Friday, July 1, 2011

The Great Risk of Something Essential Perishing

I had to end a long-lasting and productive but increasingly difficult relationship at work lately.  I struggled through it for a while, trying to figure out how best to do it, what leaving would mean, how to maintain my integrity through it.  It was so clearly the right decision from where I sit now, but wasn't always so clear at the time.  I was glad to read this from Nepo's The Book of Awakening today:

Despite all consequence, there is an inevitable honoring of what is true, and at this deep level of inner voice, it is not a summoning of will, but a following of true knowing.  My own life is a trail of such following.  Time and again, I have heard deep callings that felt inevitable and which I could have ignored, but only at great risk of something essential perishing. [...]  Courage of this sort is the result of being authentic.  It is available to all and its reward, far more than respect, is the opening of joy.

Isn't that cool?  Of course, the inner voice often doesn't speak clearly.  It doesn't even speak English, in my experience!  It shows up as back pain, weight gain, sleeplessness, anxiety, anger, frustration, mindless shopping, overwork, illness, and resistance, all of which can be explained away as other things (and they sometimes are other things, of course).  Finding the "authentic" me isn't easy, either.  But when you don't listen to it, when you don't express that essential self, it sure finds ways of making itself known, and that usually isn't pleasant.

Futzy, that inner voice.

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