Apprenticeship to Love: Meditations on this Path to Authentic Relationship, November 27, 2023
• Today’s questions: What do I need? What do I want? How can I begin to give myself this thing I want? How can I begin to share with others this thing I need from others?
• Today's suggested practice: Day 19 of this month's practice, to notice & receive (see my "Short Practice,” below)
• My practice today: 4am: 20 minutes: yoga, mantra, and Meditation for the Lower Triangle
• My vulnerability practice: I allow myself to be broken open by this testing. I am that deeply rooted.
★ I'm preparing a panel of "Why Marriage?" for an upcoming Apprenticeship to Love Virtual Workshop. Free for Premium and Premium+ subscribers. LMK if you're interested in being part of the panel. Please see note on the bottom of this chapter...
I have chosen this path, as she has chosen me.
This path breaks me open. It breaks my momentum.
A woman who has not been loved properly requires patience.
This all she asked of me, my patience.
Her testing proves my patience, my depth, my commitment.
A recent conversation with one of my daughters. There is sadness is in our extended family. One of the central figures is experiencing that extreme insecurity that comes from being raised without adequate loving. This is an epidemic in our culture. Generations that have not known how to love each other.
So my daughter is sad. We are on the cusp of the "family season." Everywhere, the fantasies of what family should be. And, everywhere, the reality of what are families are.
I listened. As her father I bear some responsibility for what she was raised into, the brokeness of dreams of family. I regret that I wasn't willing to take the risk to give what was needed. But I do know that I gave my children as much love as I could. I learned that from my parents. Both of them barely out of being teenagers when I was born. Not especially ready for their marriage, yet in other ways, more than ready to be loving parents. One of the things I'm profoundly grateful for.
I'm better at giving what needs to be given now. I know that, become more of who I am as a man, I'm becoming better at holding my family and those I love, gently. I am, today, better at allowing and encouraging that inexplicably beautiful flow of love in my life, a flow that bouys all of us, everyone around me.
I listened to my daughter and remembered my own pain at broken dreams and fantasies, and how hard it was to feel —just to feel— this broken heart.
Stephen Jenkinson says this is a skill, to feel our broken heartedness. I was aware of that today. Feeling the silence and the distance and the tenderness.
That was today. But as I listened to my daughter I remembered a different test of my capacity to "hold onto myself" and feel it all. When, during the Christmas season, I felt most alone and my family most broken. In that moment I began to take responsibility for what this magical season would be, for me, and for those to whom I carry a responsibility. And thus began my traditions of warmth. With song. With food. With festivities. All of it conjured by me as a way of honouring the pain and the yearning I feel in this most lonely time of year. And, becoming the giver, I began to feel the angel wings beating on my door and the flood of love that She brings.
It's all a mystery. But this I do know, that giving myself —and those I love— what I wanted from others, I began tor receive so much more than I could imagine.
It's a good time to remember this. And to remember that is simple, and so hard. To be patient. To be vulnerable. To allow Her in. To receive all She gives me. And, receiving, to know a profound beauty.
🌀 Use the current chaos to disassemble your mysteries . . . use your prayerful expectations to reassemble the mastery . . . connect these expectations to your impending moments and the rest will be a history of the future.
…Above all, pray to expect success. (Guru Singh and Guruperkarma Kaur)
🌀 The Conscious Warrior takes 100% responsibility for the reality he has created — seeking what needs to be changed in him before blaming others. (John Wineland, Precept 5)
🌀When you open your heart to giving,
angels fly to your door. (unknown, via Ute @soy_milonguera )
🌀 Our “work” is to receive. The rest is preparation. (Leroy Gordon)
🌀I test you. (My beloved, my Oracle and Siren)
TODAY'S SUGGESTED SHORT PRACTICE
Day 19 of this month's practice, to move and to notice, and to receive:
Please read through first, then ...
- Today, set two alarms, one for the early part of your day, one for mid-late afternoon when you may be feeling low energy.
- When the alarm sounds, wherever and however you are, take five minutes to do this short practice:
- First, ask yourself: What do I need? What do I want? How can I begin to give myself this thing I want? How can I begin to share with others this thing I need from others?
- Then, follow the short practice here:
- When you’re done, sit or stand for another minute or two, breathing gently, slowly filling and emptying your belly. Here, as you breathe into your fullness, ask yourself, Am I ready to hold myself? And if not, am I ready to ask another to hold the space for me while I feel into my own depth?
- Notice if your body-mind feels somehow changed. And whether you notice a change or not, be content with yourself, exactly as you are in this moment.
- Continue with your day until the next alarm sounds, and repeat.