Friday, June 18, 2010

How I see the world.

The individual epitomizes the universe. Caroline Myss
How I see the world is how the world appears to me.

I heard a lovely story awhile ago from a woman who during the 'winter of her disconnect', as she called it, decided to read the entire list of Booker Prize winners books. It took her four months -- she's a voracious reader, and at the end, decided to go on to the Giller Prize winners. "I liked the Giller's better than the Booker's" she told me.

For this woman, the world was seen through the pages of a series of books that captured her imagination and set her free to explore her emotions and feelings, as well as her world, in a time when she needed something to lean on. Books gave her a place to find her inner knowing. Reading changed her world from a barren landscape to a universe of abundance, filled with story and mystery and love. In her disconnect, she connected through story to what gives life meaning, depth, context. In her disconnect, she connected and found herself on the other side of discontent.

My world got rocked yesterday, in not so good a way, by my daughter's discovery of having epilepsy. "Did I pass it along?" I wondered. "Was there, as some suggest, a 'pre-birth' trauma I don't remember? Did I drop her on her head when she was an infant?"

The did I, could I have, is there... thinking changes my world drastically when I give into its pull to gravitate off the axis of my belief, "We are each and every one of us exactly where we're meant to be in this moment." I can't go looking for 'fault' in me and find my beauty. Because in looking for my culpability in her condition, I am limiting my ability to be present with her exactly where she's at, exactly as she is so she can be free to find her strength, courage and acceptance of what is in her life today where ever she is at.

Reality is, there is no other place for us to be in this moment because this is where we are in this moment.

A friend said to me yesterday, "I wonder if working there [at the homeless shelter] is best for you. Given all that's gone wrong recently in your life, I wonder if that's the right place for you?"

I was a bit surprised. I don't look at anything as having 'gone wrong' in my life. Sure, I'd have liked a different diagnosis for my daughter, I'd have liked Ellie the Wonder dog to not have been sick. I'd have preferred Liseanne not have had a seizure and not have epilepsy and I'd like C.C. to find himself with me in the picture, but I don't see any of it as having gone wrong. I see it as being what it is. Because it is, Life, in all its manifestations. And life is so much more invigorating than the option of not having life!

Life. Full. Vibrant. Sometimes messy. Sometimes confusing. Sometimes surprising and full of adventure and opportunity and moments that take my breath away and moments that break my heart and release my tears. And every moment appearing as an exquisite reflection of how I see the world around me.

At meditation on Wednesday night, the leader invited us to imagine, as only we can in the creative space of our imaginations, that we were walking in a desert. Someone is walking towards you, he said.

I saw me.

I saw me walking towards me. I walked right through me into another me and then another and then another.

The Bhagavad Gita says, "Curving back on myself I create again and again."

Everyone I meet is me. Everyone who meets me is them. We are the same. We are different. We are all of this one planet, walking this one earth, breathing in this same oxygen that gives us life, expelling carbon dioxide that is transformed by the trees and plants and flowers around us into life-giving oxygen all over again, being grounded by the same gravity that holds us here and keeps us walking together on this planet we all share. We are One Planet. One Earth. One World.

Where we differ is in our beliefs and the experiences we create through our beliefs.

The cup is half full. The cup is half empty.

The cup has something to drink in it. Let me enjoy the cup's bounty.

We can only see what is through the beliefs we hold about what is true and real and factual in the world as we see it.

Do I focus on the capacity of the cup to hold liquid or do I focus on experiencing the liquid in the cup, savouring its ability to sustain me, nurture me, nourish me?

My daughter has a challenging diagnosis. She can crumble beneath its weight. Or soar above its perceived limitations and live her life on fire, into the fire that turns all things to carbon that is at the base of our human being.

I can make it all about me or I can create an opportunity for growth and learning and sharing and being connected so that we can grow and learn and share our best, connected through what makes us strong, Love.

C.C. needs to find himself. I can see what he is doing as being about me. About my lack of being 'enough' for him, or I can see it as being about him. I can bemoan what's happening or I can celebrate his journey as he explores what he needs to do to find the self-love that will nurture and nourish and support and strengthen him to be the man he wants to be. The man he is.

I can make it all about me or I can create an opportunity for growth and learning and sharing...

How I see the world is how the world appears to me.

And how I see the world today is as a storied place filled with adventure, with opportunities to learn and grow and share. With moments that captivate my imagination, awaken my senses, give flow to my emotions and set me free to explore what I can do to create beauty in this world of my dreams.

How do you see the world?



Brandi said...

The past few months, my life has been messy and confusing and full of tears - but I have learned to appreciate everything for what it is, what it isn't or what it can be. I mourn losses, am thankful for what I have now and still have much hope for my tomorrows :)

Thank you for your beautiful words, you beautiful and wise woman! Take care today :)

Maureen said...

Everything is perspective. And it is so true that not focusing on what cannot be changed, living in the now, being present to and with what is, is freeing.


Cheryl said...

Or, as it says in the Talmud, "We don't see the world as it is; we see the world as we are."

Life truly is messy, Louise, but what a beautiful mess it all is. I suppose that's what perfect trust is all about.


Kelly Langner Sauer said...

"a storied place..."

i love that phrase. i love that way of looking at the world. beautiful.

Jeff Jordan said...

Your optimism inspires me to look at the half-full glass. Sometimes I descend into dephts where I see no glass at all...too focused on myslef and what I want and need.

Your words make me want to look for that adventure...realign my perspective:)