Find an Anchor

We spend the majority of our lives in a kind of dream, believing that things are a certain way and that patterns of events from yesterday and the day before predict how things will be today and tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Our sleeping selves move through this dream anesthetized with ideas of certainty and expectation.  Our dreaming minds build a compelling narrative that we have autonomous lives and that we are in complete control of these lives and can drive them around like cars wherever we like at whatever speed feels comfortable.

And then, an interruption. We are roused from our dream and realize that our lives are not predictable, that there is little certainty and the small vehicles we call lives do not really even belong to us. They are loaned and temporary, like clothes and houses and moods. We can drive them, perhaps, a short distance but, if we are paying attention, we find there is no road.

And then, our waking selves make a choice. We can close our eyes and sink back into the comfort of the dream or we can stand awake with the fact of groundlessness and take comfort from knowing that our lives do not really belong to us but are borrowed for each of us to use for the benefit of others.

And there is comfort in noticing the smallness of our selves and in the work of opening ourselves as much as possible to join with the smallness of others so that our small, shared individual lives become larger, better and more useful to the world.

And there is comfort in acknowledging the unsettledness of everything. In those moments, we can stand bravely while knowing that there is no ground. We are able to work with ourselves as we truly are. And if we can begin to practice walking with this knowledge there is comfort and strength and bravery without the need for certainty. We are awake. We are inhabiting our lives, no matter how small. We have found an anchor.

***

A small prayer that comes from months of working with illness, disappointment, loss and fear. And yet those months have also brought vitality, surprise, bravery, and love. Things are never what we think they are. I hope reading this brings some comfort to someone who needs it. The writing has brought some comfort to me.

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