And so we enter our fourth year in Scotland. Where will it take us? No idea. Best not to know, maybe. Simply be aware in presence and keep the faith…
I remember Heera once saying – maybe five or six years ago, during one of our monthly discussions in Zushi on the teachings of Eckhart Tolle – that hope was not in her vocabulary. Whilst it shocked most who believed that hope was all we ever have in terms of a positive future, I recall also a sense of curiosity. It planted a seed that has since flourished. Now I too have placed hope aside. Instead I use the word faith.
Hope I now realise contains a strong element of doubt, negativity. I hope it will be sunny tomorrow (but most probably the rain will just keep on falling, as it is doing right now in Scotland!) Better by far to accept whatever it throws our way. Have faith that the weather will continue its own journey, which is nothing to do with me and over which I have no control. In such a matter, hope really is rather a waste of time.
But what about all those poor people who have lost their homes and livelihoods? Not only because of flooding, but war, and persecution? Surely they need hope to cling to.
How much more powerful that they have faith in themselves and others to lift them up and see them through. Surely faith is the ultimate in empowerment. Something to think about if not to agree with.
Sometimes I am asked where my faith comes from. It is not rooted in any one religion and most certainly not in religious dogma. Rather in a deep-seated knowledge – no not a belief, rather a core-like knowing – that everything that has happened in my life, is happening and will happen, is part of a divine plan that is working itself out in pre-destined fashion.
Right now I am reading Caroline Myss’ book Sacred Contract.
Her work had been recommended to me over the years, and yet I resisted. Resistance I realise now has been a dominating factor in my lack of conscious (spiritual) progress, why I came to begin work on my self so late in life. Over and over again I was offered signs of salvation (as in being saved from further self harm); over and over again I backed away, allowing ego to raise and further strengthen the walls of self-protective denial erected in childhood.
Late last year I was doing a shift at a local charity shop and sorting out a shelf of paperbacks, mostly light novels left by visitors after being on holiday. Yet there, sticking out at the end as if shouting Oi!, was a copy of Caroline’s book.
I took it down, sat down, and almost immediately felt giddy, unbalanced and unwell. Putting it aside, feeling as if I really was not supposed to even look inside, I ended up being driven home by a kind acquaintance (now a friend). After sleeping a few hours and waking feeling better, I unpacked my bag and found Sacred Contract tucked neatly inside.
How strong my ego’s opposition to further awakening; how determined Caroline’s message to reach me!
So there was my Christmas gift. Now being read a second time and – to try identify and establish my own ‘sacred contract’ this time around – making use of my daughter-in-law’s own present to me: a beautiful blue leather-bound writing book. Clever girl, to know (without consciously knowing) exactly what would fit into my life right now. Beloved Sue.
Be loved. Another phrase that I am consciously making a part of my everyday language, and one for which I must again thank Leonard Jacobson in his teachings.
There must surely be no more over-used, over-worked and over-weighted phrase than the three words I LOVE YOU. In the same way that the word hope is used without all due thought and consideration, we load all emotion, desire, need and want into dumping our greedy needy ‘love’ onto another, whether good for that individual and the relationship or not.
We all know the sense of desperation in telling another you love them when it’s clearly not reciprocated. It can drive you mad, especially when judged as unfair. You offer them the full burden of your complex damaged love in the form of gifts, your lifestyle, friends and family, and what comes back? Rejection, abuse, pain.
True love –which sounds like the opening to a song, but I’ll spare you this at least – is boundless, unlimited, and 100% unconditional: Be loved, and do with that love (which, though heartfelt, is really nothing to do with me but offered freely) whatever works for you best. If it leads you out of my sphere of reference, so be it. I wish you well. (Beautifully exemplified by Gerda Wegener in the film The Danish Girl.)
What else have I learned and taken aboard?
Why I have always felt alone. Not lonely, never lonely… with many friends and very sociable. But a sense from early in childhood that I was separate, on my own in the world, and had to survive as best I could. It made me strong, but also deeply sad.
So I thank Osho for the dynamic exercise offered in Leonard’s retreat in California, which took me back to the realization that I was (or at some time in the past had been) the last of my tribe. And why I accepted a golden feather as a temporary ‘tattoo’ from another participant. It lay transferred in healing, posed between the mysterious bruise that manifested on Day 1 (not the first time this has happened) and the age marks on my hand that pretty much replicate the Pleiades star cluster or constellation. .
Stranger than fiction? Then let me return to fact. As in non-fiction.
Soon after arriving here, and desperate to carry my work forward and make my mark, I published a book based on travels and linked ancestral research. By this I mean self-published. Not via the genre known as vanity publishing, whereby an author pays to see his or her words in print. Rather Amazon.com’s print-to-order platform, Create Space.
It was hardly the easy process promised. With a graphic designer in one part of Canada, the cover’s artist in another, and me wobbling in Scotland (for wobbling I was to have made such a huge move after so many years) we crept forward slowly and far from surely. Eventually there was a book and I’m proud in many respects. Yet it would have been so much better if I had given myself the chance to settle and give the text one more hard edit in the cooler light of calm re-settlement.
I remember reading the I Ching before setting off on global travels in Spring last year, and how I was encouraged not to think in terms if goals (as in destinations) but concentrate on the journey, placing one foot carefully after another. I took this advice firmly on board and via Canada, California, Hawaii and Japan returned in one piece with no major problems.
So, a huge lesson here… to ‘screw the results and relish the process’. It does not matter that Chasing Shooting Stars was not picked by more readers. I always said that it was written for my children, so that they might know their mother better, and understand the dynamics of the two genetic pools from which they were created. In this sense, goal achieved. Success. (If, of course, ‘success’ is what I am looking for…another question to be answered, and I suspect Sacred Contract may provide more than a few clues.)
So here I am at the beginning of 2016, forever on the path of the learning curve, with only valuable distractions from my next book on the horizon and, with lessons learned, so much to gain.
Wishing us all fruitful journeying ahead.