Monday, May 2, 2011

Root Deep and Reach Up

When the future is hazy, or completely dark, my imagination jumps in to populate the darkness. Uncertainty breeds anxiety in my rational, list- and plan-making mind, and I deal by indulging in "future building," as Kaitlin and I like to call it (that's where you craft scenarios about the future that may or may not have any basis in reality). There are probably very few people who have never done this. It's natural to look ahead and try to get some kind of purposeful trajectory going.

Then there are times when we simply cannot know what will be revealed when light floods in to illuminate the next chapter (I would argue that we never really know what's to come, but anyway...). In moments like these, when anything is possible, my funny mind populates the uncertain future with monsters, disasters and every fear I've ever secretly held. Or, I choose one possible outcome that seems acceptable and latch on. This limited vision of the truly infinite opportunities that life presents reminds me of an Osho card that I particularly like, Courage:


"The seed cannot know what is going to happen, the seed has never known the flower. And the seed cannot even believe that he has the potentiality to become a beautiful flower. Long is the journey, and it is always safer not to go on that journey because unknown is the path, nothing is guaranteed...and the seed is secure, hidden inside a hard core. But the seed tries, it makes an effort; it drops the hard shell which is its security, it starts moving."

In this seed and sprout story, we are the seeds peering futilely up into the darkness with absolutely no idea that there is something really beautiful to be grown by being willing to take the risk. I have the worst amnesia when it comes to remembering how many times things have worked out more perfectly than I could've planned. Time and time again I have dropped my shell and stretched through the earth to reach something I only knew intuitively. I have quit jobs, bought plane tickets, said yes when no seemed smarter. Was the going always easy? No, not always, but I have always found myself better off for going on the journey.

Today in church the sermon was about how knowing God is like falling in love- there can be hesitancy at first and a desire for some reassurance or proof that this person is real and trustworthy. I think the same can be said for the experience of becoming the flower. As seeds, we have no frame of reference for the Destiny that's written in our DNA. We are destined to become this gorgeous, fully embodied flower. Our choice is in how and when to drop the shell and make the move towards the light.

One night my family went out to falafel and my brother ordered something not on the menu. The cashier couldn't figure out how to ring it up so was about to tell him it couldn't be done when one of the cooks came out. My brother described what he wanted and the guy nonchalantly replied, "Anything is possible." We kind of joke about it, but it's really become a mantra in our house. Practically speaking, it's time to reframe the way we view the unknown. Instead of populating the darkness with our fears, let's choose to identify with that "Anything Is Possible" mentality. Its powerful because it allows life to be as expansive and creative as it naturally is.

When we're in the thick of it, it can be impossible to see anything in the darkness. There is life there, though, and greatness is written into our very makeup. We've all faced the unknown before and been just fine. Make space in your mind for big big big things to happen for you. We have no idea what's possible, so why can't it be something fantastic?

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