Exploring Landscapes

My husband and I are explorers. Whether it is in our own place of residence or on a travel adventure, we enjoy delving into places of which we have very little first hand knowledge. Often one of us exclaims in mid-hike,

“Can you imagine being the person who walked here for the very first time to 
discover THIS? Wouldn’t you love to hear his story, her insights?”

We study pictures and read about where we are going, but the person who first happens upon a place of astounding beauty, has to be stunned beyond words.

Several years ago, I came to a juncture in my spiritual walk where I found myself wearily walking through the well-known landscape of proven answers. I thought if I had to fill in another lined blank with the correct one-word answer, I would dissolve into tedium. With a whole world to explore, I felt that if I gave, or heard, one more determined, outside-in answer to the questions that prominently hang in the great mystery of this awe-filled spiritual life, I would surely lose the privilege of being co-creator of my life.

I began to journey inward, dropping as much of the need to please, or care how others perceived me, as I was able. It was incremental and it happened overnight. On my journey inside, I have discovered that to traverse between the surety of a concrete, conclusive day-to-day world and this mysterious place of other, is much of the blessing of a full and rich life. Being able to live in linear time, enjoying it’s tangible blessings while being oh, so aware that I am not limited altogether by time or place gives room for possibility and wonder.

On some level, moving between what is and what if becomes deep, hopeful, wordless praying. When I see what is and allow space for things, people and circumstances to morph and evolve, I sense my faith going to new levels. I have pondered the value of the absolute and compared it to a strong and healthy ego, which bequeathed an exceptional foundation to me. In time, my strong sense of self, which once was necessary for achievement turned sour, at which point dying to self became the better life.

Of course, I noticed the frightening tendency in others first, and through my own judgment found the disappointing gift of a mirror. I doubt that I would have accepted the invitation, of Spirit, into death of self had I not seen the alternative. Ironically, dying became the truer way to live.

Even though I continue to put the better foot forward, I long to live from a place of authentic being. Beginning from the question, what if and defining my personal if only, has taken me across the line of what is real and into the figurative. In retrospect, I have found that often times the symbolic has in turn, led me back into a very tangible landscape on my spiritual journey.

God’s Spirit cannot be contained and neither can that Sacred place within me. Excavating the depths of my Truest self has taught me how to live into the home that overwhelms with Love. Death and love form a strange paradox to hold. Oh, the utter inclusiveness of God!

Sacred Ruminations*