To be free is an attitude

To be free of this nagging sense of fear, or anxiety, or dissatisfaction, or loneliness, is not to relegate everything to the realm of illusion: if I’m real, so are things around me, and so is my fear. I cannot refuse to relate to the world or to my own experience of it: it often demands a response. Nor can I pretend that I am in control of my experience: that kind of arrogance drowned King Canute. The idea that the world is benevolent is pollyanna nonsense and asking for trouble: existence will, in the end, kill me. But there is something that overarches my fear, my suffering and that lifts me free.

It takes a huge amount of effort, and it is a practice. It takes the kind of effort that a bird, lifting from water, must make, all its energy focused on lifting into the air. I need to generate enough momentum to be able to see the fear from a fraction’s distance, which is also entirely here, now, because it is awareness of what is happening, my fear unfolding and me as observer, just clear of consumption, able to see and understand, appreciate, love. I can see too how the fears arise, what feeds it, the past patterns and the current climate. I can feel deep humility and even awe for the organism’s desperate search for connection when all seems alien and hostile. I cannot do much about my own reactions, except this: practice creating this fraction of a moment’s space, into which I can pour my watching, and my love, not only for myself, but for all that has become entangled in the rippling net of cause/ effect while I observe with just a moment’s notice and the opening capacity to wait, here, free, while the fear flames unfed, flickers and turns to compassionate action, subverted by this willingness to attune to the whole enfolding system which once again makes known its kind and generous embrace. 

I cannot do much about the rain. Except, perhaps, plan to buy a good raincoat.

A woman with her back to the camera walks in the rain between moss covered trees, holding a rainbow coloured umbrella.

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