My guess is we all have those moments when it feels like the walls of life are pressing in on us. Or, rather, the walls of being alive press on us. Decisions squeeze us, and choices ask for a decision.
Sometimes, it’s the wheeze of mortality heard way to close to us, through a friend’s illness, through word of a new cancer diagnosis, through the simple news of world-threatening illnesses wandering around us in stealth out there.
Sometimes, the pressure comes news of the victories of killers, shame-bound and hell-bent on trashing this planet and impaling whoever disagree with them. In cases like this, I can feel like love is being sucked out of the world, and the remaining vacuum is begging for something to fill it- which fear and violence seems to have little trouble doing.
Sometimes, the pressure comes simply from limits impinging on our lives we have little freedom to alter. We’re bound because we made commitments, and while commitments can change, they require care and work to unanchor and put away.
I am reminded we are all meteors shooting through a twilight sky. We all begin and end. We’re all concerned about being. And we all hope to know a little success, a little fortune, a little courage, and a little love as we rocket through life. We turn to the cosmos or karma or gods or God and ask for a hand, for a meal to get us through each day, and a kind word from a merciful mouth to prop up our flagging hearts in a tough world. And that cardinal desire burns bright in some, but smolders and snuffs in others as the years roll by. But it’s one we all have known, and have either clung to, or given up on.
It’s hard to see the journey for its full arc. Today’s needs can seems so big at times. If our basics are covered, we think we need more of other stuff. Preferred stuff. Prestige stuff. Power stuff. Pleasure stuff. Stuff that steers us away from seeing the arc. Stuff that steers us away from that cardinal call- to know, and to give, love.
May we be able to see the layers of assumptions and expectations and demands and intimidations that push on us- and may we be able to see them in light of the arc of our journey. Lots of them do not matter much. A few matter more than we think. May we be able to discern those things in our lives that keep us from living out the fundamentals required to be healthy humans. Those things that keep us from courage and trust, from goodwill and giving, from trying and failing, from feeling and forgiving.
The gtreat battles waged in this world are similar to the ones we wage each day in our minds: to live led by fear and shame, or to live led by love and grace.
Hope, you are very welcome here.