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Tea in the Garden of Unconditional Love

It is a blustery, warm, rainbow-filled day and I welcome a moment for quiet reflection to explore more fully what it means to stay present as spirit in body while weathering life's inner storms. One recurring theme in my contemplations is how completely humbling and ultimately healing it is to welcome all parts ourselves; of what it is to be seen in our full humanness.

What is the nature this great humbling?

First there are physical things like the fact that we need to sleep, eat and consistently tend to all of the body's needs along with how it is aging, vulnerable and subject to constant changes. Even more humbling is the emotional piece which pertains to relationship with self and other.

Relationship is alchemically humbling and it is here that powerful transformation occurs. The process is akin to making ghee or clarified butter where you put butter into a heavy pot and after just the right amount of cooking the milk solids rise to the surface as the butter appears to magically transform into a clear golden nectar that you can use to prepare exquisite delicacies.

We as humans engage in various kinds of platonic and intimate relationships and these relationships purify you; they point you to outdated beliefs that are no longer serving and often leave you tender and vulnerable to more love than you'd imagined. Love is the golden elixir of life which makes it possible to weather the grittiness and discomfort that arises in honest relationships where communication includes full disclosure.

The road to true intimacy is a holy fire. When we are willing it burns away what can be burned. It humbles us when we become annoyed at our children because they don't respond to us when we talk to them while they are engulfed in a game on their Ipad or when we feel hurt because we pour out our heart in an email to a sibling and it takes them days to respond or when we put ourselves out and get little to no response at all. It is humbling to see our old triggers arising-- thankfully weaker than before even though we may have been chanting, praying or meditating diligently for years...

We might be surprised when old shameful parts cautiously poke their heads out from the back of those dark closets; misguidedly still operating under the notion that they are "not good enough or not beautiful enough" or not-- you fill in the blank here. Perhaps there is a part of you that even with all the therapy and self-reflection you've done still feels "not enough"? If this is true I assure you that you are not alone.

Have compassion for these parts and receive them in love.

These are the young parts, the parts that did not get seen by our parents (although they did their best); now we organize around them compensating for these feelings of inadequacy by holding our heads high, smiling widely or perhaps having a stiff upper lip as our tender feelings smolder beneath the surface much like lava in a volcano waiting to errupt.

Sometimes these old parts get so triggered that we may find ourselves falling through a layer of thin ice that catapults us into the abyss of existential despair. I am speaking about surfing gargantuan waves of feeling, a depth of feeling that may make you hurl your body on to the ground and pray to God, Great Spirit or a Higher Power for help-- call this what you will; IT is what we turn to in these moments of deep despair. We may also reach out to friends, family or the wise woman on the hill and ultimately this is between us and God. It is this connection that makes it possible to emerge renewed and ready to meet the day. This connection is one of the miracles of being human.

What I know both personally and professionally is that when we get lost in a sea of negative beliefs which may turn into a despair warble is that a part of ourselves is calling for love. When you are ready to heal the old battered, shameful, arrogant and angry parts all that is needed is to welcome them with open arms. They yearn to be received in the pure light of unconditional love. Healing is possible when you open to the discomfort, slow down, breathe and go within. Healing happens when you are willing. How can you access a depth of love that can hold all of you?

Try this practice:

Close your eyes. Lie down and take a few deep breaths. Let your body settle and be held by gravity. Imagine a safe space deep inside where there are cozy velvet covered sofas, luscious soft pillows, a large sheepskin rug in front of a crackling fire and endless pots of lightly sweetened herbal tea being served in hand-thrown mugs that mold to your palm and caress your lips as you drink. It is here that you can welcome all of these young, wounded, once exiled parts of yourself to come in and have tea. Welcome these parts home to rest in love.

Love is the ultimate healing medicine.

The storms of life come and go. Anger, sadness and disappointment a part of the dance of being human. When we are available to embrace all parts of ourselves we can find true peace and freedom. When we are willing to be humbled, to take our blinders off and look behind the veils at what may have been seen as disgraceful we may well find Grace; to this we humbly bow our heads in gratitude and love. This humbling exposure is part and parcel to being a true human who ultimately surrenders and gratefully falls into the arms of unconditional love.

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