This is my journal/morning pages entry for this morning. I hope that it can be for you something of what is was for me 🙂
Winds all ablow but a meditation on this tenderness restores some measure of stability. And there was me thinking after last Friday that sadness has passed! Well, there is nothing wrong with sadness and much of use for a budding writer.
Then he remembered that in his meditation he’d had the idea of writing his morning pages in the third person, the better to understand and incorporate this perspective in his writings.
He felt worn out, a little sick even. He knew he’d really overdone it playing at three markets straight on the weekend. Even so, he could sense that this discomfort could not disrupt the perfection and completion of the present moment when met with the gentle presence of unconditional love.
In fact, the experience led to a deepening of this sense of love as he learned to act with care and compassion towards a self whom he would have judged as unworthy in the past. He didn’t feel so full of energy and bounce and excitement. He didn’t feel highly motivated and productive, or ecstatic and positive but, with this new awareness of love, these things didn’t stop him feeling a tender, supportive softness towards himself.
It felt like an entirely new experience of love, most strongly reminiscent of the love from his mother that he’d known as a child.
Our mothers are true teachers of unconditional love, he thought to himself. They love us no matter how we feel, they love us as we are and without reserve, to the best of their ability, of course.
The adult world is quick to adore the bright and shining, the confident, the outgoing, the charming. It has little space for the tired, the drab or the melancholic. And yet these experiences are inextricably a part of being human and to reject any part of ‘what is’ is to suffer, most surely.
He smiled and tugged at his beard, gazing out at the buzzing, bird-filled forest and brightening skies beyond the window.
“How foolish, how blind I’ve been!” he thought. “All this time spent chasing after one set of emotions and experiences and running away from all the rest. How completely I missed the point!”
Life is not punishing me or tormenting me, it is feeding me, blessing me. What beauteous perfection in the harmony of this place!
I am pure, unconditional love and yet… I am identified with a mind that places conditions upon this love: when I’m bright, animated and upbeat, tick! I allow myself access to the bounty of my true self, hooray! But when I’m morose, irritable, unsettled, sad, ill-tempered, Nah-nah! These things are bad! They do not deserve love, oh no! Here, have some guilt, shame, frustration and despair instead and yes, you guessed it, they’re not included in the lovable remit either!
Oh life, you are so unfair! Why must you bring me these miserable, unlovable experiences. What a hollow and cruel world I live in! You never let me rest in this golden happiness, why must you always bring me this intolerable grief!
Then, as the morning sun crests the distant mountain tops and the gloom of the valley floor erupts in radiant, shining golds and greens, the penny drops.
This love, this beaming, roaring, melting, engulfing acceptance that I am is always here. The boldest constructs of the mind are mere flimsy cardboard cut-outs alongside the shimmering Everests and towering Taj-Mahals of this love.
We are so used to using our minds, trusting them, believing in them, that we don’t think to ask twice if love could be, as well as misery! We rush headlong into the multiplying drama of suffering and the affirmation of self-limiting belief without a second thought.
I could not say what it is that inspires this second thought. Certainly I could not turn and look into my past and see any one thing but the whole seething, screaming, pulsating entity, propelling me inexhaustibly into this moment here
So this agonising misery comes upon me and I feel myself begin to go under. I hear the storm-whipped seas of my mind, feel bow-shredding strokes rasp across the strings of my heart and squirm with the scratching, biting beasts who infect my muscles, my skeleton and my spirit.
I feel all of this. I sit still. I breathe. I witness it. What more can I do? It is here.
I ask myself, without trying to change or reduce in any way this experience, is it possible to feel love for myself, even as I suffer in this blackness? As if it is not I who experience this but instead a beloved child who brings his pain to me, trusting in my ability to accept what he cannot?
For me, right now, it comes alive with the word ‘tenderness’. I feel every muscle in my body as soft, yielding, accepting. I feel as if all my pores and my heart are open wide, yielding gratefully from the fatigue of endless conflict into peaceful, accepting surrender.
For me this is a new experience of love, or a least one long forgotten. It awakens in me a totally new awareness of myself, of life, of other people. With a dawning sense of awe I realise that behind every one of these hateful, despised, unlovable experiences that have tormented me all my life, is a doorway to a new experience of love.
The love I thought I knew is in fact an incomplete image, distorted and disrupted by the lenses and filters of my mind. As I allow myself to experience love again in all that was once unlovable, these lenses and filters open and dissolve. The experience of mind begins to flow, uninterrupted into the experience of unconditional love and my truest nature is revealed to me, always bigger, fuller, deeper, richer than I could ever have envisioned in my wildest imaginings.
This is the healing, this is the solution that I so blindly and clumsily but earnestly and honestly sought.
The first steps take much presence and patience. The moment where an experience is perceived and judged unworthy of love is often unconscious. Without a willingness to awareness and mindfulness it is difficult to see where we ensnare ourselves. I cannot deny that living away from the internet and modern world in a forest with the space and time to meditate and spend time simply being are very supportive in this unfolding.
However, we need not fret. The beauty of this experience is that it feeds itself. Beyond these first few hesitant foot-falls the mind itself begins to transform. We learn quickly, powered by the limitless energy of love.
Instinct changes and now the unfamiliar is met with love, acceptance, welcome, joy and curiosity.
For my part I am infused with a childlike excitement. I feel like an irresponsible adult has gifted me the key to the sweet-shop and now I run amok, gleefully dissolving all these hated beliefs and restrictions in a fit of heady rebellion.
As the clouds begin to clear and the morning sun warms my face, I smile. The adult in me can see that even these beliefs that one could so easily judge as bad or wrong are in fact gifts too. It is through the sense of limitation they impart that I encounter limitlessness and through their unlove that I come to know true love. They are the lead to my gold and the mud to my lotus and I love them. They are the keys to my unfolding and to the smile that daubs this once sad face.
I woke up this morning anxious, low and full of dread. An hour later and I am sitting in sunshine, both within and without. There is still a sadness, somewhere in these enveloping folds of light but it is wrapped up snug and warm in love, content to be included and recognised as an essential part of the indivisible whole.
My morning pages have over-run from three pages to six and my belly tells me the breakfast is in order. Thank you for reading this far, I hope that what I live may be of some service to you.