It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for dreams, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain!
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it. I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being a human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.
I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore trustworthy. I want to know if you can see beauty even if it’s not pretty every day, and if you can source your life from God’s presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, And still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver moon, ‘Yes!’
It doesn’t interest me where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary, bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you are, how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me And not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside, when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself; and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
‘The Invitation’, inspired by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.
Native American Elder May 1994.
It is inevitable that focusing on the partner’s faults becomes the pre-occupation – we must find fault in the other in an attempt to protect our delicate egos, (the ego that would become conspicuous if not for this unending criticism.) A war has begun and by conquering the other, we boost this ego. So much so, that protecting it becomes more and more vital, (more and more automatic.) We therefore become more critical and less able to see the good in the other person. We become more defensive and less able to compromise.
There is hope for these relationships and it’s not in going back to lay blame, but rather in remembering to take responsibility when next their egos clash. By turning the once damaging criticism of the other into an honest and illuminating analysis of one’s own fallibility. The perception that this will leave us vulnerable is the very thing that stifles our potential and becomes the fuel for the next struggle with our partner.
If this is where we find ourselves, then we have lost sight of the truth; the truth that we are all one. That we are all a part of the other. When we see this, we can experience the potential we both have. This insight can touch us at the core of our being…the place that we are most deeply ourselves. A place that can teach us to love and be loved; where we see that our criticism was really our pain, and that our vulnerability, really our sensitivity. It’s the place we may have forgotten, and refusing to share it with someone else somehow means we cannot share it with ourselves. And yet it’s the very part of us we promised to share, for there lies the seeds to honesty, trust and tolerance.
When we can live our lives in a continual state of awareness, we come to a point where love becomes a natural expression, and life, a paradise.
~ George K
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, or being lied about, don’t deal in lies or being hated, don’t give way to hating, and yet don’t look too good, nor walk too wise:
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, or watch the things you gave your life to broken and stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings and risk it on one truth of pitch-and-toss, and lose, and start again at your beginnings and never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew to serve your turn long after they are gone, and so hold on when there is nothing in you except the will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep you virtue, or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,. If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run, yours is the earth and everything that’s in it, and – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!
~ Rudyard Kipling
When we look clearly, we see that we have been thrown onto this enormous treadmill with a momentum that has blinded us to reality. We think this illusion we maintain is “what it’s all about”. We do not have time to see it any other way. So we are trapped, with only disturbing memories of the past, and anxieties about the future, with just enough time to transform these into the very negativities we see when we next reach the same point on this treadmill.
We can only resolve to slow down long enough to begin a new momentum; one where we detect the times we are on this treadmill and know when it is unnecessary. Know we can jump off…know we can walk out of the court-room. We can eventually transform these wasted illusions of the mind into moments of living in the Present Moment and realising that all is well.
Life will sometimes still be difficult, but we must see that we devote more than enough time to these difficulties when they occur. We must stop giving them the energy that consequently makes us worry about them surfacing in the future. This energy can be diverted toward remembering to live in the “Now”.
Ultimately, one would aspire to these moments becoming a time when we behold the wonder of life, the inspiring unfoldment of time itself…the beauty and grandeur of this creation in which we live. These are the times when one smiles to himself for no other reason than the fact that he has remembered the Present Moment.
~ George K
At these times we do well to acknowledge that we are more than all of this; that we can rise from the ashes of our own ignorance and reclaim our true identity. How do we do this? We simply acknowledge where we are with the intention of moving forward in consciousness, all the while loving and accepting the excellent expression of God that we are. Any self condemnation, judgement or blame is released, as well as any guilt, for these things serve no purpose than to keep us stuck in the past.
With relentless dedication, we redirect our attention to the inner life. We fast from the outer world and feast on the perfect life of our real Self. Ever and always we expand our awareness, and in this lies our transformation.
And there is an additional disadvantage in projecting our shadow. If we identify our own shadow with, say, the Communists or the capitalists, a part of our own personality remains on the opposing side. The result is that we shall constantly (though involuntarily) do things behind our own backs that support this other side, and thus we shall unwittingly help our own enemy. If, on the contrary, we realise the projection and can discuss matters without fear or hostility, dealing with the other person sensibly, then there is a chance of mutual understanding – or at least of a truce.
Whether the shadow becomes a friend or an enemy depends largely upon ourselves. The shadow is not necessarily always an opponent. In fact, he is like any human being with whom one has to get along, sometimes by giving in, sometimes by resisting, sometimes by giving love – whatever the situation requires. The shadow becomes hostile only when he is ignored or misunderstood…”
An extract from
“MAN AND HIS SYMBOLS” by CARL JUNG
The Realisation Of The Shadow – Pages 181-182.
It is your forgiveness that will bring the world of darkness to light. It is your forgiveness that lets you recognise the light in which you see. Forgiveness is the demonstration that you are the light of the world. Through your forgiveness does the truth about yourself return to your memory. Therefore, in your forgiveness lies your salvation.
Illusions about yourself and the world are one. That is why all forgiveness is a gift to yourself. Your goal is to find out who you are, having denied your identity by attacking creation and its creator. Now you are learning how to remember the Truth.
Remember that in every attack you call upon your own weakness, while each time you forgive, you call upon the strength of Christ in you. Do you not begin to understand what forgiveness will do for you? It will remove all sense of weakness, strain and fatigue from your mind. It will take away all fear and guilt and pain.
From “A COURSE IN MIRACLES”
Work book for students, lesson 62 page 104