It’s 1am and the kids are screaming. Maybe it’s teething again or the fear of the dark, maybe a bad dream or simply over excitement; but this is another night of broken sleep to add to the weeks, months, years of mounting sleep deprivation. Then there’s the incessant cooking, cleaning, washing, feeding, soothing, supporting, entertaining, distracting, boundary setting, boundary enforcing. As you stand there, calming and rocking, you feel like you want to cry. But beneath those tears is a smile as wide as the universe; for the inconceivable joy, the fathomless depths of feeling, the heart bursting love that these wondrous little beings inspire; for being taught the true meaning of patience, of sacrifice, of devotion; for appreciating how every challenging moment of this rich dimension of the human experience is a magical gift, wrought in the fires of love. It’s 3:30am and all is calm; for now. As your little gurus lie tucked up in their beds, dear parents everywhere, I salute you.
If we’re trying hard to be more present, more aware, more awake, what happens when we recognise we’ve been lost in thought and its stories for hours, days, weeks, months, years? We beat ourself up for having ‘failed’. But what if that’s another story? What if we really have nothing to hold, not even our self-recriminations? Can you sense the fire that’s blazing there?
When our certainties fall apart, when our well drilled defences are in disarray, when the costumes and the masks all drop and we’re utterly laid bare, what do we discover? Worthlessness? No! Treasure! We’re rich beyond our wildest dreams!
Fight fight, struggle struggle, burn burn, when will it all end? How about never! How does that feel? To have no goal to strive for, no dream to hope for, no happy ending to await; where does that leave you? It leaves you here, here without an escape route, here to discover the miracle that everything you’re striving, hoping and waiting for is already in residence.
Sometimes we simply have nothing to say. Maybe we try to engage in polite conversation, to fill the ‘awkward’ silence. But what if we can meet in our discomfort; beyond words, beyond concepts, beyond fears, expectations or projections? What if we can meet without anything at all, even the idea of a ‘me’ meeting a ‘you’? In that silent communion, it’s not awkwardness we discover, but tender, heart-opening beauty.
How we love to be special, to be respected, admired, adored! And then what happens when all our specialness is overlooked? We swing the other way and feel neglected, unloved and full of self-pity. But what is all this drama really about? Keeping the bubble of ‘me’ firmly intact; avoiding the utter terror of its bursting. But what if our bubble does bursts? What if all we have to lose is the belief that we have something to lose?