My youngest son kept me up last night past midnight, expressing his feelings and pouring out his heart about life and particularly about the question of life after death. I knew we were coming ’round to a place of renewed peace and joy when the emotions had been spent thoroughly and these words came out of his mouth and the sun rose a smile as he spoke: “When I ride my bike, it’s like I’m not me, I’m the bike. I’m one with the bike…” We’d discussed the failure of language and how it suggests reality as only what the mind can conjure through words. And how inadequate the comprehension of life itself when relying on concepts created by minds not our own. Actually, he’d brought that little factoid up himself. Wow, what a scramble for “reality” and totems and “truth.” He knows what his mom believes about life and the divine. In the process of sifting through the turmoil, I endeavored to open his mind to now, to letting go of fear while cherishing the fleeting and yet precious reality of life. This is a boy who can poke holes in every belief system out there and yet he wants something to believe in. I aksed him: When you were in the womb, did you stop and ask and wonder about the beyond? Did you fret about losing the rhythmic sound of heart and world around you? Did you even “know?” For some reason, this particular line of gentle questioning kept bringing him to peace. The sense of being released into all the best rest and humor finally came flooding into our dialogue. He wouldn’t stop gabbing on and on about life, about connection, about nature, about the earth and how it is we don’t fall off of it as it turns and. And, I suggested he study physics. The will had quickly, resiliently found comfort and was off on that bike flying down the hill fast with a smooth grace. The will…so vital…
Healing The Will
The heart of every human holds
The feelings and the dreams
Of deepest aspirations,
Freewill’s creative esteem.
The urge toward higher purpose,
The drive to create from grace,
Unlimited power of expression,
The potential of the human race.
Yet, the side roads are many,
Blighted by denial and fear,
Refusal to express the feelings,
Until numbness blocks our tears.
Lost in our machinations,
Yet craving release from pain,
Surrender may not come sweetly,
But the will can be regained.
The sacredness of being lies
In feeling all that appears,
Without applying judgments
To the joys or to the fears.
Trusting every emotion as
Something we created to feel,
Then expressing every feeling,
Allows the will to heal.
So…it was a long day and it had begun with my focus on writing about the will and particularly about healing the will as a foundational work of personal growth. My 8 year old son’s post bedtime struggles highlighted the importance of expression in safeguarding true will, of working through the turmoil we all face when questioning life, when trying to give freewill the freedom needful to infuse our lives with vibrance. So often belief systems and programs are tossed at us in honest endeavors to provide comfort but how much ownership of truly personal peace is possible when this occurs? Then again, how much of that future ownership of personal peace is inspired by those very attempts to bring comfort? It’s sometimes a tightrope walk across a divide we cannot truly fathom. But we are drawn to it regardless. If we can find peace in what life is, in what life can be, we can find something no lack of proof can shake or otherwise unhinge. But we don’t get there by running away from the expressions of doubt, of fear, of appreciation for how fleeting life truly is. And this is what had sparked my son’s turmoil, his own sudden comprehension of the transitory nature of the moment itself. And up to that point, it had been a feast.
We, as children and as adults, need a place from which we can reach into the beyond, a place of security where we can say “I don’t know how to believe that when…” … where we can express our doubts and still find sure footing. Stability. I kept wanting to tell my son, “It’s ok. Trust me. There’s a God. We’ll all be together after life. I promise.” But it struck me as a violation of his will, an abortion of his own processes of comprehension and growth. He was too focused on the fact that there’s no proof. And I admitted that I cannot know what will be or if there is a beyond. But neither could I deny a sense of the mother and father heart of God or all the possible projections that very sense may be. And yet, it still is and I can live with it in appreciation of the wealth it provides but not in denial of all that is truly uncontrollable in life, the vast unknown. I can still sense and know that within is a depth of the divine untapped and eternal.
We discussed different attitudes about life after death, some philosophies and religion. He had suggested that to call a tree a tree is to lose or even just shut out what that particular expression of creation is. I grinned at the Tao of his articulation. Where did he finally land? With a question… “how do we know we aren’t God?”
The will needs to run free, to live with the courage to say what is rumbling in the heart, to fly with intention beyond the programs that give us ideas and the words that seek to grasp what could never be fully grasped. On and into life being lived and becoming one with what we can never truly name, pedalling fast free, knowing self as feeling in motion, feltness supreme.