A Little Further

Again, I am in the process of writing something that I don't know how it will turn out. My heart urges me to write, and I am glad to follow it. I call this text 'A Little Further', because of the way it was and will be born, and because it is exactly what life and recovery are about. I think this will be a collection of small essays, a collection that is as incomplete as life in front of us, and a collection that is as complete as the life we have already lived.

A Little Further

Since reaching the first indications of emotional balance and awareness, I have persistently desired to learn to know love, and to live a life of love. In the course of time, this desire has not become weaker, quite the contrary. Some time ago I prayed in front of my Higher Power, asking him to let me see the world with the eyes of love. At times I pray with pen and paper, and this is what I did at that time. I was astounded by the answer, and by the continuous unfolding of the answer since then. The answer was the following: "You don't know what you are asking for. If I gave you the eyes of love, your inner world would never be the same again. I can do it, but you must be willing to let go of everything you think you know now. You would see the beauty of everything, but you can see it only when you are willing to adjust all of your presuppositions according to what you see. I can give you the eyes of love, but they will challenge you for the rest of your life, and they will always challenge you to go a little further than you dare."

Next, I saw the hand of God holding the earth between his forefinger and thumb, with the following message: "This is my treasure, and I hold it in my hand with perfect love. I could squeeze it a little more, and things would go differently, but it would not be love. I could make people behave differently, and I could end all wars with my power, but it would not be love. I could loosen my grip a bit, but it would not be love. My love is perfect love, and it is what you see everywhere. Wherever you look, you see my beauty, and love. My purpose is not to make people behave differently, but to love them. I could make them do whatever I want, but no one would call it love."

As I stood up, I could not believe what had happened. My eyes have never been the same again, and my mind is not the same either. Wherever I look, I have a feeling that I see something that can not be seen - yet it is always present, like a mountain in the horizon behind everything. I don't know what it is. I would not call it love, or God. Maybe the future will reveal it. What I know is that it is something that urges me to go a little further, and it is always present, always close to me. It remains unchanged when I love, or when I hate. Although it is silent, it reflects absolute peace and absolute security. If I enter a building, go to work or meet friends, this mountain seems to enclose the place, reminding me of everyone being safe, and everyone being loved. This mountain reminds me of my security, and it assures that all is well.

Of course, I was eager to see what would happen. Would I be able to love other people more? Would I be magically changed into a lover? I was also afraid of my quest to go a little further than I dare. Something had changed, and I experienced it. The mountain was always with me, and I knew I was safe. This assurance gave me more spontaneity, and indeed I could be more present in the situations of life. Since I experienced that I was safe, I could give myself permission to feel my feelings, and to be myself, to be guided by my intuition. The result of this was that I was more able to take care of myself and to do what I felt was good and right for me.

Time passed, and I began to feel myself more isolated from other people, although I knew I was only taking care of myself and doing what I knew was good for me. I became restless and even more isolated, since I wanted to feel and validate my feelings, and they drove me into solitude. There I understood that I had become free of pleasing other people. I did not care about their attitudes towards me when I was seeking solitude at every possible occasion, even at work. I took good and loving care of myself, in a way that harmed and controlled nobody. Then my mind whispered to me, "Go a little further. You are not only good enough. You are really good." I smiled and cried at the same time. I understood that I can not go any further in loving other people unless I go further in loving me. Dare to go a little further. Dare to love yourself, until you know you are really good - even when you are sad, tired or afraid of the unknown. Dare to let go of something that can not be controlled, dare to detach from abusive relationships or circumstances, since you are worth of all that is good. Dare to do whatever you want, when you know it does not interfere with the rights of other people. If you don't do so, you will interfere with your own rights, and it is even worse than someone else interfering with your rights, since you despise your own rights.

Love begins very close - within us. It urges us to understand that everything we see within ourselves is good. It begs us to accept, love and nurture whatever we see in ourselves, in the understanding that whatever we are, was given to us. Unless we learn to accept and love ourselves, we can not love anyone else. If we despise anything within ourselves, we can not accept it in someone else. Each time we see a 'defect' in ourselves, love urges us to go a little further in accepting ourselves. Love begs us to understand that the 'defect' was given to us through our circumstances or our personality, in the hope that we would learn to love weaknesses and defects. Love desires to embrace all weaknesses and defects, and it wants to say, "You are OK. You are exactly where you need to be." When we hate ourselves, love stays close and says, "You are OK. You are exactly where you need to be. All is well." Then it urges us to go a little further and to understand that we do not deserve our own hatred. It will always guide us to a deeper and more nurturing love towards ourselves.

Love appears like a lamppost on our path, lighting a new lamp a little further in front of us. It begs us to walk, not only to the next lamp, but a little further, until we think we have lost our direction. Then it lights the next one. When we look forward, we may see a lamp, or no lamp at all, but when we look back, we see a beautiful path decorated with bright lamps. At times we may see many lamps lit in front of us, but when we walk, we will reach the edge of light. This is where love says, "Trust me. Walk a little further." We may refuse to walk, but those who have tasted love, have no other option. Their hearts urge them to go on, even when pounding with fear. They have seen something that can not be seen, and the majesty of the unseen persuades them to enter the darkness behind the last lamppost they know.

We love ourselves, and then we go a little further. Life invites us to love the individuals close to us. It calls us to look in their eyes a little bit deeper than before, to say something more than before, and to do something more than before. It urges us to love other people more than we have done before, and then it beckons us to look a little further. It invites us to itself, or actually it invites itself to us. It wants to take away all of our fears that prevent us from loving. Still, when walking by the last lit lamppost, our hearts will pound with fear. Yet, at the same time, we trust, since we have seen something much greater than our fear - something that we can not completely explain. We have seen a hint of the unseen, and we want to see beyond that which can be seen. The rest of our life will be going beyond the last lit lamppost. This is the stuff adventures are made of.

Changing Love

We do not learn to love. Yes, we can learn skills that make people feel themselves valued, but without love, we can use them to serve our selfishness. We become people who love. Whatever we learn, must not stay. The familiar expressions of love had their place and time in our life, and in our interaction with other people. They were necessary, good, and well timed when they appeared, but they may not be necessary, good or well timed later. Love does not fade away, but it will find, and it must find, new expressions. If we always try love in the ways that once worked, we are stuck in the past, and we are not moving forward. Love grows and expands. It transforms from shy to courageous, from dirty to clean, and from self-seeking to self-giving. We let our love grow and change. We will be glad when we notice that something in our way to love has disappeared, even if it has not yet been replaced by something new. Our love will become firm and solid, and it will not seek the approval of other people. We become free to love ourselves, and it is one of the best things we can give to other people. When they see it in us, they see a permission to love themselves. We don't want other people to fall in love with us, but to fall in love with themselves. This kind of love is free like the wind in our hair. It does not stick in our hair, but arrives in a moment, gives a fresh feeling, and disappears. We will love like the wind - freely in a moment, and not sticking in something that seemed to work once.

Only a fool repeats the same thing over and over again even when it leads nowhere. When we find freedom to change, we can let go of futile efforts to love, even when we don't yet know any other way. Love will show us the way, and our love will be guided, when we leave the past. 'Love' that directs its efforts towards the dead is wasted sweat. Love dies if it becomes a prisoner of the past. If love needs to look back, it forgives and detaches from the history. Love accepts the history, and it is firmly based on what has happened, but it is greater than time or events. It strives towards freedom from history, and it desires to free itself and people from the history, in order to liberate the future. To attain this, love itself has to change, in order not to repeat the past. Love loves itself. It creates its own freedom and worth. It takes good care of its own freedom and beauty. It knows that its resources are limited, and it does not waste them by trying to repeat something that does not work. It gives birth to its own agony when it tries to find new ways to love, when it repeats them, and when it finds that they do not work. It has to face its own helplessness, pain, grief, and letting go. Change is never easy. Love seeks its own realization, and it is destined to stumble upon circumstances that do not take place as it hopes for. Love experiences pain, joy and sorrow. It comes close and grabs hold of something, only to realize that it has to let go and hide for a while. It returns in a new way, knowing that it might injure itself once more. In doing this, love grows and becomes firm. A mistake does not mean that love has failed, but the time has come for love to change and grow.

The ways of love are much higher than our ways. It comes like the wind, and then it has gone. We should not bind ourselves to it, or to the moments in which we loved. In the next moment, we may love differently. Love moves like a dream that was there for a while, but is no more. A moment of love was a beautiful moment, and we loved. In order to be free to love in the next moment, we let the past moments go. Then love can freely come and go through us, and we do not look at ourselves, but at the person we loved. We may never have another chance to love him, and we let go of the moment. The past has gone away, and so has the moment in which we loved in a certain way. It may not be needed anymore. We are thankful that the wind of love blew through us for a while, but the wind can not be stored. We lived a great moment, and greater ones will follow, but only when we are not trapped in the past. When we experience how love moves, we know that sorrow or hurt are a part of it, and we become free of the pain of failure. Love can not be frozen or be channeled into predetermined expressions - not even in the expressions it once created. Love lives in a short, passing moment. An unused moment never returns. A used moment never returns. Love moves like the wind. If we try to ensnare it, it dies away.

The desire of love is solid like a rock, yet love finds its expressions in the gentleness and freedom of the wind. This is true for us, and it is true for other people. Our love and their love will grow and change, and we will place a heavy burden on us or on them if we expect love to manifest itself in the same way as before. As they walk along their paths, they will change, and they need time and freedom to change. As we walk our path, we will change. No one changes, grows, or becomes healed in a moment. We let go of presuppositions about how other people wish to be loved, or how we think we should love them. When we meet a familiar person, each day we come across a different individual, one who has grown, changed, relapsed, numbed, healed, or whatever. His relationship with the world has changed. Love changes as people change. It flows in the now-moment, and open hearts are able to see it. Love expresses itself also through closed hearts, but they are not able to recognize or value it.

Griefless Grief

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will go in and eat with him, and he with me.

Love knocks. Then it is silent and listens. This is a moment of terror. What does it hear? Will there be silence? Will it hear steps that go away or steps that come closer? Does it hear a sound of unlocking or a sound of locking? Does it hear aggression or a pledge to wait? For how long should it wait? How many times should it knock? Should it knock differently? Should it go away and return later? When? What happens if the door begins to swing open? Will there be any food? Will he like my food?

When seen outside the context of love, these are dreadful questions. The possibility of rejection and failure seems overwhelming. In the context of love, this is exactly what must happen. Love knocks loudly enough to be heard, but silently enough to be ignored. If anyone hears my voice… It knocks so softly that people inside the house feel safe. It does not terrorize them by threatening to break the door into pieces by force. It lets people hide or come closer. They can choose.

Everyone can knock. But not everyone can stand the moment of terror after knocking. They may try to knock louder, or longer. They may begin to bang the door, or to knock on all windows around the house. They may go away at once if the door was not opened immediately, or they may stand behind the door for almost a lifetime. They may blame themselves for knocking defectively. They may decide to cease knocking forever. They assure themselves that they can not knock, and they will see only closed doors they don't know how to deal with.

When love intends to knock, it knows that this is exactly what must happen. It knows that it will create a moment of terror because of itself. It the door remains closed, it is what was expected. If the door opens, it is what was expected. The response to knocking begins with "If".

If the door begins to swing open, the chances for fear do not pass away. They may even become greater. We don't know what are the first words we hear. Will they be words of welcome, words of indifference, or words of hatred? What do we see when we go in? Can we find a place to sit conveniently? Will there be any food? Is our food good enough? Will we enter a table of celebration or a table of mourning? We don't know, and we can't know.

This is what love must do. In order to express itself, it must create a moment of terror, a moment of potential joy or potential grief. If it comes across grief, it knows that there is no reason to grieve. It did all that it could. It was rejected, but love can be rejected. It does not try to control, or to persuade. It arrives gently and in humility, yet it arrives full of power, knowing that it can safely be rejected. It does not appear lightheartedly, merely ignoring the rejection. Each rejection hurts. Love sheds tears each time, since it was sincere, and opening of the door was the only option it hoped for. A loss occurred, and it hurt much.

The grief of love is true. Yet, there is no other way. There is not a slightest chance for controlling, manipulating, or revenging. Love must knock, and wait. It is destined to go away, or to be called inside. It can also wait or return later, but in such a way that there is absolute freedom to choose. It is impossible to love without owning a chance to be hurt. Grief is an element of loving, but love surrounds its own grief with even greater love. The grief of love is griefless grief, in which we find joy, worth and freedom to love. The grief of love will give us more power than it consumes, since we know love has no other way. In all of this, it is no less a grief than any other grief. It may be even deeper, but one that is life-giving, and one that opens our eyes to the beauty of the unseen reality.

Freedom in Healing

I have come to trust the healing process. Absolutely. It is something we can not control. First, I thought that statements like "What we will find, will surpass all of our expectations" were merely affirmations designed to keep us on track. Now, I know it is true. When our consciousness is limited by our wounds, pains, fears, or experiences, we see the whole world, including our future and our healing, in a limited way. We may hope that certain changes would appear, but our expectations are very, very limited and narrow-sighted. There is no way we could see differently. There is absolutely no way we could imagine what for us is unimaginable. Still, we try, and at times very hard. We envision a goal, and sometimes we direct all of our efforts to attain that goal. However, our goal springs from what we know. It is a goal of an unhealed mind as it tries to depict a free and healed mind. By nature, it is very restricted and often a very warped goal.

The reality is that we do not know. Our painful, anxious, wounded and distressed mind can not know. What we will ultimately find, is something that enlarges our perspective - something that is not integrated into our former mind, but which will change and untie our mind. Unknown hits the known, and the known expands and grows. Our whole mind-set will be changed, and healing takes place. Our mind will not be not what it used to be, but something that formerly was unknown to us.

I don't take healing as seriously as I used to. Whatever I do, will move my healing process forward, and often in ways I can not imagine. Earlier, when a feeling arose, I concentrated all my efforts in listening to it. Sometimes I still do. At times, when I feel uncomfortable, I begin to read a book, start filling a workbook, write something in my diary, or even do something to sidetrack it. I have begun to read much, and to write much. I could say that I have begun to study the dynamics of wounding and healing. What is important for me is that I do something related to healing. At times, I merely gather new information, or misinformation. As I live, this pool of information will change to knowledge and understanding. Whatever we do, maybe with the exception of a direct escape, will help us and give us means to cope with whatever issue we have. As long as we do not blame anything outside of us, but take responsibility for our own process, anything goes. At times, we may not have the tools we need to deal with the issue. At times, we do, and we know what to do.

We may see only one problem, and only one good solution. Often we see hazily, and we see a wrong problem, or only some of its traits and reflections. The more we concentrate on solving the problem in our old ways, the more our reasoning springs from our wounded self, and the less we are able to see or accept other solutions. Yet, we can do so if we feel it is what we should do, or we can do anything else. Our issues will make themselves known to us, as long as we are not looking too far away from ourselves. The way to unknown places goes through unknown landscapes. The best we can do is to wait and to trust the process. The map will appear. The healing will come. The understanding will come, and then we will not merely understand something new. Our whole mind-set will expand. It will contain elements previously unknown to us. It is not necessary to try that much, or to work harder. Life is life, and not work. When we finally experience it, it is hard to imagine that we did not know.

We will also learn that there is no reason to hurry. It may not be pleasant to live with surfacing feelings, but sometimes it is necessary. Such feelings do not mean that our process is backfiring, but that it is going forwards. We become aware of something we were not previously aware of. It is healing. We become ready and prepared to let go of it, but it might take some time, and happen in ways we could not have proposed. We change. We do not learn, but we change. We become changed by the Universe, Life and our Higher Power.

Rest. We don't know the peace to come. We don't know the freedom to come, and the love to come. Let it make itself known to you, and while it happens, do not take things too seriously. Bothering feelings are not fun to live with, but they have a purpose. They are not new, introduced by the process. They are feelings within, finally entering our consciousness. We have lived with them for a long time, without knowing it. They will go, but they will go their own way. We can not shake them off. Let them have their own way, and while they remain and go, they will give you their greatest gift. They will hand you a piece of yourself, a piece so beautiful and marvelous that you will stare at it in awe. In the course of time, we will get to know what we thought was unknowable, and to experience what we thought was beyond our reach.

Back to Reality

There are times when the old behaviors return. These may be times of stress, depression, anxiety or boredom. Something painful within raises its head and we want a relief. Our thoughts lose their freshness and begin to circulate along familiar patterns. We may explain to ourselves that we can allow ourselves to enjoy some aspects of life, and that we actually like what we are doing. We may think that we have become free, and we can enjoy the good things of life. It may be true, or we may be back in denial.

As we heal, new issues appear. We face pain, then some more pain, and still some more pain. At times, it is difficult to accept the slow pace of healing. We are anxious to see the signs of healing, and when we see the first hints of something new, we often think that we have gone further than we really have. Healing will come, but only when we accept what we feel, and how we are doing in a certain moment. We are where we are, and to expect something else would hurt us much more than accepting ourselves exactly as we are. The best we can do for ourselves is to stop expecting, and to acknowledge the reality of our feelings.

But the old way of avoiding pain does not further our healing, or our life. It may be necessary to survive a day, but it may be not. When temptations return, it is time to ask tough questions:

I have learned to ask these questions, and often they reveal that I have returned or I am about to return to the old ways of avoiding my feelings. It has been delightful to realize that I don't want to do so. I don't want to return to a fantasy world. I want to belong in the world of real people, with all of its joys, sorrows and temporary pains.

So, I ask these questions, and return to the real world. I go for a walk, or I begin to touch everything nearby - including my wife. It has been marvelous to learn to know my home by touching almost every inch of it (not forgetting my wife). It feels good, and touch is a powerful sense. At times, I begin to write in my diary, or to read. I already have a library of healing books, and I like it very much. Weightlifting is an effective way to release my feelings of anxiety and to advance my health. Sometimes I need to meet someone - not email, web, or telephone - but a real person, and to feel his presence.

To make a sound decision and to take responsibility for our own life is the most loving thing we can do for ourselves. With it we tell ourselves that we are worth of the best we know. It may not always feel good at the instant of making the decision, but it is real love, and it heals. It assures us that we are lovable, and we deserve love. We deserve our own love, and we deserve the best of it.

Self-absorbed

The way to recovery goes through self-absorption. It is necessary to look into one's own soul, and to forget everything else and everyone else, at least for a while. We take care of ourselves, and it is alright to be self-absorbed for some time. We feel our feelings, and we realize that they are ours only. We heal our wounds, and we realize they are ours only. There is nothing wrong in being self-absorbed, as long as we are aware of it, and as long as we do not interfere with the rights of other people. Our problems were due to being self-absorbed without knowing it, and because we had no other choice.

I was stuck in self-absorption for a long time. Everywhere I went, I concentrated on my feelings. It was good, and it was necessary. But we can not live for ourselves only. We can listen to our feelings, and trust our intuition, but they must be tamed by reason. Our feelings are true and real, but they must not drive us. We feel what we feel, and we acknowledge it. We may have to live against our feelings, but it does not mean that we live against ourselves. We live against ourselves if we do not respect and feel our feelings. When we feel our feelings, we get to know the messages they have. If they speak of ancient wounds, we may choose to live against our feelings, knowing that whatever we do now, has no effect on the feelings. Old wounds will bother us everywhere, except when we yield to them for a quick fix. Even then they do not become healed, quite the contrary.

Old wounds and feelings tend to guide us towards familiar patterns. They have a tendency to bring us to circumstances that prevent healing. They want to stay the way they were, and they want us to stay the way we were. They defend themselves against something that has disappeared, but they don't know any other way to defend themselves. We know, but to do something else is an act of will. It is almost an act of pretending. It is an act of responsibility.

We know when we are ready to move on. It becomes more difficult, and more irritating, to continue being self-absorbed than to change. Life gets our attention. Getting out of self-absorbed state is then a joyful experience. We begin to see new aspects of the world around us. We begin to act in new ways that are not self-centered.

Early in recovery, I felt as if my whole body was full of pain. There were times when the pain was in my head, in my heart, in my chest, or in many of them. At the moment pain feels like a small tin close to my heart. It is clearly a separate object within me. Actually this is a joyful experience, since I know it is there, and I can feel it, but I also know that it is not me, nor a part of me. This has given me courage to return to the places and circumstances where I have been wounded. It was not easy, and I was afraid. However, I learned that I can live in them, and they don't hurt me anymore. Actually this helped me to heal, since I became more self-confident. I understood that history is history, and I live in the now, freed from the history.

We must not be harsh to ourselves. We allow ourselves to be self-absorbed as long as it is necessary. When we are ready to move on, we will know. Being self-absorbed doesn't feel right anymore. Our feelings and our intuition will tell us when it is the time to live against our feelings for a while, in order to become free of them. Our Higher Power will be with us. He will give us the courage, and he wants to show us the whole universe - not just ourselves.

Let self-absorption come, and give yourself the attention that you need. Do not hurry out of it. It will go when it is ready to go, and when it has done its duty. It is not selfish, but an act of self-love that will guide us out of selfishness.

Pain of the World

Once we have learned to feel and accept our feelings without being threatened by them, fought our own fight with our shadows, and passed through the Dark Night of the Soul, we are faced by an enormous challenge, which can be almost as devastating as our own recovery: Pain of the World.

When our protective walls are down, and we are a part of the universe, out hearts will notice the pain of other people. We will understand their pain, we will see how they pursue in their lives in the middle of their pain, and how they are searching for all kinds of moments of forgetfulness. We will notice their desperate search for a moment of love and acceptance. We will notice how people harm themselves and other people. We will notice a man and a woman searching for a moment of ease, eventually ending at harming themselves and each other. We will notice the abused child, and the tormented parent.

This is a terrifying moment, especially when we realize there is very little we can do. Nearly always our only option is to be willing to heal them when they have hurt themselves so much that they begin to search for help. We can only look at the show where people hurt each other, and feel our compassion, helplessness, and resulting pain.

We survive this awakening exactly the same way we survived our recovery: by feeling our feelings. At times, they might feel overwhelming, but we feel them. We may need to cry, and to pray for the world. We survive by acknowledging that the pain is not ours. It is the pain of the world that we notice for the first time. After the awakening comes deep peace, and something I would call Ultimate Letting Go, and Ultimate Rest.

We realize that people do whatever they do, and much, very very much, of their doings are dictated by pain. They are hurt. They are alone and isolated. They can not bear their pain, and they don't know how to deal with it. They search for other people, not to love them, but to find even a short period of less pain. They will hurt themselves, and we know that they feel too hurt already now. We notice their fear, and how they suppress their existential terror. This is a terrifying sight, and we live in the middle of it every single day.

This is a sight that is revealed to those who can stand it. It is revealed to those who are rooted in the universe, and in the love of God, and to those who know they are loved by God. This is the world as God sees it. It is revealed to those whose walls are down, and who do not fight against it. This is the love of God in the heart of a man. This is the love that will make us joyful and willing servants.

Once we have passed through the awakening and the shock, we will find Peace in being ourselves in the world. We begin to love in our own unique way, led by our intuition and our reason. We learn to trust, and to accept. We don't have to run around, trying to make people feel less pain. We know what they are doing, and that they can be helped only when the time is right. We will not so easily be fooled into dysfunctional and self-defeating, or other-defeating, systems. We begin to discern true love, and we begin to get more courage to live according to our own loving way.

The awakening can be tough, and it can shatter any heart (it did so to mine). Some people pass through it softly, merely understanding that they are to use their gifts to serve other people. Anyway, the experience - be it radical or smooth - is of such absolute nature that it shatters away all, or most, of selfishness. What actually remains, is not something one could call self, but rather a compassion. One's heart will become a single compassionate center of love, towards other people and ourselves. This must be an earthly reflection of the love of God, in the freedom of all individuals.

This opening of the soul to the world is completely different from what I expected. It does not fill your heart with joy. It fills it with sorrow, compassion, love and belonging. Joy is present, but it will manifest itself only after the awakening. It is not an ecstatic thrill, but a humble, joyful, and peaceful acceptance of one's place in the world. With this acceptance comes the ability to feel pain without feeling painful. With this package comes real compassion for wounded souls, who keep on wounding themselves and each other, knowing that we have escaped the dance. We will be standing beside the dance floor, and we prepare ourselves to heal the wounds of those who fall off and get pushed away from the floor, while the rest of the crowd keeps on dancing.

But, in all of this, remember that their pain is not yours. Feel your feelings, and endure this short way to deep peace. Once you are there, you love, serve and belong in a new way. You have found your place in the universe, or, rather, your place has come to you.

 

Be Who You Are

We have a tendency to define ourselves and other people through what we have been and what they have been. It is difficult to define ourselves or other people based on what we are or what they are, since it is open, transient and ever-changing. What we are in a moment, is living, flexible, and not yet completely defined.

Our history is closed, and therefore easy to understand. It is something we can take in our hands and say, "this is what I am". But we don't even look at our history. We pick 'meaningful' or 'important' details, and define ourselves according to them. The things we pick, are more or less randomly defined by our cultural environment, our feelings, and our values. In doing this, our definition of ourselves is incomplete, somewhat whimsical, and something which is no more. We are not what we were twenty years ago, ten years ago, or a month ago. We define ourselves according to a few details of what we are not, although we say, "This is exactly what I am". This all is still sticking in the past.

This is also how we define other people. They have done or not done something - sometimes a long time ago. They have said something, and we remember some of their gestures. They do not appear in front of our eyes in a now-moment, flowing freely as they really are.

It requires a great deal of openness, flexibility and security to let us define ourselves according to what we are in a moment. We have been working through our history and we have let go, let go, and still let go. For a long time we have defined ourselves according what we have been, what we have done, what we have not done, and what has happened to us. This all is necessary, since all unresolved issues tie us in the past. When we begin to let go of fear of spontaneously being ourselves in a moment, we begin to define ourselves according to what we are in the passing moment.

No one can predict us, and no one should try to predict us. We should try to predict nobody. We can give ourselves the freedom to respond to now-moment as we are when it comes. The same is true for other people. Each time we see them, we should have fresh eyes, and welcome them in openness and freedom. But we can do this only when we feel ourselves safe and we have no need to try to control life or other people. When our self-worth and self-confidence find rest in being ourselves, we can let go of dysfunctional definitions of what we are. When we go shopping, we define ourselves as "one who shops". When someone asks "who are you?", we can answer, "I am one who talks with you". When we find peace with ourselves and our history, we can define ourselves as "I am one who responds", or "I am one who is". This definition is transient, open, and ever-changing - which is exactly what we are. Be who you are .

 Copyright Healing Eagle 2003

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