I love my early morning walks.
I walk open-handed to life… listening, musing and in a sense, meditating.
Yet walking open-handed to life also means an open invitation to sorrow, troubles, and disquiet.
A few days ago I accepted the latter’s invitation.
We all know this.
Words, actions, relationships, and situations from the day before or years before come back to visit us, to rattle our cages, and beg for absolution.
For many of us, this is an impediment. We end up in the abyss of our hearts where it’s dark and we can’t see our way out. So we ignore, deflect, and blame—trying to rid ourselves of the incumbent weight on our shoulders.
Some of us go another route. We rehearse words from our religious upbringing, or good books, or inspiring stories, looking for a salvific resolve to our enduring disquiet.
There is another open-handed way: the way of gift.
Never happening when we seek it, only when we receive it.
The morning I accepted the invitation of my own disquiet, I spent 45 minutes trudging around with furrowed brow, engrossed in thought.
Right before I got home I remembered that:
Feelings are only feelings and often they lie.
And truth remains constant and is worthy of trust.
That over the arc of time, how we live alongside our disquiet shapes our life, not into resolve but into a changed and changing perspective. “Living the questions,” as poet Rilke observed, often ‘lives’ us into a richer, more nuanced faith in life.
Right before I got home, I remembered ‘that’.
With my hands open, the burden of my disquiet was reprieved.
The way of gift.
The featured image is courtesy of Julie Jablonski for The Cultivating Project.
“The Way of Gift” was first published on Roy’s marvelous blog – Between the Notes, and is generously shared with Cultivating. We highly recommend that you subscribe to his blog to get his good words sent to you each week.