This evening, I went to a friend’s meditation class and she read this simple poem by David Whyte which touched me quite profoundly. So here it is:
These few words are enough.
If not these words, this breath.
If not this breath, this sitting here.
This opening to life
we have refused
again and again
“Until now” indeed…
In today’s world, “opening up to life” and what’s really going on feels absolutely vital. Life itself depends on it, doesn’t it? Aren’t the signals everywhere, if we pay attention?
They’re in our tired and stressed bodies/minds, our numbed experiences, our busy no-time-and-space-for-anything lives, our deep anxieties, our burnouts and our dying natural home.
These signals are in our perpetual denial of life itself, despite it presenting itself to us in every single moment. Can we really continue to “refuse it”?
In many ways, it feels incredibly urgent that we don’t, yet simultaneously, alongside the beauty of it all, what we really see around us today can feel overwhelming, terrifying and deeply heartbreaking at times, can’t it?
There are undeniably moments when we all need to escape from it, put it aside, hide from it and protect ourselves from its real intensity. And that’s absolutely OK – likely a necessary part of the process.
Yet still, whenever and in whatever way feels possible to each of us, and with gentle, compassionate courage, it feels absolutely vital that we begin to move towards “opening up” to it, together.
Because if we really pay attention, isn’t the world calling us to open up to the vulnerability of this life that we all share?
What if, when we move to meet what is here within ourselves, in others and in the world around us, however painful at times – something were released, able to shift?
What if our joys, our anxieties and our sorrows were in fact not “ours” – but shared?
We’re in this fragile, heart-breaking, awe-inspiring, life together – with each other and with the rest of life on the planet.
What if, “opening up to life”, turning towards what is really here with the support of each other took us a step closer back to our natural hearts’ impulse for action for a better world?