Faith

March 16, 2017

“The gladness in your heart won’t catch you when you fall. It makes for an inspiring day, a beautiful day, but it sleeps at night and in the dark you must find something else to rely upon. The gladness in your heart is made of sunshine; it is made of things easy and free, made of all the small gladnesses the world offers you, made of the sunniness and the brightness of life, made in the day. And it is not that that joy has fled you when night comes and the pain sets in, it’s not that it is gone; but it is resting awhile, latent, in its potential, withdrawn into the quiet recesses of your open heart. That kind of gladness is not a crutch, not an aid able to see you through your difficult moments; it is not meant to be wisdom, it is not meant to buoy you through the pain. And so, when you are in pain, when it is dark all around you, do not ask, “Where has my joy gone? Why am I without my gladness?” Ask instead, “What is here now? What will see me through this place? What is it that visits me when I am so low and the world so bleak?” Certainly your inner guidance is there, its voice like all the patience you can’t muster for yourself, its kindness the kindness of things already understood. But you have, too, your own resources, those firm places inside yourself that cradle you when you cannot stand on your own. And these are not places of wisdom, or understanding, for, in that pain, in that darkness, confusion is your natural state. And they are not places of soothing reassurance, some way you might tell yourself that all is well, because it is very clear to you that it is not. And so, what gives firmness to your own self-support? What enables you to hold your own hand through the dark night? It is courage, sometimes, that special aspect of will that enables us to persevere because we are braver than we think we are. But I would say that the ground, the very foundation of your own ability to cradle yourself in such dark and painful times is faith, that it is faith that gives resolve to your own self-support, faith that carries you and that loves you as yourself in a way that only that can. Faith is the way you say to yourself that things are not all right and that they do not need to be, that pain is here and it is consuming you and you do not need to be preserved. Faith holds so firm to the notion of universal harmlessness that there is no chaos, no confusion, no catastrophe and no pain which can ever really hurt you, ever damage you in any meaningful way at all. And, in faith, you can be held in this notion yourself, cradled in this very understanding, alive on the exquisite edge of this vulnerability and open to all the possibilities that vulnerability brings. Faith is the firmness in your own mind which makes you sane when you want to be otherwise, and it is the sweet depth of certainty where everything else has none at all. And it is yours if you will have it. It is not the responsibility of your guidance to lend it to you, not the prerogative of your teachers or guides to inspire it in you; it is yours and yours alone—your choice and your blessing. Go forth in faith, and whether or not you have gladness, you are held aloft, you are cradled, you are well. Go forth in faith and there is nothing you cannot bear. Nothing that has been and nothing that will ever be can disturb or destroy you. Have faith and you have your sanity back, you have your touchstone, you have your ground. Have faith and you have everything you need.”

Ask

June 3, 2015

“We come here to this world, this plane, full of both the impulse to think and act and do, as well as a deep dissatisfaction with that and a longing for some true richness and deep purpose that none of those things ever give us. And so we come here with this inherent conflict, this intrinsic inner struggle, because both our push to do and think and become, as well as our need for some meaning these can never provide, are authentic in us, are real and true to our natures in their own way. And so we must look for that thing inside us that can mediate these forces, that can bridge the activity and the meaning, and that is why I say, go into your own depths, go into yourself where the mind does not reach, where the calm and the stillness are themselves the signs of the intelligence that lives there, and when you are there ask your questions: “Is this what my day should really be like?” “Is this what my time is for?” “Is this all the love I can possibly find here, and if not, where is there more?” Ask, “How can I be fulfilled here?” and “Where can I apply my courage so that the best my own life has to offer me becomes mine?” Ask this in your stillness and you cannot but be answered. Ask all your questions in earnest from this place of vulnerability, of surrender, of compassion for everything you do not yet know. Ask because you have decided that your mind’s answers are not good enough, and ask because this is the only way, truly and certainly, that you will love yourself with all your heart. We were made conflicted, struggling, at odds with ourselves in our very center, but we were also made with this vast well of answers, this deepest kind of true intelligence waiting for us to have the courage and the intention to tap it. Drink from the well that this most merciful universe allots every single person. We are here already furnished with our own salvation. Every one of us need only ask.”