Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Balancing Paradox

n the midst of everything else going on in our world today ~ all the craziness, every mundane context, individual moments ~ I find myself turning inward and finding a safe, quiet place within.

When I lift my head out of those moments of slipping away, or more precisely, diving deep, familiar words find their way into view. The quote from Frederick Buechner was one. I find myself reading it, breathing it deeply into my lungs, letting it fill me up. I live, we live, in that world where "beautiful and terrible things will happen." Often, both of those extremes can make us afraid. We exalt in and love the beautiful, yet fear that it will go away, that simply having it and acknowledging it will curse it into nonexistence. Yet we most need to remember to let go that feeling of fear. Understand that these things will happen.

The terrible things leave us wary of anything new ~ or of the news itself. What next? Where will the next quake hit? What's happening in the arctic? How long before the disease (whichever one it may be) takes Auntie or Grandpa? So much opportunity for terrible things. Again, along with our best efforts to allay or avoid it, we have the same need to let go of the fear. It takes us out of being present to the moment.

Another quote that flowed easily into my view was this one by Parker J. Palmer:
The spiritual life is lived in a balance of paradoxes, and the humility that enables us to hear the truth of others must stand in creative tension with the faith that empowers us to speak our own.
Everything that is most important to us rests on the balance point of those paradoxes: hearing the truth of others and speaking our own truth. We move forward too quickly and we stop listening to others. We stand still too long and we stop voicing our truths. We are here, in this world, with these beautiful and terrible things happening, to face each other and help each other through the most profound Darkness and the most resplendent Light.

This is a time of facing our rebellious, passionate natures. This is a time of honesty and clarity. This is a time of living in and through our truest and deepest selves. This is not about being meek in the world. It is about being aware and truthful alongside being loving and strong. It is also a time of owning our own personal Darkness as well as revealing our brightest Light. We are not only balancing the paradoxes, we are the very balance point of them.

How do you speak your truth? How do listen to the truth of others? What is your passion? What do you fear? How do you view the beauty in our world? What terrible things are in your life now? What action will you take to refute fear? How are your practices working? What paradoxes are you balancing?

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