I am feeling very deep emotions this morning and a deep well of expansive peace and silence. There are times when the entire panorama of our life opens up before us. We glimpse the journey in its entirety and are over come with awe at the realisation we have survived the depths of pain we though may destroy us. We see the ways our over reactivity caused us pain, and how decisions taken in hope often ended in pain or tragedy.
As a recovering alcoholic, I know the depths of suffering and loss I journeyed to on the back of traumas in my family I could not articulate which drove wounds into my soul and feelings I did not really have the maturity or insight to deal with at the time. I know the years of therapy it has taken to navigate it and to come to terms with it. I am now feeling that I am reaching the pool of love and peace that underlies this journey.
After a recent visit from relatives I know how much I need silence around me. I am not a person who travels well if I have to wake up in a house with the TV on. I am not really a fan of collective culture. I love the quiet stillness of morning in which I connect with myself inwardly. Perhaps I read a book of meditations on recovery, or I just sit quietly and feel the morning opening up around me with any insights on that day. On the tough days I may have a litany of criticism or self doubt or self beat up going on inside my head. Thankfully today is not one of those days. Today I seem to be seeing deeper and I seem to be feeling the deep love of the soul which comes when we discover after a long journey that part of our soul which can bear and fully contain all of our suffering and bless it.
I recently shared a post with a quote from Henri J. Nouwen which spoke of a part of us that knows us to be the Beloved. This is not what we are taught in collective culture. In collective culture we are taught that our sense of being and value rests outside of us, on what we do or achieve, or on what we possess or own. As children we were not always taught to value our feelings, to trust our guts. I am sure some of us had parents who encouraged this, but I didn’t. I now know it is the most important thing. I need to know that I am Beloved and that everyone else also is Beloved and has value and is a child of a loving power that brought them to earth. Sadly some people never realise this and we suffer so deeply when we don’t..
I also feel that the most important gift I can give to myself and others is the gift of presence. So many are longing to be really heard and known for who they truly are. This gift is most often felt in silence. When I can quieten the voices in my own head long enough to sit with someone, open and be present I give us both a gift. When I can suspend my own point of view for a time to listen to theirs, when I can listen with my heart and not only my head, then I am present.
And it is also so important to me to be present too, to myself in silence. In that silence I can hear the still quiet voice that speaks to me in love. This week I came across a lovely book in the library The Constant Companion by Eknath Easwaran. It is full of meditations which remind me that there is a deep soul in each of us which is quiet and humble and full of understanding, that we can turn to in times of crisis. For some of us, to find this part of us we have to do a lot of work with the voices which erase its presence. The voices of he conditioned self that tell us we are nothing and no one if we don’t reach for something outside of us, or measure up to others demands and expectations or to false demands from our ego self that don’t come from our deep centre.
Reading these meditations this week was like a balm to my soul. I felt a beautiful unconditional presence of love within the writing. Reading it made me realise that I need this kind of soul medicine around me in my day. For what I focus on becomes my path for rhe day, focusing on words of love and unconditional presence helps me in the task of loving and nurturing my true and deepest soul self throughout the day.
This morning I am valuing deeply my solitude and silence. I am aware that much as I need others at times, I feel most at home when I can feel my soul connection in silence. And I know that the true feelings of despair I have experienced come from not being connected to myself at this deeper level. This kind of deep connection is not something that comes from outside. It comes for me most especially in silence and in nature, in the quiet times of peace where I touch the depths and feel supported in my deepest soul by the invisible presence of deep acceptance and love.