Gratitude, Joy, Oneness and Service (Day 976 – Day 982)
The would-be paramour (w-bp) and I spent a lot of hours talking via video chat because we don’t live in the same city. I remember one evening we were both tired and we came together at our call time and looked at one another with a peaceful quiet.
“I got nothin'” I said.
“I got nothin’, too” He said.
And it was a beautiful moment. For two introverts, to be able to have nothing to say – together – was a moment of silent understanding. It is these shared moments of solitude and understanding, in life, that I crave.
Were we actually co-located, those moments would have been something we could build our friendship upon and silence would really have been golden. When all you have to sustain a relationship is talk – rather than shared moments of quietude – it gets pretty exhausting for two introverts.
Today, I got nothin,’ again.
I spent the day at home yesterday, after 8 weeks of stressful activity, holidays, heartache, distraction, dissection topped off with international travel. I had a lot of social plans for the day, but I just bailed and stayed home. Today, I had lunch plans but I went for a walk instead. Tonight, I look forward, again, to the quiet of my solitary home.
My life is a quiet life. I live alone and have lived alone since I was a teenager. I have had a very busy and full life and I’ve lived in noisy cities. My home is my sanctuary. I am quiet when I am there.
Before the inferno, I had 3 months in which I gave a lot of care and attention to the would-be paramour. He asked me to give to him in a way that I was not comfortable giving. But I weighed up the situation and I made the choice to do it. I don’t regret my decision. I was reminded that no matter what the circumstances, our first duty is self-care, before caring for others. And, for both of us, that self-care includes having sufficient rest and solitude.
I am an introvert. I disguise it remarkably well and I had to learn to do that at a very young age. But I am an introvert, all the same. I have incredible intuition but I lost my ability to access it in the past 4 months and I attribute that to lack of space. I need space and quiet time to get in touch with myself, and to know my own mind and heart.
Much spiritual activity occurs in the realm of “the ethers.” Prayer, or meditation or journeying requires that we enter into that realm. In the Ayurvedic tradition, Ether is an element but it is also a spiritual plane we might commonly refer to as the realm of “Space”. If I am looking for answers or guidance, I must get into that space and listen. To paraphrase the Zen Koan, we will never be ready to fill ourselves with wisdom until we have learned to empty our cup. The cup, of course, is our mind and all the ‘ideas’ and ‘theories’ and emotions we carry with us about ourselves, about others and about our lives. And emptying that, for most of us, unfortunately, takes time as well as space.
Emptying the cup is not just making space in our lives. It is also about looking at ourselves, at our victories and at our folly. It is about seeing ourselves, feeling our feelings (the noble and the ignoble amongst them), owning it and letting it go. It is not about holding on to our reasons and rationale and justifications. It is about learning to let go of all we know and feel or all we think we know and feel about a situation or a person, ourselves, or our lives and just sitting in that void. And then, after awhile, we may get some clarity. Or, not. In the end, our clarity might just be the emptiness of mind and heart to be fully present, in the moment.
I haven’t been able to be fully present in the moment, because I haven’t had the space to be empty.
That place of nothing, that zero place of the void may seem the most lonely place on earth, to a non-spiritual observer. It is certainly the scariest to enter, but it is where we lose our loneliness and all of our attachments. It is the place where we come home to ourselves and to the divine nature that is a part of us all. And it is the place that we come to remember that it is only after we exhale, that we can inhale again.
And so, without apology, I got nothin’ for you, this week.
May you make the most of it.
I am grateful to my friend JK who suggested I come to the computer and go with ‘nothing.’ It helped me to articulate the sacredness of space in our lives. I am grateful for that all-too-brief moment in time when the w-bp and I came together and exhaled into the void and sat with space between us. I am grateful to have re-affirmed that space is a very real need for me. I know space is like oxygen for the w-bp, as well, and neither of us got our needs for space met. We are both intense, creative individuals on a spiritual path. Creativity, like spiritual work, needs space to incubate. Strumming the banjo, doodling, camping, baking, long walks by the seaside, yoga, meditation and people watching are all ways to make space for one’s creative and spiritual process. We each enter, dwell within, connect and disconnect from within our own solitude very differently, according to our needs and experience of ourselves and our soul’s journey.
It was a joy to stay home, surf the net, watch movies, have a long-distance energy healing and nap. I needed the rest in order to repair. I still need rest and so I’m taking it. There is no way that we can feel Oneness with others if we don’t have that sense of Oneness with our own selves and our own divine nature. For those of us that need to have a whole lot of ‘nothin” in our lives, it is not idle time. Only in the nothingness am I able to find myself.
My service this week, then, is to rest. I have loads of social engagements and people with whom I promised to catch up and I have yet more travel in the coming weeks. My service is to silence all the chatter of my mind from the last few months and the last few weeks that has just gone round and round in circles trying to make sense of nonsense. And in the quiet space of empty nothingness, I will seek to be filled with what I need to move forward in the world, whether it is or it isn’t what I want. Then, will I have a cup that is full enough and fresh enough to share.
If there is any meaning to be made of our lives, I believe that it is not recognized in the bustle of the every day, but reclaimed at the bottom of that sacred space of nothin’.