Don’t try to hide your tender heart
behind the story
that we need you to be a certain way.
When did a steely exterior become
something to admire?
Why do we call those
who are in pain but do not show it?
It takes strength and courage to be vulnerable.
This feeling you have,
this tenderness, this sadness
is what connects you to all of us.
Let us see that you are human too.
We’ll take each other’s hands,
all the light of the world
reflected in each glistening teardrop–
and we’ll celebrate the sadness doorway,
this threshold that leads us to ultimate joy.
We learn that we are not
so different from one another.
We lose some of the clouds
in our mind
and the sun shines a bit brighter.
In this light of this awakened mind
we reach out and experience
with all beings.
From this recognition flow the gifts
of compassion, kindness, generosity.
We realize that what we do to another
we do to ourselves
and we walk the earth
in the spirit of non-violence.
We learn how not to sabotage ourselves
with our self-absorption.
We awaken for the benefit of all beings.
Life expands beyond imagination.
If we could drop the self-importance
an entirely different sort of universe
would spring forth from the depths of consciousness.
Without becoming so fixated
on all of our likes and dislikes
our grievances, resentments,
justifications and obfuscations,
maybe, just maybe
we might see clearly enough
to be madly in love with this moment,
with this self that waits for us
to awaken enough to notice it.
We have mastered the art of self-absorption;
now let us try something different.
Let us open our hearts
and pour ourselves outward
giving this hungry world
a delicious taste of our true selves,
quenching its thirst for authentic connection.
We could try something new.
We could learn to let go,
to drop the rigid ideas
to which we have clung
like a person in the middle of the ocean
clings to a life preserver.
If we could let go into the ocean
We might see how it teems with life.
The one who clings could die to the clinging
and be born as fish
in a great big home with no walls.
Not trying to hold out for something better,
just seeing what is here now,
curious and open.
Not hiding from this moment
thinking that the next one will be more pleasant,
but stepping forth and breathing in
and standing in this presence.
Giving up all hope of future fruition
this moment becomes abundant.
Embrace the inconceivable paradox:
as we awaken to this new awareness
we realize that this is the oldest form
of love, this living with a courageous open heart.
As we transform into a more enlightened
version of ourselves
we realize that we’ve finally become
who we always were.
Don’t go anywhere.
Become hopeless and magnificent
all at once.
Become who you already are,
realize this majestic self in you.
This is the great undoing,
the great unfolding,
the great perfection
of your beautifully imperfect self.
Here’s the beauty
in all of the constant change–
the person we are today
is not the same person we were yesterday.
All of the fixed ideas we held of ourselves
dissipate in the vast expanse of being.
The hopeless case
we thought we were one day
now becomes a wise prophet in the next.
We are never the same day to day
and this is beautiful.
The cells in our bodies
are constantly changing,
so is the weather.
Our thoughts are swirling
as a flock of birds swirl
in the clear blue sky.
We have nothing to hold onto
as a child cannot keep a sandcastle
when the surf reaches the shore
in high tide.
Don’t attempt to hold on
to that which is always falling apart.
Melt into the change
as summer sun melts the snow
sending a life-giving drink
to the valleys below.
There is beauty in the constant change.
Embrace your impermanence
and flow with life.
Staying present with all of it,
not just with what we
think we want
or think we need
or think we like
but all of it–
this is true courage.
Develop a taste for this moment.
It is rich and varied
never the same.
Don’t try to fill your mouth
the wistful sweetness of the past,
the mouth-watering promise of tomorrow.
Taste this moment now,
take a big bite.
You’ll never be hungry again.