Have you ever noticed how tension precedes release?
That’s probably why we shouldn’t freak out so much over stressful situations. They never last forever (though yes, it can FEEL like forever.)
Alternately, those moments in time where we sense liberty and benevolence from the universe? These, too, are fleeting little buggers.
In this week’s video, I talk about how completely sure I was that after my experience in Costa Rica, I would never feel tethered to the base feelings of life again. I was soaring! Floating!
And I was wrong.
Well, LIFE happens.
We don’t have the luxury (nor would we really want it) to escape to an island where other peoples’ drama can’t affect us; where the news reports can ‘t jolt us; where a bad tamale can’t give us indigestion.
Angst, upset, nausea and all the other feels are just part of the package of the human existence.
The key for me is what to DO with all those feels so they don’t bring me down for too long and I can get back to sweet release.
For me, the process involves sitting in my grandmother’s chair. I call it my thinking chair. Just the act of planting myself in that seat says, ‘It’s get real time, Brenda. Talk it out with yourself.”
And I do. And yes, I talk back.
I’ve learned that having regular conversations with my soul is not only not crazy, it helps keep the crazy at bay.
In these self-chats, I peel back the layers of falsehood that inevitably try to masquerade what’s REALLY going on.
Keeping it real, I’ll refer to last week’s message about surrendering STUFF.
Turns out, the Holy Spirit wasn’t just talking about my house.
My friend Anita joked with me that I’d come back from Costa Rica renouncing fine dining and eschewing my propensity for the Ritz Carlton, fake eyelashes and my tendencies for glamorous creature comforts. I emphatically countered that I was quite happy to savor the finer things in life and planned on continuing to do so. It’s how God made me. And, by the way, harrumph!
I protested too much.
Turns out, this week I was faced with an awareness that I had, indeed, become too focused on getting; that my psyche had been led down a path in which being “flush” equaled success. I bought the lie that I needed to “make up for lost time” and fill my coffers to ensure…that I was valid.
My circle only included people who could easily pick up the tab; who looked and sounded like me.
Then I met a man who has nothing. And I discovered that he is the richest person I know.
You’d never figure we’d make good friends. He is completely out of the mainstream and doesn’t even make small talk. He lives in senior affordable housing and has limited calling on his government-provided cell phone. We met in the airport on the way home from my Costa Rica trip, and I was struck by his jewelry, his colorful gypsy clothing, his self-possessed persona and aura of joy and peace.
Within moments of engaging in conversation, I discovered that he was a practicing Buddhist, and we engaged in a lovely conversation filled with the richness of spirit. I gave him my card, and he was kind enough to check that I made it home safely.
Over the course of just two weeks of texts and phone calls (limited, due to his limited minutes!) Roger Mayberry became an important person to me.
Then I got the call that he was in the hospital.
I visited my new friend and observed that within minutes of being admitted, he had charmed every person on his floor. Doctors, nurses, technicians, random passersby – they all couldn’t help but smile at his pure, childlike joy.
He says it himself, “I’m the richest poor man you’ll ever meet.”
When he first said that, I said, “Roger – stop defining yourself as a poor man!”
Yes, there is some truth to avoiding the sticky tape of speaking out words, for they have power.
However, it never occurred to me that being poor could ever be a good thing.
Stay with me on this, friends.
Roger is so not connected to the drumbeat of performance. He is not tethered to this life. He is an otherworldly creature; a student of the spirit who can talk and listen for hours…and you WANT to hear what he says. Further, when you speak, you feel HEARD.
Spending time with him has caused me to ask this question:
What ARE the true riches of life?
No, I’m not saying I’m taking a vow of poverty. However, I am conscious of a shift from the oh-so-seductive material world to the priceless beckoning of the Spirit.
These recent months have been, for me, devoted to not only self-discovery but also a quest for truth. Stripping away the veneer fear has built over the years has surprised me.
What a thing to realize that, at some point, I began to equate the car I drive and the bag I carry with my own self-worth.
Me! A self-professed spiritual person!
It broke my heart (in a good way) this week to see that I am being called to a new humility. Instead of the constant drumbeat to scale up and have more and better, I find myself drawn to a simpler life.
When I finally called it by name and acknowledged what was going on inside of me, I cried tears of release. Repentant is a turning from one thing to another. True repentance isn’t about beating yourself up; it’s simply an “Aha! I was wrong and now I can be right!”
This awakening to how I had veered on to a shallow path brought sweet release, because I know now I will not waste more time accumulating stuff.
The one with the most toys is NOT who wins.
People like Roger win. His bank account is overflowing where it matters most.
More on RELEASE and a beautiful new Word of the Week, coming right up:
By the way, the good news is Roger’s out of the hospital and on the mend.
Hooray! I intend to continue to plague him with questions and pick his brain and heart…all the while thanking him for shifting my view of life by his very existence.
This week, I want to ACCEPT people beyond face value. I want to ACCEPT what is and relax in the knowledge that the universe is unfolding exactly as it ought.
I ACCEPT that who I always thought I was may not be who I really am, and choose to release those old constructs born of fear and insecurity.
How about you?