Archive for July, 2010

There are things in life that we want and contemplate its happening and plan for.  There are times in life when things that we want and long for are not happening.  And while we strategize and think through and work at and pray for, that which we wish for remains at an illusive distance and the stars do not align. 

It is also strange how in some strange ways strange random events take place in one’s  life unplanned and unstragetized.  It just happens and it has its own life and its own natural flow of events.  And when it happens it changes you in ways that you are not prepared for.  It changes how you feel about things or see things.  And it is so random that it does not seem to fit anything and yet it has such a profound impact on  life.  Some how life goes on and yet nothing is ever the same.  It seems  that random events are not things to be rationally explained.  We only know because we are so positively affected by them.  And we go back to our lives with a smile on our face.   It is no wonder that I am so drawn to Mona Lisa.

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Over the past many years I have been able to witness lives of many people who have been through the reality and the complexity of life whether it be life’s difficulties, strained relationship, mental illness, terminal diseases, and other forms of trauma.  The one constant variable is the newly acquired perspective in life, the realization of the reality that life’s is really not in one’s control.  Many of taught me the importance of learning to manage this reality and find a space to flow. 

It has also taught me that in the end even in the midst of all that we wish to have happened in our lives, there are too numerous that remain beyond our ability to make certain that they happen.  We are left with the ability to navigate through live as best we can. But in many different ways it has returned as a gift of life, a place that invite us to remain in the present, to be here. 

I learn that we can not change how people think or feel.  We can try.  But those changes belong only to them within the scope of their decision.  We cannot plan life for our children. We can try but in the end they have their own lives and their own calling.  We can envision how we wish our family to move toward but the dynamic within the family has a way of finding its own path as well.  We do not direct although we may so wish so very deeply.  We cannot even make people we wish to help be helped the way we really wish.  It is up to them to interact with the very help we offer and it is beyond us to determine. 

So ultimately I think all we have is this capacity for compassion.  It is truly all that we have within our own ability.  We have that possibility to act compassionately.  And in this act of compassion we are not able to determine how people will act, respond, or interprete what we do.  It is the only thing we know deep in our hearts.  And our hearts may be the only witness.  It is all that we have and when we come to this realization it may just be the most liberating thing we have gained for ourselves.  It is all that we  have within our control.

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In my more matured years I have heard comments such as ‘listening to your heart.’  It sounds really nice but what does it really mean (or more explicitly, what the hell does this mean)?  I’m not absolutely certainly but I think I’m growing to a better understanding of this phrase because it seems to us human beings that the journey we are on is the journey from seeing with our eyes to seeing with our hearts.  From looking at others and interpreting external events – responses, behavior, social engagement, facial expressions, and the multitue of behavioral sociological phenomena. In many ways we also allow ourselves to be interpreted by these events and as such being affected by them.  I think seeing from the heart is recognizing who we are.  Seeing from the heart is feeling deeply the sense of our souls, the texture of our lives, the shades of our emotions, the inclinations of our desire and passion.  I think seeing from the heart starts from the ability to first be in the depth of our souls.  And from this depth, the authentic depth of our beings, relates to others.  Knowing our fallacies and our gifts, our intellect and stupidity, our weakness and strength…knowing us, knowing me.  Perhaps with the gift that we offer to ourselves, it may perhaps be the very same gift that allows us to see with our hearts.  In the moment of grace, clarity takes place.  In moment of clarity, we can see others beyond the construct imposed on them….we can peel through layers and find within them a person, a real person with feelings and thoughts, with desire and fear, with joy and sadness, a strength…a person regardless of his or her social location…a person yearning for the affirmation of one’s value as a person out of which many blessings could emerge.  I think with every person comes the gift that one brings into the world and into one’s community. It is not a utopia. It is not a universal redemption.  It is not a cure-all.  It is not pain or conflict free.  But it is a start of the journey toward authenticity.  It is humanity doing the best that we can within the limit of our finiteness and knowing existentially the quality of our very own mortality –  socially, spiritually, and intellectually.

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