And then have a back up plan.
I think it’s called being neurotic.
A sure path is what I want. I can get anxious when I don’t understand what seems to be happening. Fear creeps in.
At a recent meditation retreat the teacher shared a story about a parachuter who jumped confidently from the plane, knowing his parachute would safely land him.
After enjoying soaring, when he felt it was time to open his parachute, he pulled on the rip cord. Nothing happened!
When his chute didn’t open he panicked.
Screaming that he was going to die, he looked down and was amazed when he saw that there was no ground to hit!
There he was, in freefall!
He could simply enjoy the ride, and flow with the currents.
Just a story, of course, but as with all teaching stories, there is a great truth embedded within.
When we think we are at the end, something will open and lift us into the next ………………………. whatever the next may be. And it will work out in ways we never dreamed, or planned.
No matter how devastating things appear, there is always another way. Something carries us safely through all the pitfalls and difficulties of life. Even when we were sure the end was near.
And the way out is the way in and through. Who would have thought?
We will only know this by opening to a higher truth — that there is no ground to hit!
We don’t have to know the outcome; just that we are safe at every moment in ways we cannot rationally comprehend.
This is enough! It cures neurosis.
Or as Alan Watts quipped, “We are in freefall from the moment we are born, and it doesn’t do much good to hang onto the things that are falling with us.”
Clinging causes suffering. Clinging to old notions of how things should be, and especially being torqued because they aren’t the way we want them, which is the other side of clinging — aversion.
Clinging and aversion to anything cause all our suffering.
As we meet each belief face to face we find they are groundless. There is no real bottom to them. They have nothing substantial under them — except our opinions. They are, in fact, groundless.
We only learn of their unreliability and instability by facing them and questioning their nature. And it is worth the effort.
Experiencing, really feeling our fears, pain and sadness, touching them and even crying with them, eventually disentangles us from them. But this takes practice and a good teacher to help us!
It hurts to suffer. It brings joy to no one.
By allowing ourselves to re experience the pain (with the help of a journal and a good therapist and teacher) we find there is nothing left to hold these old beliefs about what should happen in life.
By feeling the pain and the hurt, just breathing with it, while holding ourselves in love, we transform. And we haven’t done it, we have simply cooperated with the way life works.
Through compassion and lovingkindness the glue dissolves.
Then we begin to trust the journey, and enjoy it. What a trip!
“Mourning lasts for a night, but joy comes in the morning,” as the Psalmist shared. Ps. 30:5
Joy follows mourning just as day follows night. It’s what’s next.
As we allow things to be the way they are, without trying to manipulate them into being something else, the pain transforms.
This is like being in free fall, because we do not know where it will carry us. We trust the winds of the heavens.
For instance, right now we can look around and wonder in amazement at this moment in time. This instant has never been before! What is it filled with? Let’s take the time to look, to listen and flow with what is.
We don’t need to hang onto this minute, because another amazing one is now right here. Just like that! Everything changes.
When we breathe, what really happens inside? (Besides all the physical things science has discovered about what this breath causes to happen). That is amazing enough, for sure. But what else?
Is this breath opening us to something new? Could it be helping us to let go of what has been?
Will we allow ourselves to be suspended in space, and trust that something will work out?
Godlove is the single energy of the universe that grows and unfolds all things. It can be trusted to hold us up when we are sure we are falling towards certain failure or death.
Failing is not what we thought. Neither is death.
The energy of love moves us out of the pitfalls of life by showing us the light within the darkness.
And this light is our light. It’s here to lead us, to comfort us and guide us.
We are the student. We are learning to fly, not by our wits, but by the very breath, the flow of spirit.
There is no ground to hit!
Wherever we are, God is, and all is well.