I love poetry! So I chose love and poetry for the theme as I reflected on the past year’s events and my writings. It has been a great year in many respects, pursuing a new career at this age—but this change has aligned more with Pablo Neruda’s poem La Poesia (1975), in which he states that there comes a time in one’s life where one must yield to the soul’s yearnings and step into a path that fulfills a deeper longing
It is natural that even when we are at this stage of development and fulfillment, we tend to overanalyze the choice(s) we have made when challenges appear. But taking a daring step towards being oneself has heart, and there is hope and inspiration in this phase of the journey. Don Juan, a Yaqui Native American philosopher, articulates what must be on any path. He says:
“Any path is only a path,
And there is no affront,
To oneself or to others, in dropping it
If that is what your heart tells you…
Look at every path closely and deliberately.
Try it as many times as you think necessary.
Then ask yourself, and yourself alone,
Does this path have a heart?
If it does, the path is good:
If it doesn’t, it is of no use.”
It sounds quite simple yet affirming. I have also become aware that when most people take this bold step, they sometimes share every detail with others, hoping for support or sometimes encouragement. However, this kind of sharing is often more likely to find those who would subvert your confidence. When Spirit, Source, or God endows you with your gifts, those people are not privy to the picture or image embedded within you. So Seng T’san, a Chinese author and sage, shares this wisdom:
“The more you talk about it,
And the more you think about it,
The further from it you go.
And there is nothing you will not understand.
Return to the root and you will find meaning…
There is no need to seek truth,
Only stop having views.”
We can find this wisdom in scripture, from our elders, and from our experiences. Until we manifest that image from within, I would concur that silence and contemplation are the keys to finding meaning and purpose. If that purpose is inspired from Source, then we can be assured that we will be supported, guided, supplied, and sustained by the Source. There aren’t any external powers that can supersede that authority. The lessons are stepping-stones to seeing infinite possibilities and gaining profound insights. I confidently assert that spiritual practice and a commitment to it will heighten one’s awareness. Spiritual practice is what sustains us, pulling us through those challenges.
If we currently find ourselves in a place where we have settled into merely doing what is expected of us from our external world, or we have plateaued after starting a new journey, or are at a standstill, or crossroads, we know that there is cumulative wisdom in where we have been, where we are now, and where we intend to go. As René Daumal, in Mount Analogue notes:
“You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again…
So why bother in the first place?
Just this: What is above knows what is below,
but what is below does not know what is above.
In climbing, always take note of the difficulties along the way;
For as long as you go up, you can observe them.
Coming down, you will no longer see them,
But you will know they are there if you have observed them well.
One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer but one has seen.
There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions
By the memory of what one saw higher up.
When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.”
It is in our knowing that we hold power. Our experiences count for something, and nothing is in vain. If we look deeply and begin using that call to service, there is always one consolation: that we already know what we are being called to do. We already possess, in the recesses of our minds and spirit, the skills, understanding, and love to accomplish that goal. So what has love got to do with this? My answer is everything!
It is through love that we find freedom and fulfillment. It is tangible and measurable. As we embrace our journeys of love, we are required to recognize our own power, presence, and our ability to make choices that cultivate the practice of unconditional love for all that we have been.