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Sunday, March 6, 2011
Tight in a Bud
There are days, weeks, months, seasons in my life during which I find myself tucked inside my own bud. Ice encases me, preserves me until I am ready to emerge anew. I am dwelling in this inner space still, in the stillness of dwelling. Hineni, here I am. (The Hineni link takes you back to just about this time last year, it is fascinating for me to review my inner cycles and how similar they are year to year...truly in sync with nature. Have you noticed this to be true in your life as well?)
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anais Nin
Nearly twelve years ago, when I first saw this quote from Anais Nin on an inspirational poster at a yoga center, I found her words to be profound and filled with hope, thinking “Wow I don’t have to stay here in this painful place, I can choose to push through the hard outer shell of my world at any time. I don’t have to stay frozen inside when I am frightened, I can push forward, outward, open up and blossom and leave the tightness I feel behind.”
And I would do that. I would push myself because staying was so painful. In return I would deny myself the fullness of what I was feeling. Ultimately this would send me right back into my bud for longer and longer periods. Being in the bud was not the cause of my suffering, feeling like a complete failure because I misunderstood what needed to happen inside the bud, that I needed to be in the bud, was.
It took many years of this particular behavior (even prior to reading the quote on the poster) before I finally began to understand the blessing of the bud. What I finally discovered at least for myself, is that the time spent inside the bud is not simply about hiding, separating myself from others, or even fear, (although these are elements of the experience), it is also time well spent, an opportunity for growth and healing. There is a great deal of soulful maturation taking place swaddled inside the soft petaled walls of the closed bud. It is a necessary part of life, this turning inward, and I am grateful for the wisdom of nature that teaches me to stay right where I am for as long as I need to be here, safe and healing in my own way, even though there is pain involved. I am speaking of all aspects of healing, body/mind/heart/soul as a fully integrated embodied being. I trust that the ice will melt away and I will blossom again when my inner seasonal clock tells me it is time, but I do not need to rush it, or force an escape. I do not need to be frightened of being frightened, nor do I need to capitulate to a fear of pain by forcing something I’m not ready for simply to prove that my will is stronger than the pain. All I need to do is rest right where I am and have faith that when I’m ready I will indeed open up into a flower that will be different, perhaps wiser and more beautiful than the one that died away so that this new bud could form, incubate and birth another blossom of me into the light. When I look back at my life with wisdom I can see that this has always been so, and there is no reason to believe that this season will be any different. So here I will remain, sheltered by the soft petaled walls of my inner sanctuary, my bud, experiencing each breath out and in, comforted by my own slow, gentle healing process.
While I still find Anais Nin's quote to be beautiful, and it may in fact ring true for you in your life at this time, I see things differently now. For me, the risk has less to do with blossoming and more to do with a different kind of courage, the courage to attend to all of my emotions and sensations as they arise, the courage to have faith in petals that will unfold on their own if I remain present to what I am experiencing with wholehearted vulnerability.
As I do not wish to be disrespectful to a truly wise writer who gifted the world with her words as a legacy, I offer you another quote that I found on the link above that resonates in my heart, in my life now:
The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself.~Anais Nin