I am not fully healed.
I am not fully wise.
I am still on my way.
What matters is that
I am still moving forward.
Dear ones –
I am definitely not fully healed.
I am definitely not fully wise.
I am indeed on my way.
And I am not at all sure that what matters is that I am still moving forward. Sometimes, moving forward is not what is called for.
The quotation above from Yung Pueblo came from my morning meditation, the Daily Calm. I had a pretty strong reaction to it, so I’ve been sitting with it a bit, continuing to breathe and to look at where reactivity is coming from and how I might respond.
I think part of what comes up for me is that not only am I not fully… well, much of anything… but that I think moving forward is not how this life, this practice, this existence goes. My universe, spiritual and otherwise, moves in spirals and fractals, not in straight lines.
What that means for my spiritual practice is that I don’t always know–almost never know–what the ultimate meaning of my current direction is. Spiritual practice is much more like a labyrinth than a straight line headed for the Great Beyond. My theology is not so much about winning a race, getting to Heaven, achieving…well achieving anything, really.
For me, spiritual practice is about aligning myself with what is.
The multiplicity of Oneness. The destruction that is essential for creation. Human failure and forgetfulness as well as beauty and peace-bringing. The dark depths of creative beginnings as well as the shining heights of harvest and completion.
Spiritual practice is about coming to know myself better, as well as I possibly can, really, so that I can both ask more love of myself and forgive myself when I fail to offer that love to others.
There is a time and a place to sing, “Gonna keep on moving forward / never turning back.” When it comes to human, animal, Earth-ly dignity, those words are essential for the struggle. We must keep trying to move forward, certainly.
But I am not fully wise, and yet I believe that becoming wise demands that we go over familiar ground sometimes. That we sit and wait out our fear and anger until we can find the peace that shows us the way to move.
So if you feel as though you are not moving forward–if you feel mired and stuck or like you’re losing ground–maybe cut yourself a break. There is a time for everything under heaven, no? Times for reaping and for sowing. Times for folly and times for prudence. Times for moving forward and times for curving, curving, turning, turning, spinning, spinning.
And times when it’s so important not to just do something, but to stay there, as it were.
Remember, that when you cannot hear/see/perceive the way to go, the answer may be to wait. The answer may not be to move forward.
Today, I invite you to honor wherever you are in the spiritual life…which is to say, in life writ large. Honor your place as a valued one, wherever your momentum is taking you. Acknowledge that you are not yet fully healed, not yet fully wise, not yet fully compassionate, and then just attend, pay attention: What is the next right thing?
And do that one thing.
I love you