Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you, All things are passing away: God never changes. Patience obtains all things Whoever has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices.
— St. Teresa of Avila
I’m not the answer guy; more like the question woman. When people come to me for counsel or advise, I find myself asking them questions, and they often come to their own conclusions. Some problems are tough though, and they don’t yield right away. It’s when I have to say I don’t know.
When my friend Christi used to respond, “I don’t know” when I pondered something I was grappling with, it frustrated me at first. Recreating a life is real work, and most of it is internal, before the changes appear on the surface as demonstrations. Christi is wise, and she is kind, because she has done the inner work. She radiates love, she’s very hip, and she is free of the things that bind most people. I love her, and I value her counsel and company, because I trust her. She taught me how to behave when I don’t know what’s going on, and its real simple. Stop telling stories about what I think is going on, and tell the truth about what I’m feeling. Darn straight, the sun still rises the next day, and life has a way of moving through the most impossible of barriers, when I don’t resist the uncertainty and observe my thoughts. I don’t have to know or do anything, until I do know. In fact, it’s pretty risky to act sometimes, because it might really be an unconscious reaction. I’m trying to stay awake these days.
So much of what I see in the world is pandering to our fear to see things from a fresh perspective. I think the Course In Miracles calls this “Beginners Mind.” Where did the need to control things come from? People make millions telling us how to think about things, and more, by telling us they’ve found the answers to reduce uncertainty, like it’s something to avoid.
I wouldn’t trade days of unknowing for anything, even though it’s uncomfortable. I’m mining for gold. Breaking patterns that have kept me small, separated from God, and life. I have courage to do it because I’ve been through it before. So, when people around me retreat to old and seemingly painful and destructive patterns, I bless them with a bit of what I’ve learned along the way. I let them go, and let them be. Real freedom cannot be given, like a lesson or a recipe. It’s our natural state of being, it’s just that there is so much debris clouding the radiance.
Gravitas, from the Urban Dictionary means:
n. strength of character, self esteem, confidance. syn: balls.
I’d rather my friends and those that come to me for help have gravitas, than comfort or instructions from me. It’s what Christi helped me to develop, and I need it. I’m an Urban Mystic.
So, I share St. Teresa of Avila’s words with them, because they are comforting, and true. And the right kind of comfort for facing the tough stuff of life.