Friday, February 15, 2008

What is Essential

Whenever I would travel anywhere, my mother, in her wisdom (and probably desperation) would say to me, "Only take what is essential." So I would leave my socks at home and take my teddy bear. I loved my teddy bear. It was one of the few things I can remember for which my father took me shopping. I was completely "torn apart" when his arm got torn off. But my mother, being both crafty and wise, was able to mend his arm and put it in a splint so that it would "heal". She was also healing my heart.

Antoine de Sant-Exupery said, "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye." I find, now that I am a man fully "grow'd", that this is so true. As many know, we have been simplifying our lives and emptying out our house of "clutter". And in the process I have come to realize that I really am not that attached to much of anything in the material realm. Yes, I might miss something for awhile, but I will eventually barely even remember that it existed at all. Something like my beloved teddy bear no longer has the emotional connection for me that it once did in such a big way. I do remember it fondly, but I don't miss it. We all have to eventually grow spiritually and recognize what is truly essential in our lives. Socks are still apparently not so essential in mine. The essence of something is that which is innate and cannot be changed...the spirit of the matter. I have realized that it is the people in my life, the love that we share, and the moments we create together that are truly precious to me. The rest can go up in smoke, if it must. And sometimes we also need to seriously look at whether or not relationships can go up in smoke and what that would mean for us. Fire is, after all, an element of change. It reduces everything to its most basic form...ash. And in the process, this ash then is able to fertilize the ground so new seeds can grow. The thing is to be able to walk through that process with love, patience and compassion. The process may also be excruciatingly slow at times. But if we allow ourselves to be patient with it, the fruit tree that grows in the aftermath will absolutely have the sweetest tasting fruit we have ever experienced!

Blessed Be


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