I am so glad that at the end of my last post, I said I had ‘entered the realm of fearlessness and trust’. Entering is quite a different thing from having it nailed completely. I had the nagging feeling that it might sound very glib to readers who are struggling with extremely frightening situations. This week brought an opportunity to further my learning in fearlessness and trust – and maybe for schadenfreude for readers who were discomforted by my easy statement. Go right ahead!
Just after that post, a family member was stranded at the Bangkok airport during the protests, and needed help to get a ticket to his next stop on the way back to Australia. After we had organized that, and tried to let him know, his phone stopped working. For two nights and a day we had no idea where he was, whether he was safe or not, and if his chronic medical condition was catered for.
Good test!! I can tell you now that a) the Australian Embassy are very good at calming anxious family members and b) fearlessness does not mean that you don’t experience the body and mind symptoms brought on by acute anxiety.
I also learned that trust is a deep calm and not artificial cheerfulness.
Although I have definitely only ‘entered the realm’ and further learning will come to enrich me, for now I have found that resting in the goodness of the life process itself, entering the larger sphere of the sacred, without a need or a wish to control the outcomes, has brought me peace. This was not achieved without work, I add.
I was grateful to know that there was a good friend holding us in the prayer of his heart: it connected and strengthened me, and helped me to hold a centre.
I find the idea of prayer very puzzling. My theological head gets confused with conflicting ideas and I have learned that there are no superficial answers. Why should I pray for my son to be safe when people in Thailand are dying for basic freedom? Don’t I enter the state of ‘solidarity’ when I feel the same emotions, have the same worries, and have to wait to find out the outcome – for a short time which is only a taste of what other people experience. I do not want to ask a Father Christmas figure, constructed out of the projections of my need, to bring simple solutions to my life.
What I seek when I meditate in the quiet hours, is driven by a fundamental yearning which has been in me ever since I can remember. It is to sit in the presence of the source of my being and find myself flooded in wordless love. There, fear is quietened and my heart is stilled. I know there are always seasons of dryness and challenges to come, but for now, waiting and resting is enough.