Thursday, 26 June 2014

A search for self

                                                  By Recovery Leeds

I don't blog enough. I don't read enough or tweet enough. I don't train enough or reflect enough. In fact, I seldom feel I do enough of anything. Lily urges us to love ourselves, but how? Where do we start?

"I the unkind, the ungrateful"   George Herbert

Life has conditioned me to lower my eyes, beyond humility, a place more akin to shame. It is many moons since I tried to write anything down. Lily frequently encourages me to let pen and paper meet where thought and form take shape. Whilst self, too often defeating and jeering, fills my head and drowns those still quiet places where inspiration whispers softly and kindly. I long to dwell in that place, I have sought it in varying ways: the way of Zen; the way of Aikido; the way of the Gardener; the way of Recovery and Growth. All very grand with their carefully assigned capital letter, but what of self and the Way to Self. This is the path we all walk, sometimes unwittingly, in a search for something that may have already found us, the return to something never truly lost, a memory shrouded in fog, calling out through our days and nights. As Gibran puts it:

"....a shapeless pigmy that walks asleep in the mist searching for its own awakening."

Perhaps awakening lies on a pathway which becomes clear with the light of love. The only entrance to this pathway is in seeing the working of love in others, in nature and in things. The gift of sight which allows us to see love in all that is around us begins when we begin to love ourselves.

I would like to share with you one of my favourite poems.
Please forgive this indulgence.


George Herbert. 1593-1632

Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack'd anything. 

'A guest,' I answer'd, 'worthy to be here:'
Love said, 'You shall be he.'
'I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
I cannot look on Thee.'
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
'Who made the eyes but I?'

'Truth, Lord; but I have marr'd them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.'
'And know you not,' says Love, 'Who bore the blame?'
'My dear, then I will serve.'
'You must sit down,' says Love, 'and taste my meat.'
So I did sit and eat.

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