A Window is Where the Wall is Absent

The life impulse to express and to connect arises in me and in all of us. This blog is a celebration of these life impulses. Please feel free to join in the conversation or to just visit. There is a Family Photo Album beneath the posts so you can "meet" my family and I. Welcome!

Monday, April 26, 2010

"You either love what's broken or you don't love."

 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.

    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.


Alton said...

I am kind to myself when I visit your blog and read the wisdom that you offer.


Colleen Loehr said...

Kindness is free and delicious as air. Thank you for your kind comment Alton.

Perfect Awareness said...

This is very beautifully written Colleen. You speak from the power of your own experience. Another word for this kindness could be compassion. It is so true, the more we recognize and abide as our essential nature the more kindness and compassion arise naturally. WE just see no reason to be anything other than that, true love.
Thank you for your sharings.

Cindy said...

Good point Alton.

Alton said...

Thanks Cindy:
Aloha from sunny paradise,

Colleen Loehr said...

Hi Sal,
You say that "the more we recognize and abide as our essential nature the more kindness and compassion arise naturally." Yes! The source of kindness/compassion is our true nature, and it is easier to recognize and abide in our true nature than is commonly realized. The posts on your blog (Perfect Awareness) point to the immediate accessibility of this awake awareness that we always are.

It's a pleasure to see you here, thanks for stopping by.

Colleen Loehr said...

Hi Cindy,
You are kind to be here, and now I'm going to read some other comments you left today on other posts. It's funny, I was always trying to beat myself into being kinder- you know, verbally abusing myself into being nicer to others, and guilt-tripping myself into being nicer to others...didn't work! A new approach of being kind to myself seems oddly sinful, but I am enjoying it! Thanks for visiting.

Susannah said...

Another rich post Colleen.

I find whenever I read your writing that I can never offer a quick response, your writing is deep and nutritious. It leads me to other avenues of thought and layers of meaning.

I particularly liked - "Purity isn't the rejection of impurity but the embracing of it."

Thanks for this post - you write so well and with such wisdom.

Colleen Loehr said...

Thank you Susannah, you are a soul and spirit sister to me.

Triza said...

The poem is lovely.
Its often felt difficult in the past to embrace my fears and disappointments.It felt easier to just ignore them yet they kept coming back.Embracing the whole of me has been perplexing and discovering that i am not what i thought i was provided an avenue into discovering my own true nature.
I love how you describe fear and how can embrace and be kind to ourselves.Thank you.

Colleen Loehr said...

Hi Triza- thank you from my heart for your wise and honest comments. "discovering that i am not who i thought i was provided an avenue into discovering my own true nature." This discovery has also been, and continues to be, essential in my life as well, so I relate completely to what you say. Thank you for being here.

roseduncan said...

I really love the poem you began with. And your thoughts that flow from it. I wonder, have you written poetry Colleen? Have you ever had the impulse?

Colleen Loehr said...

Hi Naomi, I was very stuck by the poem too, and I'm glad you liked it also. Poetry has a way of expressing truths and experiences that can't be caught as well in linear prose. I have fiddled around with poetry a little, but not much. Maybe I'll try my hand at it some more...I appreciate your comments, thanks for visiting.

Todd Wright said...

Both parts of this post are poems.

Todd Wright said...

I was reading in the Tao te Ching today also, which says, "True purity seems tarnished." Thanks for explaining what this means!

Colleen Loehr said...

Hi Todd,
So nice to see you here, I sometimes feel like this blog is my living room and you never know who might visit. That is the fun of it. Thanks for saying that the free associations after the poem are also a kind of poem. I noticed a sense of wanting to come across as wise and calm in the posts, and this felt constraining and inauthentic, so I was somehow wanting to break out of the subtle duplicity that arises almost automatically from the universal sense of self-protectiveness. The split between who feel we are inside and the face we present to the world becomes a kind of prison, and I was wanting to break out of this prison through the poetry-like associations in this post.
There is a desire to be authentic without putting too much emphasis on the human insecurity we all share to one extent or another.
Hitler was big on purity- exterminate every being who is not of the Aryan race. I'm afraid in spiritual circles, and in my own "spiritual personality" there is a tendency to amputate anything labeled "ego." It's the tendency to judge and then to reject which seems so deeply ingrained in us righteous human beings...that is the root of our wars both within and without.
Thanks so much for your comments Todd, and for sharing with humor and transparency your recent trip to Russia (not) adventures on your blog.

Susannah said...

Thank you Colleen - you too. x

Remember Be Here Now said...

Thank you... a jewel for me at this time that also offers hope :)

Colleen Loehr said...

Hi Susanne- thank you so much for your comment, and it's nice to meet you. I enjoyed reading the great post on your website from 5/4/10 titled "Fury" and I left a comment. I'm glad that someone with opening consciousness is in the banking world, although I imagine that must be a challenging environment to spend time in. Blessings, Colleen

April Riley said...

Love it! ; )


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