What grounds you, centers you, stabilizes you, orients you, focuses you, and enables you to go on? What are the destabilizing forces at work in your life? What do you do-- where do you go-- to return to the source, regain your equilibrium, get your feet back under you relocate the path, recover your sense of direction and purpose and return to the work that is legitimately your work to do? Where do you turn when you have nowhere to turn? What do you turn to when you have lost your bearings and your lodestar, are in freefall with nothing to serve as sanctuary and oasis? What is your plan when planning is meaningless? If you have been with me for as long as fifteen minutes, you know what I am going to suggest. Repeat the mantra with me: Return to the right kind of emptiness, stillness and silence, and wait for the mud to settle and the water to clear, emptying yourself of all that stirs up fear and anxiety, hopelessness and despair, anger and hatred... letting it all go into the silence and wait for the centering realization, the grounding vision, the call to action in the service of what needs to be done, even here, even now, even yet... compelling you to rise and get to work, anyway, nevertheless, even so. Mind how you go, and may it be well with you along the way.
We all need a sounding board. A sounding board who can listen/hear you to the truth of what you are saying. Since very few of us have one of those, I recommend talking to yourself, or writing notes to yourself, and listening intently to what you have to say. The worst thing to do is to talk only with/to people who just repeat the standard formulas-- and only allow the right things to be said. Evangelical Christianity is great at being terrible in this way. Any Doctrine is a terrible doctrine-- a doctrine being a way of seeing that disallows all other ways of seeing. The scientific orientation at its best is the best approach to hearing what we are saying. Question everything. Explore everything. Examine everything. Get to the bottom of everything. Find the limits of everything. Uncover the contradictions, the conflicts, the dichotomies, the polarities. Find what is sacrosanct and call it into question. Ransack the holy of hollies. Plunder the sacred assumptions. Call everything out into the light of inquiry and investigation. Ask the questions that beg to be asked. Say what cries out to be said. Leave no stone unturned. No statement unchallenged. No belief unexamined. See what's what about it all. Explore where to go from there. Particularly with everything you say, assume, infer, and take for granted. Get to the bottom of you! All the time! Everyday! And if that leaves you sitting empty, in the stillness and silence, that's the idea! Sit there and see what occurs to you! Allow your reflections to lead you to new realizations-- and reflect on them! Allow your questions to lead you to better questions! Treat every answer as a step on the way to a better question! Don't leave any answer unquestioned! Always ask the followup question! Always! Ponder YOU! Forever!
What keeps you going? You live in the service of what? Who are you? What are you about? What is yours to do in the time left for living? If you couldn't do it, what would you do? What keeps you going? These are essential questions that only you can answer. No one can tell you the answer. It is yours to know on your own. What is your grounding/centering symbol? What stands for you as you? The quintessential you? What captures/reflects/expresses the core/heart of you to you? A question mark would do it for me. I am the answer to the question of me. I live to know who I am. To be who I am. We do not know this intellectually, by thinking about it. We know it existentially. We live our way to the answer to the question of who we are. We show ourselves who we are through the process of being alive. Joseph Campbell said, "It took the Cyclops to bring out the hero in Ulysses." Our life brings out the essence of who we are. Our life is perfectly designed to bring us to life in our life. We always have exactly what we need to bring out who we are in response to what is happening, by doing what is called for. Doing what is called for brings us forth to meet what needs to be done. We meet ourselves meeting what the occasion calls for. WE are called for in every occasion. We meet ourselves in how we answer the call. Occasion after occasion, situation by situation, moment by moment. By rising to the occasion, and doing what is called for, when it is called for, the way it is called for, occasion by occasion. We are the answer to the question of who we are. We live our way to the answer, moment by moment, situation by situation, occasion by occasion. Who have you shown yourself to be through all the occasions that have come your way up to here, now? What symbol captures who you have been up to here, now? What symbol do you think it will be going forward? Who have you been called to be that you have yet to be? What needs to be done that you have yet to do? We live our way to the answers to those questions. Live on! Live on!