I just got back from a two week Silent Retreat in Chiang Mai, Thailand–the land of the Flying Lanterns.
It has been an epic Spiritual Journey through the inner labyrinth of my being, with many twists and turns that led to the centre of my soul.
I faced my Fear of Fears and the two monsters from the land of Me-Me-Me and Perfectionism. Instead of running away, this time, I said hello and embraced them openly. I saw the sadness and emptiness in their eyes.
All they wanted was Love. All they needed to know, is that despite how unlovable they seem to appear to be, at all times, they are Loved.
All along, the lonely Me-Me-Me “monster” belonged in the land of We.
All along, the Perfectionism “monster” just needed a pair of new eyes, made in love and of love, to see I’m Perfect in the word Imperfect.
And so, I learnt and am learning still, to tame my inner fiery dragon by befriending the beast within. To kiss my inner frog and not to be afraid of my own shadows. All along, we are a bit of darkness, a bit of light. Half “angel”, half “devil”. And yet, through all the bad, our Creator sees so much good in us, and has so much Faith, Hope and Love in us, for us.
On the last day of the Silent Retreat, after breakfast, on the way to the laundry to collect my clothes, I stopped at every path where the sun shone, to catch the sunlight. Off the path, I spotted a burst of sun rays gleaming through the trees of the labyrinth. It was a detour, but I headed straight in its direction, breathing in the sun and exhaling to see my breath, like a puff of smoke, evaporating in the chilly cool morning air.
Like a child, I went about catching sunlight with my hair, my skin, my eyes.
Then, all of a sudden, this Question came to me like a poem: Can you catch the sunlight? Can you slice a sky? Can you bottle up a cloud?
It is there, for you, though you have it not in your hands.
So why must you hold Love in your hands to believe you have Love?
This stopped me right in my tracks. I was aware I was being gifted with another Lesson, in Love. And as I pondered it, a smile broke across my face. My Teacher was still with me, loving me with another gift of Truth.
To drive home the lesson, after collecting my pile of clothes, halfway back to my room and stopping to admire the Donggol Bird up on the tree with Jacqui, with the clean clothes still piled all over my left arm…
…I looked down at both my hands and saw that I wasn’t holding my pouch with the alarm clock! I forgot to bring a watch to the retreat.
So I half ran back to the laundry to look for it, but it wasn’t there. Went back to the dining hall’s table where I had breakfast, but it wasn’t there. Desperate, I even went looking into the rubbish bin–and it wasn’t there!
My heart sank.
On the way back to my room, it occurred to me that I might have slung it on my left wrist. I looked beneath the piles and piles of clothes, sure enough, my pouch was right there! Hah! Lesson: What I thought was lost, what I went searching for, was always there with me–all along.
And so today, I share this little piece of my journey with you, as a reminder that LOVE is with you. Immanuel is with You. Always will be.
If, like me, you’ve been searching for Love in all the wrong places and came back empty, may this serve as a reminder that what you thought was lost or have been looking for, has always been with you, is yours.
Many a times, we feel the need to hold, touch, and see it in our hands to believe it’s real.“Blessed are you who have not seen, and yet believed.”
Have Faith. Have Hope. That LOVE transcends the form of a boy-girl relationship. If you are not in a relationship right now, it doesn’t mean you are not loved or lovable. Our whole purpose on earth is to Be Love and to Be Loved. Love comes in many ways and forms, and it begins by recognising first and foremost that Love is you, is yours–and is with you.
Like the sun, sky and clouds–Love has always been there for you.
The process of waiting for the one, for two to become one, begins with enjoying your relationship with the One. It is how you can feel truly embraced within, with Love, even in moments of silence and solitude.
“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb
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