Mel's Healing Pilgrimage 2016

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Friday, August 31, 2018

As You Are

    ‘as you are.’ says the universe.
    ‘after…’ you answer.

    ‘as you are.’ says the universe.
    ‘before…’ you answer.

    ‘as you are.’ says the universe.
    ‘when…’ you answer.

    ‘as you are.’ says the universe.
    ‘how…’ you answer.

    ‘as you are.’ says the universe.
    ‘why…’ you answer.

    you are happening now.
    right now.
    right at this moment
    your happening
    is beautiful.
    the thing that keeps me alive
    brings me to my knees.
    you don’t even know how breathtaking you
    as you are.’ says the universe through tears

    Nayyirah Waheed’s “as you are | you are the prayer” published in her book Nejma
I was reminded of this poem recently. And it's something that strikes me as wildly important to say to every person, even if I don't say it directly. We are loved unconditionally.

"As you are..."

Do we believe it? Do I?

My aspiration is that every word out of my mouth reminds people that the universe is saying this.
My aspiration is that every thought in my head, every beat of my heart, every sound from my mouth reflects a deep understanding that *I* hear the universe saying this.

But I fail every day. I fail because I'm only human. I have doubts, I have self-judgment. I cannot completely trust that the words I'm hearing and saying are for real.

And it's why I like doing Lay Counseling. It's why I enjoy visiting people at nursing homes, at laundrymats, at hospitals. It's why I'm trying to find space in my life to visit prisons. Because when I remind others of this message, it reminds *me* of the message.

Because I need reminding. All the time. It's ok that I need reminding, and I'm starting to remember it more often.

Usually, it takes something dramatic to happen to me before I remember this. It takes tragedy. It takes failure. It takes monumental grief. But those are just exceptions. Clauses. Conditions. Like in the poem.

The awe-filling truth is that there are no clauses. "As you are". That's it. That's all. Full stop.

When people die, we want them to have dignity in their death. When people take their own lives, we wonder if we've done enough. If people die in tragic accidents, we grieve over the manner in which they died.

It's death focused.

It's not life focused.

And that's ok, because it helps the grieving.

And, at some point, after the grieving or during the grieving, we need to recognize the life of that person. Because we loved them as living, breathing beings. When the universe, nature, God says "As you are" it's life-centered, life-celebrating, life-embracing.

Yes, we die. All of us. Sometimes tragically, sometimes accidentally, sometimes by our own hands. But we are always loved irrespective of the manner of death, just as we are loved irrespective of the manner of our birth, of our station in life. We could be born in a manger. And we are loved as we are. We could die on a cross. And we are loved as we are.

"We don't even know how breathtaking we are."

Accepting this love deeply, without reservation, grants us power over the death that we fear. And, when we accept this love, we can begin to love ourselves as we ourselves are loved: "as we are".

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