Saturday, November 19, 2016

Amazing Grace

This week, like so many of us, I was in despair. I asked no one in particular: Where is the love in the world?

And I got the most astonishing answer.

The answer didn’t come suddenly or not suddenly. There was no sense of time about it, no sense of epiphany, or of there being a specific "ah-ha!" moment. I got home from a poetry reading, I put my purse on the table, and I simply found myself in a deeply expansive, warm, peaceful state of love. A sweet, flowing, effortless state. It felt like I had always been in that state, but that I was only just now realizing it. It's hard to describe--there was a complete lack of transition between my normal, nervous fear state and this "new" state of expansive love. It was as though I had fallen gracefully and soundlessly through a trapdoor. I simply understood, with a calm knowledge that felt like it had always been there, that love is not something that is outside of me. I understood that love lives within me, and that it is a vast, endless resource, one that can never be taken away, because it is as much of a part of me as my own cells. I understood that love is not separate from me; it is not something I need to keep hunting worriedly for in the outside world.  Love is who I am.

I saw that when I’m in fear, I contract. When I’m angry, I contract. When I’m contracted, I am not able to see things for what they are. My system is flooded; I project my own fear or anxiety or anger onto situations and make up all kinds of meanings about them. When I’m in a state of love, I’m expanded, open and accepting. I’m at ease. I’m free and infinite. This state is not dependent on what’s happening outside of me. It is in my very being; it is knitted into my skin and bones, it is inseparable from me. It is both a gift and a birthright. I fell asleep immersed in this warm, expansive bath of love and deep peace.

Then I went to work the next day and got all pissy and high-handed about a project that I perceived to be improperly handled, and I felt depressed and put-upon, and hate-binged on Facebook, and fell asleep exhausted in front of the TV watching "Chopped" and stress-eating potato chips. So I'm hardly Maharishi.  But I’m writing this down because I need to remember this experience each time that I look outward into the world and demand that it demonstrate love. I need to remember this experience each time despair overwhelms me. I need to remember this experience so that no matter how much chaos rages on in the outside world, I know that within me, there is refuge. Within me, there is peace. Within me, there is spaciousness. And within me, there is boundless love.

--Kristen McHenry


Jo-Ann said...

oh, yes.

Kristen McHenry said...

Nice to see you here, Jo-Ann. Thanks for reading!

Nancy Harris said...

Kristen, It is very true that when we allow hate or fear to control us, then we contract unable to see situations clearly. Let us all be thankful for our inner peace which expands in love and gratitude.