Our own personal faults may remain dark caverns unchartered by our refusal to see them. Who wants to admit something about themselves that produces a feeling of shame over the imperfection? Who wants to love a pock marked blemish on our own character when all around us is a message that only beauty counts? Who wants to reveal a fault which when it is admitted to, completely alters our way of looking at ourselves..........and if it is revealed, how do you overcome the shameful ugliness of it?
You may have many mirrors in your home, but when was the last time you REALLY looked at yourself in one? Like me, do you just take a fleeting glance simply to make sure you don't have spinach in your teeth, or that your hair isn't sticking up like Alfalfa? It's a habit. I could be standing in front of the mirror for a good 20 mintues blow drying my hair, putting on my make up and brushing my teeth in the morning and still not REALLY look at me. I'd prefer to keep the picture I have of myself as a vibrant person in her early 20's than recognize that this was a long time ago. But who am I kidding? No one else sees me that way anymore and no one seems to shy away from me because i look the way i do, why would I continue not to look more deeply? I'm only fooling myself.
When I conciously have a looksee.........when I register the reflection of who I am now, a woman on the upper end of her 40's my initial reaction is one of shock. WHO is that person looking back at me? Where did that young woman go..........the one whose face was thinner and wrinkle free.........the one who used to have smaller perky breasts and not ones stretched by nursing two babies............the one without the stretch marks on her belly. When did her skin lose some of it's elasticity all over? And what's with the seemingly extra skin on the eyelids?
What about the faults found within? The scars and fissures..........we were born with or have collected during our struggles? Some of them as well are more visible to others than to ourselves and for the same reasons. We try so hard not to reveal to ourselves fully for fear of being rejected. We'd rather remain blind? Our fault lines, like the ones found under the surface of the earth, our gaping holes like the ones found in old apple trees leave us tremoring with the very idea that it may be the thing that turns off the people around us. What if they find out? Will they stop loving us? So, we keep ourselves in the dark.
In the dark......where light is absorbed.
There is still light in there. It's just busy being absorbed.
Our awareness of ourselves, of how we interact with the world around us increases as we get older, mostly because of the experiences we have accumulated along the way. This makes sense. The farther we skip, jump, run, walk, limp, crawl, roll down the path of life, we collect a whole bunch of things to put in our backpack. Though awareness is always sprinkled with enlightenment which accompanies learning, it sometimes isn't satisfying because, well..........it may be really ugly. It may be hard to swallow. In fact when you think about it there are many things in life that are hard to swallow....some bigger than others. The cracks, the fissures, the bumps, scars and scratches on the surface may not be as pretty or handsome as we want to be. Leonard Cohen, that craggy old beautiful man sings in his song Anthem:
The birds they sang
at the break of day
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what has passed away
or what is yet to be.
He understood the importance of letting go and moving on. He also had the insight to realize that perhaps our very own fault lines werent just ornaments to wear or to try to hide in the closet. They have a purpose........
Ring the bells
that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
Is this how His light can get into us? Perhaps we accumulate these experiential openings to let in God's love. Perhaps those same ugly marks where light is absorbed is the access God uses to fill us with truth of love? And if we feel this wildly unconditional love, will this not lead us to understanding the mystery? How beautiful is that?
Still, I wish I still had perky breasts.