You know, it’s all well and good and easy to say “We are One” when I’m thinking about a childhood hero. Or mountains. Or the Buddha. Or a pretty purple-tipped coneflower dappled in dew drops. I like that Oneness. It tastes sweeter than cotton candy and I can wrap myself up in it like the snuggest winter blanket, warm and cozy, safe by the fireside.
But let’s face it. Oneness doesn’t mean just being one with all the pretty things. It also means coming to terms, coming to acceptance, perhaps even coming to love, all those things we’d rather not see, rather not allow into our minds, rather not even consider the possibility of their existence. If not exactly celebrating, at least accepting that these aspects are all part of me: I’m in the _____ and the _____’s in me.
Early one recent morning this realization came home stronger than ever. In the midst of morning coffee and front porch sittin’, I was reminded of a movie scene from the evening before. Correction: I was haunted. I didn’t want to remember those three minutes. Titles can be misleading, and while this film had sounded promising, the opening scenes were so repulsive that at first I couldn’t look away – and then, I turned it off and physically walked away.
That’s not typical. Maybe I have a strong stomach due to a wide variety of life experiences. Or maybe I’ve been desensitized by too many years of modern media. Either way, while there are many things I may not care for, neither do they repel me so drastically that I have to pretend they don’t exist. For one thing, I’ve learned not to turn my back on the shadows. Left in the darkness, they loom larger, but brought into the light of consciousness, they burn away in the heat of the sun, like fog on a cool autumn morning.
But this scene I didn’t want to allow. And yes, it occurs to me as I write, my extreme reaction is a good sign of something deep being triggered, whether personal or societal. Yet when the scene presented itself again in the midst of my morning meditation, my first impulse was to block it out. No. Not me. Not me.
But wait – is that true? Do I really believe in Oneness? Or just the fun parts? Because if I truly believe in Oneness, on some level that means I Am that scene. I am the perpetrators. I am the victims. I am the wounded, the sick, the deeply disturbed that good ol’ MCB in her current form finds so repugnant.
Deep tears rising, struggling to accept and allow and integrate this concept in the core of my being. Today as I write, the butterfly that flutters to a standstill beside me reminds me, “Very good, Grasshopper. You are learning.”
I think I’m beginning to understand this better as I come to terms with the auto-immune diseases that have claimed my body in recent years. As within, so without. Unable to tell friend from foe, the body’s cells turn on each other, and it begins to destroy itself.
We see this dis-ease surfacing all around us these days, faction turned on faction, red on blue, blue on red, my flag-your flag, my love-your love, wherever you like but definitely not in MY backyard. And yet what is the truth? There is no “away” into which to cast these less desirable aspects of ourselves – that in itself being a judgment. Who decides what is desirable? What is relative? What is Truth?
I am reminded of the long-ago words of a great teacher of Oneness.He looked at the individuals around him and he saw all – the love, the hate, the cracks about the seams, the light, the dark, and he spoke words that still echo after all these years: “Love your enemies. Do good to them that hurt you.”
Not just the ones on the outside. The ones on the inside, too. For in so doing we honor our connection with all, as he honored his with his father. As another beautiful teacher worded it – our inter-being. (Thank you, Thay. <3)
More words come, those of another man, wise in his own way, who seemed to understand the deeper implications as he penned these words:
“That I feed the hungry, forgive an insult, and love my enemy – these are great virtues… But what if I should discover that the poorest of the beggars and the most impudent of offenders are all within me, and that I stand the need of all the alms of my kindness; that I myself am the enemy who must be loved – what then?” – C.G. Jung
Let’s face it. We cannot share something with another that we don’t have for ourselves – whether that be finances, time, space, or even love, compassion, or a sense of forgiveness. Today, as I practice, please let me remember the full picture, the all-encompassing. Let me not turn my soul on any other, or even on myself, as I sink more deeply into total integration and full acceptance.
And so it is. The beauty, the brutal, the darkness, the light. May I not forget the reminder that dangles near my side: God is as close as your next breath. Wherever it finds you. Wherever it finds me. For that I am grateful.
(C) 2016 Mary Batson, FrontPorchRambles.com
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