Learning to Live Again


Sometimes 

(For a reason or for no reason at all)

Your world cracks open 

Or the world cracks you open 

 

Old reference points collapse

The ground beneath you opens up

And swallows your cleverness 

 

You feel like you don’t exist anymore 

You feel like a void in a voided world 

And you cannot find a home

And you cannot find a place to ground yourself

And you reach out 

Grasping like a baby for mother 

You want to scream but adults don’t scream

You want to cry but it’s just not done 

 

You don’t know who you are 

You don’t know what’s real

You crave something external to validate yourself

A person. A substance. Drink. Food. Drugs.

Something to distract you

Shopping. Facebook. Control. Codependency. Anything. 

You feel like you might disappear at any moment 

Unless someone sees you 

Unless you are known in another’s eyes 

 

You feel like you need an ‘other’ to be a self 

You feel like you need to be reflected

(And even if you are surrounded by people

Family. Loved ones. Community. 

This ancient wound can flare up inside you)

 

Who are you without any distraction?

Are you real without a ‘yes’ from the world?

Were you ever real?

These questions swirl

The restless mind goes mad with questions

The body strains and aches

What to do?

Where to go?

Where to find peace? Just for a moment?

 

Friend. I am here with you.

Breathe now

You are not breathing when you think so much

Breathe now

Life is only a moment

This moment

Here

 

Let’s come back to this ground

This simplicity

The way the shoulders feel

The sounds you can hear right now

What can you hear?

Let’s come back to this soft presence

What’s real. Not what’s imagined.

The weight of the arms

The rising and falling of the belly and chest

The heat. The light. The pulse of life.

This safe place

 

Let’s watch the spinning mind rather than getting caught in it

The mind does not know the future

Let’s breathe through the chaos of thought

Bless it but never be its slave

Sense the space around thought

Be the sky for its clouds

 

Let’s gently allow physical sensations in the head

The neck. The belly. The legs. The feet. 

Allow the heaviness, the density, the tingles and the flutters

Allow the resistance, the frustration, the sorrow, the pain of living

 

Allow ourselves to not be able to allow ourselves

 

This is our job now. To do nothing.

To do nothing except sense and soften into the imperfection of this moment

To tend to the wounded one inside 

instead of seeking solutions out there

To bless the broken heart instead of trying to bandage it up

To infuse the loneliness with a rich awareness 

instead of depriving it of oxygen 

To be here, with our beautiful broken selves

To know the wholeness. Where we are now.

Not in the future. But now.

To love the unloved one, here

The abandoned child who lives within us all

Without exception

 

Not an error to be corrected

But a precious one to be embraced

 

Some have buried the child deep

Some have tried to suffocate it

Some are ashamed of it

Some run from it

You alone have the courage to meet it now

You alone have the courage to breathe into the lost one, moment by moment

 

And in this breathing, hope begins

 

And in this death, we find more life

And in this void, we find plentiful life

And in this nothingness, we find abundant life

 

And in this lost place, we find ourselves alive

Broken but alive

Imperfect but victorious

We have survived

Rediscovered our courage

 

Our wounds are not mistakes

They are perfectly placed today

To teach us. Guide us

Show us the ways of love

 

We are broken and unbroken

We are babies and we are warriors

We are both full and empty

We cannot be resolved

We cannot be understood

We are too alive to be understood

We hold all paradoxes in a vast awareness

We begin again in every Now

 

We are One, we are Two

You are my brother, my sister

We all know the same original separation

We were all born from the same Mother

We all walk the same path

Back home

Back here 

 

Day by day

we are all learning

to live again.

 

~ Jeff Foster


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