Somewhere along the way we make agreements with ourselves. Agreements on a soul level about what and how we’ve agreed to experience this time around. Sometimes they show up and I think, I get this lesson easily. Other times not so much. (Of course the “easy” time could really be the fiftieth and I wasn’t paying close enough attention the first forty-nine.) Either way, it helps to be doing your karmic homework.
We all have issues we seem to need to learn the hard way. They’re as unique as our DNA, but the process is pretty much the same: butt your head repeatedly getting it wrong; fall down, complain, cry, or all the above. Rinse and repeat
So how do we learn?
A handful of years ago I said a capital Y Yes to a process I hoped would culminate in emotional and spiritual development. I got a grace period, then a big kick in the butt, some serious choices over a period of time, with lots of healing, friends, head-butting and small bits of progress along the way. It meant moving past fear, sadness, wanting what I didn’t have, not getting what I wanted, or at least not in the way that I wanted it, or as much as I wanted, mourning what I’d lost, and feeling a little wiser. You know the drill.
Making progress took visioning the life I wanted to create and an equally clear knowing of what I was saying No to. Mostly it took shedding a load of heaviness and making lots more room inside for good things to grow.
In Lev Grossman’s brilliant conclusion to his Magicians trilogy [Note: the wise will follow great instructions from the jacket blurb: Throw your electonica down a well and duct tape the door when you begin], he uses the image of a flower to represent the combined emotions of awe and joy and hope and longing. That’s pretty much a summary of a divine spiritual experience. It’s hard to sustain, which is why those peak moments stay etched so clearly in our souls. The moment when….
…. you touch that place in your soul when you’re as close to an enlightenment experience as you’re likely to get this time around.
In the life that follows, your regular one, where you jump-start your day with coffee, put up with colleagues, bad drivers, and stubbing your toe on one thing or another, you sometimes remember that feeling. It can come through a scent or a sight or a thought. And you’re transported to that complex sense of awe and joy and hope and longing.
We are at the cusp of a brand new Jewish calendar year. Soon we’ll be re-rolling the whole Torah and starting again with Genesis. The air is pungent with that freshly-sharpened pencils smell of childhood. We’re anticipating the blessings just around the corner.
Sure, there’ll be butt kicks too. But what the hell. We signed on for this ride, so let’s see what it offers. With luck it’ll be awe and joy and hope and longing. Glimpsed, fulfilled, and more to come.