A thousand ways to say ‘Yes!’

A thousand ways to say ‘Yes!’

Stone circle in snow
Stone Medicine Circle

Dare I plead to the gods
no more life transforming gifts
enough is enough
Please!

For where might such a protective plea leave me
and just because I cannot from here know
who I will be
once on the other side of such

Surly I’d still be running after
the fantasy women
I chased for decades and
without the shape-shifting
soul-revealing gifts
of the real relationship
I swim in now

Or where would I be
without the risk
of letting go
those childhood beliefs in a God
out there somewhere
living in a Heaven
I could never be worthy of
teasing me with the hopes
of attaining grace so as to join the angelic choir
singing to his self-proclaimed glory
in exchange for everlasting salvation

Imagine if instead
I never lost faith in their map
my inherited identity and place in the world
still a self whose compass for meaning and worth
looked to others
for a personal significance
that can only to be found within

But look where this hazard
of walking forbidden and unknown trails
is taking me—
to the realization
of innate divinity already alive
inside me and you and every tree
and blade of grass and drop of rain

Oh Yes!

So why
why would I say
No
now
to my Love’s struggle with breast cancer
or to the challenges thrown daily into my face
and grieving heart by the same
as lover becomes caregiver
dreaming of what might again be

For am I not challenged and now
invited into unknown dimensions
of self-care and compassion for all I am not
and cannot be
will not ever be or know
into depths of self-love despite all
I might never attain and for all too
within
I once self-condemned

Am I not invited into levels and depths
of intimacy known only by those
walking side by side in naked mortality
discovering there are yet a thousand
unimagined ways to make love
like breathing in and exhaling together
the great “Yes!” to Life

REFLECTIONS:

*I offer gratitude here to Rumi for these inspiring lines:

There are a thousand ways
to kneel & kiss the ground.

This is of my most intimate practices, this learning to say, “Yes!”, to Life. No matter what. No matter where. I am learning there is always an invitation into learning and growth even when the circumstances are contrary to any conscious options I might put on my list of choices for the day. Still, this saying ‘Yes!’, is to choose to mindfully breathe my way into ‘what is.’ It is to choose to step out of reaction, so far as possible, in order that I might see myself and the world anew.

I have an old pattern of hating to stand in lines of any kind, say at the grocery store or to be in a line of traffic behind a slow car, especially if I’m in a hurry to get on with my planned life…. You get the idea. My choices become whether to curse and become frustrated in some moment… or to allow myself to relax into the larger wholeness of my life; to choose moving into an experience of presence and belonging and inseparability from all that is—and to participate in the moment from this place of wholeness.

On the practical level, it helps enormously in lowering my blood pressure! On esoteric levels, if you will, it is my practice of bowing to mystery. It is a practice of surrender and trust in the intelligence of the great unknown from which I arise and exist within.

So it is too with this cancer. I’d not choose it and it remains damn hard. Gratefully we have, just this last week, moved past the lumpectomy surgery. Now we are in for a few weeks of recovery and then into some yet unknown weeks of daily radiation. And I…

Am I not invited into levels and depths
of intimacy known only by those
walking side by side in naked mortality
discovering there are yet a thousand
unimagined ways to make love
like breathing in and exhaling together
the great “Yes!” to Life

May you too know the blessings that come with this great “Yes!,” to Life.

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