I came across a poem today by Naomi Shihab Nye and I'd like to share some excerpts with you:
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.
like a shadow or a friend.
Sometimes I feel I am trying to present a face to the world that will garner warmth, while I hide all the doubt about myself inside.
The strange wanting to be liked is a cruel master.
The torsion of incongruency between the social facade and the being underneath is a drain of energy. I am learning mercy of my own fear and of the fear of others. Fear is not shameful and it is not a sin or a failure. Fear is the fabric underlying the mind, it is a layer that we can descend into and pass through.
Purity isn't the rejection of impurity but the embracing of it.
Is the energy of fear different than the energy of love?
There is one energy that takes many shapes, it takes the shape of fear and it takes the shape of love. I have rejected a lot of energy in myself, I have rejected the energy of fear and I have rejected the energy of anger and I have rejected the energy of sadness and I have rejected the energy of selfishness.
Now I am opening to what I have rejected.
In being more honest with myself and opening to the magnitude of fear within this body and mind, there is at the very center the discovery of fearlessness.
I am opening beyond the mind and everything it thought it knew.
I'm not running away from this moment. I'm standing my ground. I feel the life that is here, the life that I am. The substance of this moment is emptiness shimmering with being.
Kindness is a living energy within every person beneath the fear. As the poem says, it is what we have been looking for. Today I feel attention physically moving from the region of the forehead to the region of the sternum, right where the heart is beating. Kindness need not be a pretense, it is something vital and real, a medium we feel at home in.
Note: The title of this post is quoted from http://wwwaphorismscom.blogspot.com/. Thanks to the blog author, nothing profound.