Connor McSheffrey@mcsheffrey at Unsplash
As all poets understand, the core of what makes us human isn’t a static thing. We’re on a journey – some say it’s from the moment we’re born to the moment we die, others believe that this particular set of brackets is just a stage on a much longer and more complicated trek across time and space and that the time we spend in our mortal bodies pales in significance to where our spirit has been and where it still might be going.
Rumi, the 13th century mystic poet who was one of the most passionate and profound in history, of course, knows:
As you start to walk out on the way, the way appears.
It isn’t always an easy road. Sometimes it isn’t apparent that it’s even a road at all, and life seems to consist of hacking your way through a wilderness of brambles, carving out a single and unique path, one that closes up behind you just as fast as you break a route ahead. And sometimes it’s a question of taking wing and simply flying over what looked like insurmountable obstacles but only needed a different perspective in order to overcome. Remember, Rumi says,
You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life.
Sometimes the hardest step is that first one, gathering enough strength to leave a place of o be safety and security, even sanctuary, in order to leap forward into the unknown – but unless you find yourself able to choose freedom when you need to, those walls you raise around you to protect you from the world also serve to keep the world from you. It becomes a prison of your own making – and those are much harder to escape any cage someone else might put you in. But as Rumi asks –
Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?
How to find that strength to leave? It lies in finding joy:
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.
And a river of joy will take you far.
If it’s the endlessness that is the scary part, the inability to ever know where you’re going or what you’re doing, it’s perfectly fine to stop and rest for a while, to lie back under a starlit night and count the stars and wonder about the worlds that spin around them, to close your eyes and lose yourself in a remembered piece of music or a beloved poem, to simply lie there and hold on tightly to someone’s hand because if you let go the world might throw both of you off and the only safety lies in that simple touch.
But still – think of it as a resting place, if you will. A place where you can stop to think, to feel, to share, to imagine, to belong. This, also, is a place where your strength comes from. It is a place where you don’t have to be right or wrong, you just have to be. Or perhaps – in a different context – you are set free from the expectation of being anything or anyone, at least anything that anyone else (outside yourself) expects you to be. Here, in the white light of simply allowing yourself to be a part of your universe, find knowledge, and wisdom, and peace.
Solitude is okay, in this seeking – but if you can find someone to share it with, that can be amazing.
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.
The eternal journey is a question ever seeking an answer, and it is an answer you may never be satisfied with, because it may change with time, even as you become aware that the question you are asking is changing too. But know that you came from somewhere, and that you are going towards something.
Don’t count your steps, or your moments, or your days, or your years. Count the things you fill those voids with. Gathering those, is the purpose of your journey. The years of your life on this world we call our Earth – in the vessel you know as your body – are just a means of taking you from one wonder to the next. Never forget to claim those wonders, or deprive yourself of gathering them in because you think you might be in a hurry and you don’t have time.
You have all the time you need. It is you who is standing still, perhaps, while everything else moves past you. Memories of your past, visions of your future, it is all threaded through the moment you are living right now – and you can’t disregard them, because they frame that moment, but be aware that they are gone, or are still to come.
And you are still not at the end of your journey. Not until you get there, to the place you’re heading. And you’ll know, when you do.
My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that, and I intend to end up there.
See RUMInations – Love HERE
See RUMInations – Wisdom HERE
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