Allowing things TO BE
This morning I am thinking of so many things. Of platitudes and of difficulties. Of my family of origin—ailing parents topping my “list of what I am frightened about”—but also of my daughter who is about to have her own child and of my son who is graduating from college after many years of searching for what he really wanted to do. I think of Liz Gilbert saying, “It all goes away. Eventually, everything goes away.” And I hear myself saying, “No. No. No. No. No.”
I am trying very hard to “soften into a state of allowing”.
Fighting the urge to fight WHAT IS.
Fighting the urge to speed things along or slow them down, to grasp them or to change them altogether.
Breathing. Allowing. Breathing. Allowing.
A client and I were speaking a couple of weeks ago of impermanence. She asked if the notion of impermanence comforted me. I responded immediately and without thought, "No. I hate it. But I can't argue with it."
But as I have pondered that conversation in the last few days while wrestling with my own life and emotions, I realized that my response was only a partial truth. When I am sick or sad—when I am suffering—impermanence is a great relief for me. I cling to the notion that, "This, too, shall pass." But when it comes to my own mortality, to that of my children or my parents, to the passing of loveliness and familiarity and comfort--I long to grasp those things mightily and deny their mutability. As a friend of mine recently put it, sometimes “I cry because everything feels so fragile.”
Breathing. Allowing. Things are as they are.
I recently went to see the documentary, "Free Solo". This harrowing film details 33-year-old Alex Honnold's incredible free climb up the 3,000' face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. This is the story of someone who has taken impermanence into his arms and holds it close as he lives with intention. To climb a 3000' sheer cliff without ropes--where a minimal slip brings certain death--is to absolutely embrace impermanence.
I do not want to live this way. But I sort of do. I sort of want to “suck all the marrow out of life”…”to live deliberately…and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” (Thoreau) I want to live simply, with intention and integrity and purpose. And then I run into the confusion of balancing intention with allowing. How does one live purposefully while also allowing things just to be?
Which I suppose leads me ultimately to the notion of unfolding. The moment-by-moment unfolding of life as it comes. Setting my intention again and again, while softening into a state of allowing.
These are my thoughts today. And I am uncertain why they make me so sad. Why the passing of things makes me so sad. And yet I know it is true. And that I must breathe again. And soften again.
Even allowing space for my sadness to be.