Sunday, June 28, 2020
Carried by Practice
The last several days, I have been caught up in a spiritual tantrum. A patient friend listened to me rant about my frustration.
I’m not feeling very kumbaya. I don’t want to cultivate compassion or acceptance. I feel judgmental and angry. I don’t like people very much right now. I’m mad at the universe for its relentless offering of opportunities to practice. My personal life, my family’s life, friends' lives, and I don’t even know what to do with all the global angst and suffering. I am tired of practicing. Practice, practice, practice. I am bone tired, soul tired, heart tired. Energy exhausted.
After giving voice to my meltdown, I didn’t feel better. I felt worse. After releasing all that pent up churning, I went home and plummeted into sadness, crushing, heart breaking sadness. I sank into surrendered silence. Breathe. One breath. Another.
Then Practice spoke to me:
That’s okay. You don’t need to practice right now. Stop struggling. You are wearing yourself out. Needlessly. I will carry you. I will get you through this.
Oh. I realized practice is not a discipline. It’s a relationship. A healthy relationship of give and take on both sides. A relationship of trust and familiarity. And love. The deeper I go with my practice and the more consistent I am, the more I learn to trust that in tough times, the practice sustains me. Indeed, it does carry me and get me through.
I had forgotten. Wow, forgetting used up a lot of energy. I felt a bit foolish. But accepting of my foolishness. What’s that? Compassion peeked out and smiled. And okay, I might have felt a little bit kumbaya.
Behind the hardness there is fear
And if you touch the heart of the fear
You find sadness
And if you touch the sadness
You find the vast blue sky