A Rest and Time Out
An image has come to me twice in meditation this week. It is important, and worth repeating, because that doesn’t usually happen to me. But, I’m in between things now, in many areas of my life. I’m waiting to have surgery to repair a hernia, and I’ve been very limited in my movements. It’s not easy, especially asking for, and accepting help.
I saw a set of swinging doors that lock when shut, and prevent the public from accessing an area of the hospital. I thought of an Intensive Care Unit, a Maternity Ward, or a hallway to enter the operating room. Access is restricted to protect the patients, and to allow access for those qualified to be there.
It’s frustrating for visitors to wait, and they are generally anxious about the health of the person receiving care. But, they can’t control any of the delivery of that care, they can only attend to themselves, trust, perhaps pray, and wait.
I feel like the sick person and the visitor in the above scene. I’m in time out, but it feels like “keep out” too, and I’ve wondered where I got the sense that I was being kept out,and what this might mean. It feels important precisely because it has been uncomfortable for me, and that means there’s material there.
I have very little memory of my childhood, but a very clear one included waking up in a hospital bed with a very loving woman sitting next to me. She was speaking so tenderly because my fever was high and I was alone. It was a nurse, and not my parents. I was about two, and had a serious and infectious disease. My parents had five other children at home, and didn’t stay with me. How do you describe that absence? I felt it though, and it penetrated my being. I was scared in the hospital, and being poked and probed while feeling sick, made it feel like a punishment. I might have felt like I hurt my siblings too, because they all complained about it later. I didn’t know the care or comfort that comes with the relax into love when one is vulnerable, and that I see parents give their children today.
For years I had dreams of being lost on a highway in a big city, and was all alone, at night, trying to find my way home, but without a car, or the right clothes on for the elements. I had an irrational fear of Detroit that was so bad, I refused to go into the city for any reason, even for psychoanalysis.
There is nothing I can do about what happened to me as a child, but there is something I can do about not repeating a painful pattern. I can become conscious of the pain, not run from it, numb it, or distract myself from it, just long enough that it flows through me completely, and I see it as a witness too. From that perspective, I can choose differently. In my case, I will accept that tender care and comfort, with ease and grace.
I laugh at myself and say,
“Until the next time, and I get to choose again.”
I see myself in the patient in Intensive Care; something needs attending to in me, and it is critical that I do so. I see myself in the Maternity Ward too; pregnant with new life and possibilities. I see myself as a concerned but faithful visitor too; willing to hold a space for the necessary care and for the new birth, knowing that the Great Physician is in control.
We exist in relationship, and I’d prefer conscious, not unconscious ones. That’s what I’ve come up with this week. Relationships are reciprocal currents of energy; the giver and the receiver are really the same in healthy ones; ones that acknowledge the source of their giving and receiving is something greater than themselves.
I spoke with a dear friend last night about several important things happening in my life and he was such a comfort. He directed me to right thinking, but it is my work to follow with right action. I will be gentle and tender, to myself and others during this time. I stumbled upon a piece I wrote in February of 2007, just after I moved into my space after leaving the Healing House. It was an exciting and tender time then too, and things worked out just beautifully. This is what I said then, and I feel this way now, too.
Welcome home my heart. What a joyous, tender and elegant reunion. You welcomed me here; my spoken intention caught a vibration of pure integrity and simplicity and traveled to a fellow heart; she felt a passionate dream birthing. She gave the tender, safe refuge it needed to unfold slowly, deliberately and with grace. Your grace astounds me God. All that I want and more is here. Today. Now, in this tender holy moment. I declare this place sacred; everywhere I stand is holy ground. All from you God. And, all for you. Bless all who touched this moment; this place. MaryAnn Fry February 10, 2007.
My friend also directed me to the works of Murshid Samuel L. Lewis, a fascinating man who made real and important contributions to our world. This passage jumped out at me, taken from Sufi Ruhaniat International, where he describes the path of the master:
“For years,” Samuel said about himself, “I followed a Gandhian attitude, always yielding, and got nothing for it . When once I was able to be firm and take the path of the master, everything came my way.” The events of the last years of Murshid Sam’s life were so full they deserve a chronicle all their own. This brief biographical sketch focuses on less-known periods of his early life. At the end, all the seeds of his earlier efforts and experiences came to fruition. Not knowing how to face all this abundance, he received the Divine instruction: “Harvest what you can, and leave the rest to Me.”)”www.ruhaniat.org/index.php?option=com_content…
As a servant of the Mystery, I can still learn to master my responses to life. It’s a new life, and a new day. Here’s Michael Buble’, “Feeling Good”
<iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/Edwsf-8F3sI” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>