Thursday, March 22, 2012

Honesty - The Master Solvent

A great spiritual approach is to let the things of the past fall aside for the freshness of the moment. However, at times, memories simply won't stop haunting us. What I'll write about in this post is no more than basic psychology, but perhaps it will look a little different in a spiritual context.

I recently had cause to look at one of my own memories, which, insignificant as it seemed, kept coming back to me. I see no reason to go into details, so let's just say it's a situation from my early teens where I'm given more responsibility than I can handle. I fail in an embarrassing way, and when my friends give me a hard time about it I refuse to acknowledge my ignorance, which makes the situation even worse.

Though the memory of this event has returned many times over, I didn't manage to recognize its nature, until a few weeks ago. Now, in retrospect, the heaviness, discomfort, and sadness of it is very obvious, and I can clearly see the psychological attachment I had to it. Though I barely admit it even now, I was still trying to work myself out of that situation, decades after it happened!

Basically, since it wouldn't leave me, even if it seemed a ridiculous every day event, I decided to look at the situation again. Probably due to meditation practice (mainly) I now managed to do so more honestly. Though staying alert to what IS, and stop clinging to the past, is a vital and accurate piece of spiritual advice, being HONEST, is even more important. With practice we learn to be honest in real-time, and react in tune with who we truly are, but if our memories aren't sorted out, we will have an impossible time staying present.

What I could see, and dare admit to myself, as I looked closer at that memory was: Yes, I failed. I was incompetent. I couldn't manage the simple task I was given, and I did handle it badly. When my friends challenged me and teased me about it they were mean and immature, and I was saddened by how they were treating me. It hurt. The whole situation really hurt. So I wept now, 25 years after it happened, and the angel of Honesty relieved me of my pain.

This was a truly distinct episode of healing. The heaviness of that event was reduced to a very light and very thin papery file in the cabinet of my memories, which I can now bring out and look at without any sort of emotional load attached to it. The difference is quite remarkable. I know it will no longer disturb me.

When we go through such an act of honesty once, we are given a bottle of the greatest solvent of all, which we may use many times over if need be, and perhaps even bring up Live. Staying present is the very opposite of looking away. Staying present is looking pain straight in the face and saying; I can handle you, because I now accept you. I am open to your terrible gaze, and I will not deny what you do to me. That is how the wrath of the Lord is washed away and how His light becomes clear to us. It may take three days on the Cross, but fore Heaven's sake, it is worth it.

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