Another poem by Mary Oliver, about a flower that blooms in Springtime. It is a lovely affirmation of love for life, and the willingness to open and stand firm in one’s own purpose. To share with others, and to shine.
All my life, so far,
I have loved more than one thing,
including the mossy hooves of dreams, including’
the spongy litter under the tall trees.
In spring, the moccasin flowers
reach for the crackling lick of the sun
and burn down. Sometimes,
in the shadows, I see the hazy eyes,
of oblivion, its deep drowse,
and I can imagine a new nothing
in the universe,
the matted leaves splitting
open, revealing the black planks
of the stairs.
But all my life – sofar –
I have loved best how the flowers rise
and open, how
the pink lungs of their bodies
enter the fore of the world
and stand there shining and willing – the one
thing they can do before they shuffle forward into the floor of darkness, they become the trees.
We are fragmented into so many different aspects.
We don´t know who we really are, or what aspects of ourselves we should identify with or believe in. So many contradictory voices, dictates, and feelings fight for control over our inner lives that we find ourselves scattered everywhere, in all directions, leaving nobody at home.
Meditation, then, is bringing the mind home
As adults we can sometimes fall into the trap of blaming others for where or who we are. Instead we work at letting go of resentments and becoming responsible for nurturing ourselves. Our parents may not have provided the care we needed deep down, or others may have failed to support us in our lives. However, now we take on that role by acknowledging our own deepest needs and listening to what our inner self has to say.
We are, in a sense, our own parents, and we give birth to ourselves by our own free choice of what is good.
St Gregory of Nyssa, Homily on the Book of Ecclesiastes
Just as we tend to assume that the world is as we see it, we naively suppose that people are as we imagine them to be. Although the possibility of gross deception is infinitely greater here than in our perception of the physical world, we still go on naively projecting our own psychology into our fellow human beings. In this way everyone creates for himself a series of more or less imaginary relationships based essentially on projection.
C. G Jung
We can often feel divided and conflicted. We wish to integrate all the contrasting parts inside ourselves and develop a greater harmony within, a sense of direction that is solid and does not change from week to week. The first step in achieving this is to listen deeply to our own interior intelligence and find out what it is seeking.
Sometimes we notice that we are projecting onto others, or onto some outside things, the search for happiness which need to be anchored within first. We can see this if we pay attention to our daydreams or our fears. It can happen that an interior need becomes attached to another person or to our job or some plans and ambitions. In other words, we expect that the other person or the outside event fill in the missing parts of ourselves, rather than looking to do that work within ourselves first. We project the unconscious stage of our development onto another, and then act as if that person is what we imagine him or her to be. Frequently, however, the person is actually a mirror of our needs, which we have not yet come to recognize in ourselves. And as I have said before, our relationship with others reflects the current level of our relationship with ourselves.
It can be a great liberation to become aware that our projections actually represent our interior unlived capacities. We turn within for what we sought outside, recognize our needs and hold them gently. We start to grow, because a part of us which was hidden is now coming to light. Sooner or later in life, we all have to come face to face with the question of who we really are. If we do not run away but hold this question in ourselves, it can be the beginning of the greatest adventure in our lives. We can find the missing pieces inside ourselves, and in this way let go and move on to becoming whole.
A traditional Jewish tale says: Rabbi Levi saw a man running in the street, and asked him, “Why do you run?” He replied, “I am running after my good fortune!” Rabbi Levi tells him, “Silly man, your good fortune has been trying to chase you, but you are running too
Wayne Muller, Sabbath