one moment only to fail in the next, lost and then found, and then lost again. Somehow all grace.
And in the end only one prayer remains. Not “where is god, where is more enlightenment, where are more lovers, where is more power, where are more amazing things to manifest for me”… but thank you. The feast laid out before us, sprinkled throughout the moon and the stars and the water and the forests and the eyes of the one in front of us…
Photo by Anja Osenberg
The next book, The Unfolding Heart, will be published by Sounds True in early 2020, details to come
The next event is The Healing Shame Retreat: Spiritual Awakening and Transforming the Core Wound of Unworthiness, April 24-29, 2019 at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado, with co-facilitator Jeff Foster - details to come