Time is what
keeps the light
from reaching us.
I grasp with white knuckles the unravelling threads of my loved ones, secretly hoping to pull them back in time and inhibit their forward projection into age and change.
I believe that if I just hold tight enough, for long enough, their stretching need to leave me will eventually slack and they’ll decide to stay, out of shape, but forever.
Children tend to bloom and harvest all the time - and sometimes I don’t know where to stash all their goodness. I pickle, tincture and salt every moment but it’s with exhausted hands that I hold these preserved memories that never taste quite as good.
It’s all too quick, and if I let go of time, it will be like letting go of a leashed puppy who just wants to feel the ground against her quickening paws. Further she will run, creating more distance between me and what I love.
Not so long ago, I thought I found a solution; to not love and hold everything at a distance. It felt safe and sterile, like a doctor who tends to every patient according to their anatomical parts. This solution worked for a while but not in a way that left me feeling human.
Fear of being intimate with the whole life, especially the parts we don’t like, stems from the idea that time moves steadily forward and without us in some way.
But is it? Are we on a progressive path that yawns across the sky of existence?
Plants and trees do not know time as a linear movement.
They know only Light and Dark, and Current Conditions. Not as forward-reaching movements that proceed after each other but as events in and of themselves. They are present and responsive to what is unfolding in each moment; sunlight means nourish and open, frost means reroute recourses, darkness means rest (and of course, for some it means bloom.)
Each moment requires an intuitive response, which keeps plants intrinsically attuned to both their environmental and biological cues.
Plants don’t hold back because maybe the next moment will ask something different of them. So they give themselves entirely.
We are not so different, but the way we interpret each moment is no longer so intimate and how we respond to what is being asked of us is no longer so intuitive.
We have internal and external environments that are constantly in flux, longing to be in relationship with us. However, fear keeps us in full-time vulnerability management mode which tries to protect us from uncertainty - which is life itself.
You may know the feeling of going against your natural cues well.
You are called to rest, but you keep trying to figure things out. You are called to play, but the seriousness of life feels safer. You are called to feel but you fear it will be too much so restrict your heart. You don’t know what’s going to happen next so you hold back, against your intuitive nature which calls you to constantly give it all away.
Crisis is then the accumulation of times we did not listen intimately and weren’t able to respond intuitively to the cues of our inner and outer worlds.
There is a great delusion in our culture that we are a single bead slowly sliding off the lonely thread of life. This creates a panicked need to go against our intrinsic nature which sees life much like plants and animals do, as a regenerative and spontaneous unfolding.
Our most present Self grasps at nothing and receives all without holding resistance to what might come.
Whatever you hold Love from, whether past or present, will imprison you. Look at whatever is causing you pain until you only have Love for it.
Letting go of our resistance to time and change and uncertainty returns us to an innate wisdom that senses everything rippling out from us like a dropped pebble, ever-expanding from us into the ebb of life.
Feeling like time is slipping away from us is just another way of telling ourselves it's okay to hold love away from what might hurt us. But it’s the restraint of that love that wounds us more than the offering of it ever will.
Let’s dive into the heart of timeless love now and feel what it’s like to offer love to every part of our lives that we usually hold away.
Listen to the meditation in the link at the top of this newsletter.
When we lose ourselves in our thoughts, preferences, expectations, and our fears, we lose our ability to love fully. We cannot be there for ourselves or each other when we are protecting ourselves from the natural crests and nadirs of life.
A moment of timeless unfolding happened from me yesterday in the unlikely event of an evening swim.
After obsessing over a writing project that I was working on, I managed to slow down and listen to the very blatant cues stress was providing me. I persuaded my six-year-old daughter to wrap up warm and bring her toys down to the beach so I could go for a dip.
The light was fading as she sat on the damp sand in a swath of light hammocked between two Norfolk pines. Her shoes filled quickly with clumps of wet sand, so she took them off only to continue playing in soggy socks.
I bobbed up and down in the cold water a few meters away from her, seaweed gently tangling and uncurling around my legs as I watched the horizon. Suddenly there was a break in the clouds and the last fragments of sunlight pooled out over the open water. It was like being immersed in liquid gold. I paled the water into my hands like a caught fish; the water slid from side to side in the reflected sun.
I lay on my back and let the salty gold lift me. I closed my eyes for a moment. No time. Just the unfolding of spontaneous happenings, as I drifted like a teardrop on the wellspring of eternity.
So too was the beach covered in golden flecks, and the flyaway curls of my daughter’s hair suddenly became suspended in light.
I didn’t need to hold on to this moment, just by letting it pass through me, I knew it would live on forever.
A QUESTION FOR THE COMMENTS:
What was your fear-bound statement from the mediation - and how did it feel to be the Love you offered your fear?