One of the best answers I have heard comes from James Hollis in his new book, Hauntings:
“…..we are all here to be here, to go through it all, and to retain our dignity, purpose, and values as best we can. This is all we can do, and all that life can ever ask of us.” Pg 133
Just being here. How does one do this with integrity?
Wanting to run from here, I have used many methods. “Scotty, beam me up” is one of my favorites.
But that magic doesn’t happen. I find myself still here.
Through my meditation teachers and my practice I am gradually learning how to be here, with dignity and to note when I’m not here.
I’m not here when I find myself living outside my body, maybe not too far, but still not aware of what is going on within my body. What are my senses telling me about the present moment?
“If you’re not sure where you should be, look down at your feet” Zen Proverb
Where are my feet right now? How do I know this? Can I feel them? What is under them? Can I feel it? What are my toes doing?
It takes slowing down for me to become aware. I have to shift away from my ego agenda of getting things done in order to notice where my feet are. But this awareness reduces bumps, falls and missteps. It’s very beneficial.
But then, after this awareness what do I do?
In my bones, in my heart and soul, I do know this one thing: I am here to serve God.
That means being in the service of a loving energy that I cannot ever fully understand, but must simply trust and follow as best I can.
Each day I look for those pockets of anger, hate and distancing that are within me. I explore and give my attention to them.
I allow myself to feel the pain and shame that are within these areas. Oh how they desire a loving touch! They need my attention.
Old patterns desire to be loved so that they can find their freedom.
My journal, as well as my meditation time, is a great place for this kind of investigation.
I find that in the end, I can only take care of what is within me to tend to. It is my garden, small it may be, but I’m the only one who can tend it.
Much as I would like to I can’t direct the care of my loved one’s gardens.
So I must show up in my own life. Not project my unease onto another.
Just showing up. What a wonderful soul intention this is.
God’s work or my work? That is the question.
Will we show up to love? Right where we are, right now? Will we show up to carefully hold our wounded self, and treat it with compassion.
Can we bear the pain of the hurt and woundedness of another as if it were our own? For at some level, it is.
Just showing up in the small moments of life helps us meet the larger moments while also giving us a sense of purpose.
“You may not think what you do is important, but it is vital that you do it.” Gandhi
And what a laugh it will be when I really, really learn there is no me or you, or his in all the world. It doesn’t belong to me, or to you, or to any individual or separate being. It’s all ours! There is only One.
It’s worth every bit of effort to show up. It’s our soul journey and it’s calling us!