When you watch the wind breathe
What do you see?
When you watch the wind breathe
What do you see?
beyond the reach.
Reaching out to give
succor and safety.
Only momentarily, though.
We were always found.
Now, we need to be found again.
To replace fear with love,
Pity with compassion;
To air out the dark corners
and step into the peace we are,
the peace we bring.
Be found. Be seen. Be loved. To love.
There is no longer any need to hide.
Come out from behind the hiding place.
When I was in the sixth grade, I saw an angel. At least, that’s what I called it. It was in the sky, it was alive, and not a bird or a plane or Superman. Not even a super-something else. It just was. And pretty as it just was. I told my mother who commemorated the experience with a poor concrete facsimile that confused me to no end. Because that wasn’t it and it wasn’t quite right in my adolescent mind. I don’t know if I ever thought again of that beautiful being I saw until we were reintroduced to each other in August 2015.
I never did see God, though. As an atheist it made complete sense. Out of mind, out of sight.
Until. Until one day in the spring of 2007 while I was washing dishes, I felt it. IT. The thing that other folks have described as God. This coalescing of something bigger than me but not definable, fully there and not-exactly-finite at the same time. Big, but fitting into the kitchen with me. I put down the salmon pan, walked to my then-husband in the living room, said out loud, “I just met God”, and walked back to the sink. Because, apparently God and other invisibles don’t do dishes. No other word was said. None needed to be. It was neither disturbing nor interesting. I didn’t ask any questions because none needed asking. I didn’t tell anyone else until years later.
I also didn’t tell anyone when God came back. I mean, what or who else could that big, infinite, yet finite beingness at the kitchen sink–again–possibly be? This time, again while my hands were in the suds, it said one thing: “How will you define yourself?” That’s it. No winning lottery numbers. No “Here, I’ll dry”. Just “How will you define yourself?”
Neither of these experiences were met with a response more than nonplussed curiosity. Nothing more than a measured, ‘huh’. Although at one point in my non-religious evolution I was taught that God was fearsome and to be feared, I didn’t believe he existed at all, especially in that way. In fact, I never believed in him as his existence was explained by anyone. Except when that it-that-can-be-nothing-else arrived, I knew. Just knew.
In that moment, I just knew that fear was unnecessary, that worship was unnecessary, reverence was unnecessary, and there was no room for confusion or revelation. It just was. Not from ‘above’ but not from within. Not from somewhere ‘else’ but certainly something else, something other than my mind’s capacity for imaginings or desire for a holy dishwashing experience. In fact, there was nothing particularly holy in the whole thing. The clouds didn’t part, angels didn’t sing and I didn’t zing with the energies I often feel while with things of the ecstatic nature. I didn’t drop to my knees as I’ve done in grief and gratitude; I just heard him. There was no reassurance, demand for obedience or plea for belief; just one simple question.
While I was as unconfused and unawed as the first encounter, the second annoyed me. I knew the who of it and the what of if but, A) I still had to dry the dishes and, B) I’ve got other shit going on so what the hell kind of question is that for God to ask someone like me?
I had no idea then that the me I was would shortly no longer be. I had no context for the question and no understanding that there was anything beyond a definition of “I’m just Ingrid.”
Ten years into thisness, I’m well into not-just-Ingrid and I still don’t know how to define myself. And, I still don’t define that God-thing the way others do. I thought if I’d define myself in my own way or the way I’ve been asked to the last year by those ones of Creation that got me into this mess, I’d know how to be this whatever-I-am. Notsomuch. God hasn’t come back to ‘splain all that, either. Or help with the dishes.
compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.
or: a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion
We most often associate Mercy with someone else. I suggest that we show ourselves a little mercy. And give ourselves a little Merci.
Mercy and thanks for not having it all figured out; for feeling ungraceful and ungrace-filled; for floundering; for all the goodness that we know is there but can’t feel it in the funk; for our beauty within and the beauty that surrounds.
Mercy and thanks for the capacities that have brought us this far; the capacities for others to help us grow farther; for the calamities that remind us of our strength and courage, our gentleness and compassion, how we bring Grace to others.
May the mercy and thanks we give to ourselves be given unto others as we are reminded there is no Other.
Always we want to learn from outside,
from absorbing other people’s knowledge.
It’s safer that way.
The trouble is that it’s always other people’s knowledge.
We already have everything we need to know,
in the darkness inside ourselves.
The longing is what turns us inside out until
we find the sun and the moon and stars inside~
—Peter Kingsley from his book The Dark Places of Wisdom
It’s much the same way with learning how to be a healthy empath. The discomfort you’ve been feeling–generally speaking–isn’t other people’s emotions. It’s your own response to an external energy that may or may not be emotional. That singular awareness–the ability to identify what it is and to take responsibility for that which is yours–bring a level of freedom and peace you’ve not known in a loooooong time.
Until you reach the point of being able to connect to, identify and express your own emotions, it is difficult to connect with those of others. It first must be about you; you as subject, you as explorer, you as feeler and feeling, before you can fully engage in accurately judging ‘other people’s’ anything.
And, love, like fear, isn’t just floating through the ether waiting for you. To make a decision or choose to be enough of something other than where you are right now.
Each requires a decision-making process, a choice to try. To love oneself, to love another. To open to yourself and to open into Other.