shame

Gather your pain like a posy of wildflowers

We have spent a lifetime fleeing our pain. We have turned away from the rivers of sadness. We have pushed away the furnace of anger. We have denied the shame. We have rejected the depression. We started running and we never stopped. We thought we could outrun it, the pain. If we just kept running we would run to a place where it didn’t follow. We would run ourselves into freedom.

We ran to sugar rushes and alcohol buzzes and drug highs and relationships and books and TV and the internet and self-improvement and exercise and work and achieving and money and marriage and travel and even, yes, spirituality. We ran far and we ran fast, but no matter how far or how fast we ran, the pain was always just a hair’s breadth away, waiting whenever we stopped for a brief moment.

This is the gift of pain. It will not be outrun. And finally, when we have tried everything and come up short and we are utterly broken and exhausted from the years of running, something within us goes into a deep surrender because the mind is utterly lost now and has no idea where else to look. And in this deep surrender, in this moment of admittance that we have no clue how to help ourselves any more, we stop searching ‘out there’ and we sink into the only place we can ever heal our pain - this moment.

You are tired of running. We are all tired of running. Stop. Instead, gather your pain like you would a posy of wildflowers, with a delicate touch and eyes full of wonder. With tenderness, pull it close to your heart and bathe it with your undivided attention. Do not turn away from yourself. Meet yourself here. Meet this energy that is circling within you. Engage your curiosity. Hello, sadness. Hello, anger. Hello, depression.

Keep this image of wildflowers with you, if it helps. Don’t you love them? Don’t you want to run your fingers over their velvety petals and inhale their rich perfume? Aren’t you enthralled by their colours and shapes and just in complete wonderment that such things could even exist at all? How did we get so lucky to live in a world with wildflowers? Be with your pain in this way. It is a thing of such beauty and its hand is outstretched in the most important invitation of your life. The invitation to stop, stop, stop and meet this moment exactly as it is.

It is not dangerous. It will not overwhelm you. It will not ruin your life. In fact, it is an invitation to life. To live. To be alive. To fall into the dazzling experience of Now.

Love and courage,

Leah

Never beyond the reach of Love

I was sitting by the sea watching the sun go down when I read a poem that moved me so deeply, I found a few soft tears rolling down my cheeks. It is by St. Teresa of Avila and is called He Desired Me So I Came Close.

"He desired me so I came close.

No one can near God unless He has
prepared a bed for
you.

A thousand souls hear His call every second, 
but most everyone then looks into their life's mirror and
says, 'I am not worthy to leave this sadness.'

When I first heard His courting song, I too
looked at all I had done in my life and said,

'How can I gaze into His omnipresent eyes?'
I spoke these words with all my heart,

but then He sang again, a song even sweeter,
and when I tried to shame myself once more from His presence
God showed me His compassion and spoke a divine truth,

'I made you, dear, and all I make is perfect.
please come close, for I
desire
you.'"
 

How many times have you felt yourself unworthy?

On the outside of love? 

Believing that everyone else deserves a place at the table but you?

Felt shame so heavy that you are certain you are the worst - the absolute worst in the whole of history?

Locked in an identity of a separate self, swimming around in a world full of other separate selves, these thoughts and feelings are inevitable. But come to know the deeper truth of who you are - the true Self - and you will also come to know this:

You are never - never - beyond the reach of Love.

The separate self will read those words and think them cheap and empty. It will insist that you are somehow different, that the details of your particular life are ten shades darker than any other human being and, therefore, not worthy of inclusion. Such games the separate self plays! 

Beyond your personality, beyond anything you have done or not done in your life, beyond any stories you have about who you are, there is something lasting and real and true. That something is what we call Love and it is the true identity of every living thing on this planet. 

So make no mistake, you are never - never - beyond the reach of Love.

Love and courage,

Leah