Living and Being Lived Beyond My Self
I had a long chat with my mum this Sunday and am left with a buoyed sense of being held that lingers on into the afternoon, into the evening. As I stand at the kitchen counter, chopping veggies for supper I notice this “heldness” and my thoughts go to the many who don’t have a mama in this earthly form anymore, be this through death or other separation. They don’t have this person in their lives who has known them since little, since in-the-belly times, who has seen them and helped them grow up through the many stages, stumbles, ages, rejoices. One day I too won’t have her to call, to hear her voice any more. That time will come for all of us.
Arising from this reflection, I pour this sense of “heldness” over to those without mother, over to you. It belongs to all. It is not mine to keep, whether it flows from my mother, from our relationship, or not. This heldness is everyone’s birthright, and those of us in the blessed place and space to receive it directly, may we share it out and around so that it touches all those sons and daughters who miss their mamas, to all who don’t feel understood, supported by their parents, to all those who have left their elders far behind on a different continent or worldview. Most especially, may this heldness wrap its warm embrace around the children who have no more parent or community to look after them. May it reach far and wide across the planet and sweep all children in its embrace.
We are just and amazingly each others arms, each others mamas, each others embrace. What is mine, is mine and ours, is yours. What is yours is also mine. Our separate bodies and distinct life experiences belie this layer of reality. Underneath all the differences and separations, we are undeniably connected. We are a humanity, not a bunch of different humanities.
Feel into the relaxation this offers. There is a time for everyone. There is a place for each.
When I became a mother to a newborn and had alot less time to dance and perform, I watched my sister-friend dance and perform, diving into a career in this field. In witnessing her, I partook in the dancing. I relaxed, knowing dancing was still happening, even if not through my self.
In the weeks after another friend died, I would hold her 4-year old girl in my arms, tight, and whisper in my soul to my friend’s soul, “Here, take my arms, let this be your embrace to your darling girl. Use my body and heart to express your love and tender care for this girl of yours. As I inhale her sweetness, I pass it on to you”. Now this little girl is 15, and I continue offering my arms to her mama.
Yet another friend, dead for years now, loved so very much the view of the Valhalla mountain range I live in front of. Many-a-time I look over these mountains and ridge lines and a similar sense arises. “Here, take my eyes to look at this view you loved so. May my embodied form offer you what you have no longer. May this view sweep through my looking all the way to you, somehow”.
This weave continues in all directions. There are moments, gestures, engagements and actions I can offer to others, in their stead, as mine to be and do on behalf of, and also unto myself.
And there are moments, gestures, engagements, passions and actions that others do so brilliantly, so rightly, and I can let go and partake in this transpersonal relatedness.
We can be one another’s shared humanity and expression. We don’t have to do it all. We don’t have to travel to all the places on earth, to taste all the foods, to follow the myriad life paths possible. We can discern what is ours to do and do it well. And we can rest and delight in what is there for others to do, while partaking and rejoicing in their unique version of life discovered and expressed.
Do you feel the relaxation, the settledness that arises from this perspective? Both an invitation to step more fully into what is yours to do, as well as offer that to the whole; and an encouragement to notice what is not yours to do and to receive that offering to the whole.
Comparison, competition, rivalry recede. We are each other’s arms, hearts, dancing legs, smiles, tears. We travel together, the journey is a shared one. Let us share the burdens, lighten each other’s loads, delight in one another’s gifts, and participate in this unfolding mystery from a sense of belonging.
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