Saturday, September 05, 2009

stepping out, looking in.....and out.....


Never doubt for a moment that life is a randomly chaotic jumble of happenstances without meaning. Life so often feels chaotic and complicated. Meaning may never look like you expect it to. Order rarely has a role in how even one single day unfolds. A turn of event which in the moment seems so inconsequential can alter your outward view permanently by sending you down a path you didn't even know was within your realm.... without any sort of pliable explanation. Often alone. Often without a hand to hold.

We think we long for clean and simple, for restfulness and predictability. We are comfort dwellers. Paradoxically, the answers we seek rarely offer up a platter of pretty little petit fors. Oh no, our innate hunger for moments of precipice insecurity, for lightening strikes of insight almost always lead us to a well worn harvest table where many have broken bread. The buffet spread is so resplendent, we are at a loss at to what to choose to put on our chipped plates.

Sometimes if we're lucky, we are conked on the head with such a clang that our whole being shakes inside the ringing of insight. Like a labyrinth made of stand up straight dominoes...you touch one and the energy flows through the circular path to form a new pattern. Its a similar one, but its different. Then, all of a sudden you realize your gaze outward has a new lens.

We may never really know the reasons for some of the happenings which ping our intuitive strings and set us off on a mysterious course. Often, we just have to trust that there is some reason behind the pings, and to recognize that we may never intersect with clarity. What keeps the motivation high enough to take another step forward is the hope that there may be a few important life lessons tucked into the harvest. There may be a few clues or at least a key to open a door of understanding........
who we are,
why we're here,
does anyone care,
where we are
and what is the purpose.

We tend to endlessly gorge ourselves nesting within the sanctum of self contemplation without taking a look around, thereby missing key cues to meaning. Even the most blatantly obvious connections, let alone the tiny touchstone moments of a brief but important encounter, may fly past us because we are so intent to stay within the confines of our unnutured thoughts. We miss the new pattern of the labrynth.

Sadly, for some reason, we have bought into ourselves, and have swallowed the cascade of marketing messages that explode off book shelves. We have forgotten to look outside of ourselves,. Instead we sink deeper into ourselves like a science project ....thinking ....and believing we aren't connected to a more cosmic force in play.

All the answers lie somewhere deep in the bowels of our soul.
Dig deep enough and you will know the truth.
Want to feel good about who you are? The secret lies within.
Know yourself and YOU TOO will feel confident.

It reminds me of a barking Carnie selling magic potions along a midway. And if you don't look out, you'll buy into a handful of dust bunnies..... there's no substance worthy of keeping in a handful of dust bunnies.

Fortunately, curiosity is our saving grace. Why? Because it bleeds through our veins like a drug feeding hope. We simply have to turn the tap on to let it course through oxygenating our desire to learn, and the ooomph needed to get off the comfy couch. Curiosity is the lifeblood of learning how to look outwardly and not so much inwardly....to reach out to others, to hear their stories (and to learn from them) and to recognize we are not a separate entity unto our absorbed selves. Rather, we are pilgrims in search of love, belonging, meaning and respite within the arms of another. It seems to me this is the key to putting a little bit of order into the chaos....looking outward as much as looking inward. And if there is no clarity and chaos conitinues to reign, at least you have someone to talk to about it all.
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Gee....I don't even know if I made sense..........next post.?.....I promise something a little more straightforward. I'm getting there. Pip? I'm still churning and churning like that washing machine.

3 comments:

Gilly said...

"Instead we sink deeper into ourselves like a science project..."

Oh I did love that bit! Dana, you made me smile for the first time this morning!

Yes, we do get all introspective, and its probably not good. But sometimes the big black cloud weighs so heavily on my head that it is, or at least feels, impossible to struggle out from underneath.

Its often the little things that will break that cloud up - a bright sunny morning, a smile from a stranger, something amusing that just resonates (see above!) Sometimes just being creative (and I really must go and make some bread!)

But sometimes we just need help. The journey seems frighteningly lonely, and the end comes closer and closer. And we can't find the hand that used to help us.

Dana, as usual, your writing is strikingly insightful, painful, clear and so well expressed it will chime with us all, I am sure.

Awareness said...

Thank you Gilly. I feel like I'm skirting around what I really want to write and I don't know why its stuck in my throat. The words are not finding me yet, though I will make another attempt today. I've told a few stories this week...verbalized them and sometimes when I do that, its very difficult to retrace the stories and form them into the written word.
My head is swimming with what I saw, felt, learned, heard, sensed at Greenbelt. This piece, similar to what I've written was fed by a couple of talks I attended and enjoyed (and was stirred by)...one entitled "the cult of self help" and the other was a fantastic talk by Pete Rollins. The latter I am still chewing on slowly.

Much of Rollins' thesis revolved around the point when we as humans are the most vulnerably naked, stripped away from Christianity and our own identity foundations into a searing place of doubt....the same "emotional and spiritual" place as Christ would've felt on the cross, when our religious convictions are seemlingly at their weakest, we can then feel the hand of God most. A very different slice of it for me to look at.
I guess what I'm trying to convey to you this morning is that when we long to feel the Hand of God the most....when we are doubting the most, we are closer to Christ than we ever are. Maybe it just doesn't feel the same to you as other times when you felt strong in your convictions, because the vulnerability you feel is different too. But He is there.....
Maybe you have Him in your arms Gilly.... maybe you are carrying Him right now. xx

just a thought..... :) Now, I'll let you chew on that whole idea along with me.... !

Selma said...

I think we innately fear the chaos and that is perhaps where introspection comes from. Being close to God is I guess, similar to throwing yourself into the arms of the universe. Perhaps it is when we are questioning, doubting, fearing, that we are most likely to be looked after by the powers that be. At least, that's what I've found.