Yesterday was 90 weeks into this “great realization” for me, and I posted a long thought on Facebook.
Long Post. Maybe longest ever. Choose accordingly.
“There was once a lover who had sighed for long years in separation from his beloved, and wasted in the fire of remoteness. From the rule of love, his heart was empty of patience, and his body weary of his spirit; he reckoned life without her as a mockery, and time consumed him away. How many a day he found no rest in longing for her; how many a night the pain of her kept him from sleep; his body was worn to a sigh, his heart’s wound had turned him to a cry of sorrow. He had given a thousand lives for one taste of the cup of her presence, but it availed him not. The doctors knew no cure for him, and companions avoided his company; yea, physicians have no medicine for one sick of love, unless the favor of the beloved one deliver him.At last, the tree of his longing yielded the fruit of despair, and the fire of his hope fell to ashes. Then one night he could live no more, and he went out of his house and made for the marketplace. On a sudden, a watchman followed after him. He broke into a run, with the watchman following; then other watchmen came together, and barred every passage to the weary one. And the wretched one cried from his heart, and ran here and there, and moaned to himself: “Surely this watchman is Izrá’íl, my angel of death, following so fast upon me; or he is a tyrant of men, seeking to harm me.” His feet carried him on, the one bleeding with the arrow of love, and his heart lamented. Then he came to a garden wall, and with untold pain he scaled it, for it proved very high; and forgetting his life, he threw himself down to the garden. And there he beheld his beloved with a lamp in her hand, searching for a ring she had lost. When the heart-surrendered lover looked on his ravishing love, he drew a great breath and raised up his hands in prayer, crying: “O God! Give Thou glory to the watchman, and riches and long life. For the watchman was Gabriel, guiding this poor one; or he was Isráfíl, bringing life to this wretched one!””
This story from Baha’u’llah has long fascinated me. But it has never more resonated with my Soul. Week 90. But who’s counting? I guess I am. 90 weeks since starting to teach online and work from home. 90 weeks since moving my business thusly. 60 weeks since Panda’s diagnosis. 44 weeks since her passing to the next Realm. Through this time, I have been blessed with work and business I love, a modest and true home I treasure and more for which I have genuine Gratitude. Still there have been “watchmen”… forces of loss and challenge. A small bubble though extending a little. Little Wolf departing. Medical diagnosis of my own. Changes in lifestyle and more.
Through it all… I have been reminded of what truly matters most to me … and who matters most to me… and who for whom I truly matter. Some people have disappeared. Others have shown up. There is lesson there. I seem to have a “handful of friends who can’t be bought”… and I am thankful I have learned ever more who and what matters… and who truly cares. I have learned who is on board with ideas in the way I am… and who are not. I have learned where energies have disappeared and where they have strengthened. And none of this is about bitterness. It is about betterness.
I am not someone who believes that you should only surround yourself with “positive people”. Good luck on that. Being positive is not a duality. It is a spectrum. And “positivity” is over rated… seeing only the “shiny happy”. Optimism sees the challenges… understands them as such… and moves forward facing it. My point is that my learnings are not about people being good nor bad. They are about understanding some realities. Calling oneself an “Empath” like it is one special designation does not make one empathetic. Empathy is a practice. These times demand it too. That said… my learnings are about understanding that we all have our paths… and that is OK. What is no longer OK for me is trying to over accommodate and bend for different paths.
These times of challenge and loss… of opportunity and gain… of trial and triumph… are telling me to let go of what and who needs letting go… keeping what and who needs keeping… and welcoming what and who most best must enter my life.
What does this mean?
It means the watchmen are doing their work and I must know and see that. It means that I know what and who matters most to me. It means I realize “there is no time to lose” and that I have no luxury to go through any kind of “motions” anymore. It means that I must go in the direction of my Soul and see what and who joins wholehearted and ready to ride.
Shinedown sings of those friends who can’t be bought and “if you tell them you’re the King, you’re probably not”… speaking to me of being real and engaged. They also sing of keeping our “eyes on the prize” and our “feet on the ground”.
It is time to let go. It is time to keep and devote. It is time to welcome in.2022 already promises to be a year of decision and change for me. Some of those decisions have already been made and merely require execution. Some have already been enacted. And some of those decisions are now amidst Discernment. But they are indeed, and in deed, coming. Projects and people … the litmus test will be Wholeheartedness. I will live, play and work thusly…. no going through any freakin’ motions. No waiting for others to be “ready”. No time on things with no real energy. No polite posturing. Holy All In Full Arse.
There are 40 more weeks before I head back into the physical classroom. These 40 will be life changing. Fundamentally. I will always love people and the diversity of same. But my energies need to move. The watchmen have taken things from me and are intent to move me to my new space… climbing that wall to get to my own Garden. Here’s to the climb.
That was a mouthful, nay… more a heartful. Today, I posted on The Unity Guy Thing. And I posted my new vision board. All of this is to lay claim to the fact that these next 40 weeks will indeed be life changing. Outside forces will dictate such. But so will inside forces.
Understanding our Character, Purpose and Unity strengthens us, providing anchor, ballast, rudder and sail. That is where I am; resolved around that which is important and that which is not. With that in mind, I focus my thought, will, conversation and action going forward.
This is a new Day One, again.
Day One happens at key defining moments in our lives. Sometimes those moments are thrust upon us. Sometimes, we initiate them. And, sometimes, it is a dance of the two. We have all had them. Those moments of reset. Those moments where new chapters open up, while others close. Some turns in life are gentle and slow. Day One stuff is redefining. Re-engineering. For me, part of this new Day One is a return to dreams of the “boy inside the man“. For me, this is Day One, again. Tonight, I will hold a simple and prayerfully reflective ritual that will Honor this new Day One. A moment of “homing beacon”, if you will.
Maybe you are in that space or approaching it. My thought is get clear on Character, Purpose and Unity as anchor, ballast, rudder and sail. Listen to your Soul. Hear it whispering in a scream. Listen to it. Heed it. Honor it.
Discern, decide and act on it.
“Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. ― Abraham Lincoln