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Posted - 01/30/2017 09:19pm
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THE ART OF INSPIRATION: The Unbearable Lightness Of Being

January 30, 2017

We fervently want to believe we matter and are deserving of consideration as we walk along the passage of life, with the hope that someone notices the creation of our individual imprint. We leave behind our footprints hoping the wind won't blow the sand of our creation into a clean sweep. Before the footprints are blown away we do get a chance to leave our impression, even if there are no witnesses. Call it storytelling, even if only to ourselves.

Everyman matters. We can pass on a teaching, or bear witness to the other’s struggle and maybe, just maybe, at the end of our lives discover enlightenment through our own redemption, because we cared enough about the other to imagine we could even be... One. Can we live the struggle that is our passage through life for the sake of learning how to reach deep into the caverns of our being, unambiguously, to find the jewel in the crown? And what if we discover the Hope Diamond shining brilliantly atop the heart of compassion, what then? 

Wisdom teaching informs us that the simplest, yet grandest gesture bringing with it divine revelation is the one that we experience when we know what it feels like to walk in another man's shoes. It is then that the Hope Diamond shines brightest. It is then that hope springs eternal in the human breast. It is then that we are offered a glimpse into why we are in this life ensemble, discovering meaning and purpose as we care for each other....

A treasure greater than we might imagine is the gift we receive when we share the Hope Diamond found atop our hearts of compassion.  We are given the Hope Diamond for the express purpose of sharing the struggle of our lives with the other. We are destined to leave footprints in the sand before the hourglass is emptied, so that when arriving at the Promised Land we may alight at our destination having fulfilled our mission on earth. No one goes it alone in this life. If we remember anything, we must try to remember this....

We are living in an era when the calculus for love is measured by how many swipes to the right one can maximize before the “smart” phone explodes in search of “the One.” It makes a mockery of something so sacred, so beautiful, so eternal as love.  And we wonder how it is that we have arrived at a moment in time when there is such a striking lack of respect for the Other? 

When did empathy become an outdated concept replaced by unrestrained, present-day narcissism? Me, myself and I. Narcissism and social media are dancing together virtually--not really touching, don't you know?--flush with devoted self-adulation. I must have been in another dreamscape, because how else did I miss the turn from we to me, myself and I? When did our conversation end?

A woman for whom I had deep respect and knew to have been one of the most compassionate beings I have ever had the privilege of meeting, the late cultural anthropologist Dr. Angeles Arrien, introduced me to a greeting by Appalachian mountain people when they chance to meet one another along the way. Meet and greet one another they do. No swipes here. Real people, genuinely welcoming the other. Up close and personal. Caring. Engaged. Hospitable. Yes ma'am. Yes sir. The greeting goes like this:

"What's workin' yaWhat's learnin' ya?" 

As Angeles told it, it is a greeting reminding us that the mystery is learning us and working us, rather than the other way around.  I believe that when we get that it is the mystery that's "workin' ya" and "learnin' ya," we chance upon the humility necessary to walk the path of the heart, creating footprints that really do leave an impression in enough time to fulfill our promise. 

There will always be witnesses for the one who chooses to walk the path of the heart. Even if the wind blows the footstep impressions of the one away, the miracle that is love given and received will forever leave an enduring mark.  Call it the symbol of infinity. Call it love, actually.

Miracles, I guess.

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