Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The paradox of self: Intimacy with life

We are, each of us, a paradox, a seemingly senseless combination of contradictions that, when considered in full, prove to be the truest expression of self.  We each try to negotiate our interactions in an effort to cloak our inconsistencies from ourselves and those we love.  How can we be both joyous and sad?  How can we experience deep love and union alongside contraction and separation?  How can we be patient and irritable, tolerant and judgmental, kind and cold?   We crave closeness, belonging and connection but are afraid to be known fully.

My godmother and one of the great loves of my life, recently … I don't even know how to write it…died? (Death is a word meant to point to a mystery beyond anything the mind could comprehend and yet the mind doesn't like inconsistencies.)  She lived a long life as a remarkable being.  In the days and weeks following her death, people remembered her and in their memories she became less and less human and more and more saintly.  She was special AND she was human too. I was blessed to love and know the whole of her, perhaps because she knew and loved the whole of me. That kind of love moves mountains.

When we ignore the paradox of our own humanity we distance ourselves from intimacy.  It is not our perceived greatness that needs the warmth of belonging, it is our weakness, our vulnerability, our inconsistency... our humanness.

Navajo weavers intentionally weave mistakes into their rugs, to remind us that we are not perfect and that Spirit enters through our imperfections.  When we welcome this paradox, in ourselves and others, we open to love and true intimacy on life's terms.

No comments: