The desire to let go with love.
Lately, my days have been starting early. While I would prefer to note that I am welcoming the day with a quiet receptivity of what’s to come, that is not the case. I have been waking with a familiar ache that has visited me many times throughout my life. It carries a burden, or a heavy messenger conveying the news that I must confront what is being presented in life. The current telegram is one that feels too big and too heavy for my system to hold. It involves too much change. As intimate as I am with the ever-fluctuating nature of life, I am left feeling the incredible discomfort of not being in control of the velocity of things. It feels as though the recent bulletins are asking me to accelerate my practices of letting go, of facing myself and my fears, and of moving forward before I feel ready.
But are we ever really ready? As a practicing mystic, I must not ignore ripe opportunities to grow myself, and so this morning, when I awoke alone in my home at the ambrosial hour, I went looking for “ready.” I got myself out of bed, and sat upon my cushion. With only the light of a flickering candle, and a quiet sanctuary to support me, I sat with my aches. I chose to sit with an intention of dropping into the moment, with respite from my turning mind. With some quiet I could drop in. I tasted the relief of some surrender. And then came a mindscape of beautiful material things. A velour blue jacket with three fantastic buttons, a pair of brown ankle-high cowboy boots with pink trim. What pretty pictures floated by! My garden from last season came into view. And then the felt experience of new relationships in which I feel whole and like I am growing. Accompanied by all this, I felt good.
It didn’t take me long to to realize that all of these things—the jacket, boots, garden, relationships—were things I had desired. Things and feelings I had wanted, but chose at first to suspend having. The beautiful blue jacket was too expensive, I told myself. Then, a year later, I saw it with tags still on at a second hand store. Affordable! The boots came that way too. After first seeing a similar pair on a visit to Santa Fe many years ago, I went on a treasure hunt that always seemed to be moving way too slow–when will I find those boots in my size? Then, finally, there they were, in a second hand store. The garden was a dream planted in my memory from my childhood. My mother sometimes tended a small garden in our backyard. Finally, in a time of healing, a friend came along and supported me to have my first garden. Relationships where I feel an ancient familiarity and an explosive exciting unknown are something I have always desired. I am not new to intimacy among friends and lovers, but I am now getting to experience a growing depth with time and teachings.
This collage of pictures and sensations helped me reflect on “desire.” Some of my desires were not fulfilled instantly. Some I did not know would be fulfilled. Some I wanted more fiercely than others, and struggled more profoundly for in the waiting. Yet they have all come. This is a great teaching for me.
What we are meant to know, to have, to hold will come when the time is ripe. Maybe even after we’ve forgotten that we planted the seeds with desire, with intention. And maybe after the grasping is gone.
My take away from this sweet morning awakening is to continue to tap into my desires—whether they be material or emotional or experiential. To honor my fiery self and be radical and creative in what I seek. To be as specific as I can when I am moved. To enjoy the dreaming and the visioning of things small and large, while remaining aware of the here and now.
I can wake up to the gift that many desires will come into fruition. I can also wake to the gift of those that do not come, for often, after the fact, I will have realized that I didn’t really need or want those particular desires either to begin with or anymore.
The commitment is to note when I am grasping. It is the grasping that wakes me with an ache. It is the grasping that builds false ambition to do more, or to try to make life happen at a different speed, and perpetuates suffering. So I practice loosening my grip. And I allow myself to notice the grip in the firstplace. And I massage my hand with forgiveness and tenderness once I’ve let go of the grip. I learn to hold my hands open.
I wonder what those around me desire. I wonder how willing others are to trust—that what will come in time—will come, and what is not meant to be will fade? I am curious about your collage of things, experiences and feelings that have come to you as beautiful surprise, and whether or not you have celebrated them. And, if you receive that same deep appreciation to be brought back to a time when a desire came to be and was offered out into the cosmos to be played with? I am grateful for this ache, and the lessons that accompany and grow me perfectly. I am grateful to have mirrors all around me that so lovingly show me where I am still grasping. My desire is to let go, with love.