October 25, 2011

Let Go! Go Forth!

I've spoken deeply with four women who have recently, within the past two years, lost partners. Three to death. One to relationship loss. Each tells me that their deepest yearning, their deepest loss is Being Known. They miss the fact of another human knowing them intimately. They miss this the most, long for this the most. They want to be KNOWN intimately, deeply by another human being. When married/partnered, each had this sense of Being Known. This lack is the soul and heart longing which causes them the most grief.

I too want dearly to Be Known. Known by someone who is a soul-heart-mind-body partner, help-mate, equal-mate, life-mate to me. Having someone to hear and share in the process of life.
The Hebrews' have a concept of "A Neighbor in Heaven." A heavenly neighbor who is a friend and deeply trusted; a heavenly partner whose spiritual qualities are equal to one's own. I am seeking my soul's Heavenly Neighbor/Partner right here, on earth.

I wrote the above during the end of another magnificent summer of solo, plus two dogs, travel. Nearly 4,000 miles of seeing this country's most magnificent roads and scenery. At one destination, I attended a Jewish Women's Retreat in northern California; this is where I engaged in deep conversation with the four women above.

All of the women at this retreat were tasked with the command: Yetsi'at Mitzrayim! the command to Go Forth! Go forth from where you presently are. Go forth from your place of narrowness; from your place of "being stuck." Your very own Exodus from that internal place of narrow enslavement. As God commanded Abraham: "Lekh Lekhah!" Go! Leave! Leave your familiar surroundings and seek your path.
As Life asks of us, sometimes too often in our lives, Go Forth into a new existence. Build a new life and come out on top! Go Forth and begin anew.

At this Jewish Women's Retreat, we were asked to discover that thing, that place of narrowness/constriction which keeps us stuck, keeps us trapped; and to begin the leaving process.
What are we leaving behind?
What do we take?
How do we prepare?
What do we wish our future to look like?

I chose to leave my 'heart sickness' behind. Or rather, I chose to CONTINUE the process of leaving heart sickness. I chose to continue to move into new possibilities, embracing Life.

We Jews have just concluded our New Year/Repentance/Forgiveness Holy Days of Awe. We now enter our Days of Gratitude, of Rejoicing, of Joy. On the Saturday of the Yom Kippur service my Rabbi asked of our group: "What do you wish to let go of?" AND "What do you wish to let in?"

So twice now, within the past three months I have been asked to Go Forth! Leave the Old! Begin Anew! Know what I wish to let go of.
In August it was heart sickness.
At Yom Kippur I chose to release the ENTIRE BAG of GRIEF which I have carried around for far too long. My sister's death, Margaret's death, love unrequited; even the grief of family lost in the Holocaust. I am now ready to shrug it off my back, off my being. Throw it AWAY. I prayed mightily that this be so.

Now, days later, it certainly feels that I have tossed grief aside. Will it last, this feeling, this freedom, this ability to just feel the love and joy of This Dear World, without the grief. I don't know. But I BELIEVE it will last. I know I must stay conscious of the process, of the INTENTION to let the grief go. I want to shoo shoo shoo it away.

Thus....I can truly no longer say that I am longing to be known.

I'm happy knowing myself. Knowing that I can shift my emotions; that I can stay open to Life and its possibilities.

October 05, 2011

From Samson Raphael Hirsch

I'm presently reading The Torah, Samson Raphael Hirsch's translation and commentary.
I read a little from this exquisite Sacred Body daily.

There is so very very much that I could transcribe from Hirsch's Torah commentary to this eldermuse.net blog, and I will occasionally share something that has especially touched my heart.

The following is one such Hirsch gem:

"A heart that is full can always find its own ways
of self-expression, except when it is so full
that any expression would only detract from this fullness
and the most appropriate expression is silence."

October 02, 2011

Giving To Oneself

I stretch daily, often more than once; five minutes,
sometimes more each time.
If not done, then the pain and stiffness of my right side become
unbearable. So that I focus too much on pain.

So I stretch. I feel myself loosen, open more, fuller, releasing pain.
I gauge my pain level today vs. last week, yesterday.
Even when there is no discernible improvement,
I love to feel the transition of the stretch...
the part of my flesh, my fabric, my being which does not hurt,
moves easily, freely, joyfully,
with the parts that speak age, stiffness, chronic pain tight rigid.

I give myself this stretching because afterwards

my melting pain
allows my heart to open wide

take in the grandeur of the beauty of the day
the rightness of outcomes
the many things I hold gratitude for
the fullness of life
the very fact that I can move.