Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Time of Reflection

Time is such an interesting thing - we never have enough of it, we're always too busy, too much to do with too little time, rushing from one thing to the next, never being fully present where we are. And yet, at other times it can't go fast enough, as we wait with eager anticipation for a vacation, or a visit from a dear friend, a weekend away from the office, or a complete change of scenery!  Even in our anticipation we are not fully attentive to the present moment, as we are instead simply getting by until the excitement begins.

So what happens when we are forced to stop, to be fully present where we are, at this exact moment, not looking backwards or forwards, but simply being? I read recently that it's necessary to pause on our journey in order to let our souls catch up. I think that during this sort of pause, we create space to breathe, to feel, to know and to be known, to simply be present to ourselves which then allows us to be present and attentive to the Spirit, which then equips us to be present and attentive to others.

My first month in France has been full of opportunities for me to stop, to let go of my own agenda, and to simply be present in the moment. But I have fought against it. I didn't want to let go, it feels so scary and vulnerable. I didn't want to surrender to my present circumstances, I wanted to fight for control. This negative energy eventually culminated, and graciously, was released through tears. I've heard it said that tears are the safety-valve of the soul, and that was definitely my experience this week.  Once I finally surrendered to the emotions and let the tears flow, I was then able to simply be present. My perspective was cleared, and I was able to see the selfish agenda I had been trying to fulfill, to have things my way. To have this adventure on my terms, rather than experiencing it as it actually is.

My decision to come to France was a result of a long process of choosing to surrender and to let go of the perceived control I had on my life. I came into this journey with grandiose ideas that I could simply leave behind some of my old habits and start fresh. But what happens when we face difficulties is that our old habits come out in full force, our egos fight hard to stay in control. But I want a better life, a life of freedom and joy. I want to thrive, not just survive. And so, little by little, by the power of the Spirit, I am loosening my grip, breathing deeply, and experiencing each moment as it comes. And oh, what fun it can be!