A Week With Myself

by Cynthia Johnson on April 23, 2013

Last Monday afternoon began a difficult week. I was taking a break to eat, turned on the television, needless to say, I found myself watching what was unfolding in Boston. Being on a bit of a time constraint as usual, I continued to try to eat, and I remember thinking…this is making me sick. I don’t know whether I was talking about the food, or the mayhem flickering across the screen in front of me. I watched until I realized, there was nothing else to report, I closed my eyes, said some prayers and continued to get ready for the meditation group.

Sometime during the meditation, I began to feel worse, asked for some healing to get me through the meditation or a sign to stop. I made it through. Shortly after everyone left, I became more ill than I remember being in a very long time. I spent the rest of the week in bed alone with two cats, my thoughts and a remote control. Drifting between sleep, movies and the sound of my backyard intermittingly flowing through the open windows, I felt myself slip into a very quiet space, and continued settling deeper into myself. I became quiet, still. I remember thinking how nice it was to be so comfortable again. How much I liked my bed. How nice fresh bed linens feel. How lovely the trickling water from my pond and the birds happily bathing and singing sounded. I had no agenda, just to become well and be. Like most of you, I am too busy most days. Even when we are doing what we are here to do, and love, we still need time with ourselves. Time with our thoughts. Time to notice the life that is happening around us, that isn’t us. It doesn’t stop. The irony is, we must stop once in a while or we will miss it.

Friday night, I had just finished watching a movie and decided to see what was happening in Boston. I found myself oddly taken back by the reaction of the people in the streets of Watertown cheering. I don’t mean to offend anyone, but you have to ask yourself, what part of this tragedy warranted a celebration? Perhaps it was just a release, but it struck a sour chord somewhere within me. I wondered where is our compassion for all of the victims? Have we become so alienated and segregated and full of fear, that we no longer harbor any thoughts outside of our own and consideration for what others feel? So many broken hearts including the families of the suspected bombers. I watched earlier in the day as the news media twisted the words of the uncle of the two suspects, and watched as he struggled to defend who he was, why he was here, and what he believed in.

How ironic when the public automatically begins to suspect a person because of their accent, the spelling of their name, the color of their skin or country of origin and then you hear one speaking of this country with a tightening in his throat, and you realize his patriotism is stronger and more sincere then most Americans, who only ask for more from their country. It begins to make an American such as myself feel inspired to remember how lucky I am. Don’t just be patriotic, be a patriot. Defend yourself and your country. Stay alert. Look around. Take some responsibility for yourself, start by being aware. Be awake in your life. So many flee their own country to ours, grateful for the opportunities she opens to so many. We are so blessed and fortunate to live where we live, and we have many to be thankful to. Where I can write what I feel in my heart, and you can agree with me, or disagree with me. Even oppose me. But I can still speak, and so can you.

We live in a world ruled by free will. We cannot truly be free without this natural and universal law. It is universal. We have the right to make our own choices, good, or bad. Even evil. But we are not free from consequence. No one is. It is too difficult and too complicated to begin to understand why events in each of our own lives occur as they do. How, could we possibly know why they are occurring in anyone else’s, or everyone else’s? Why do we ask with the immature emotion of a child, why did they not keep everyone safe? Because they can’t, not to the degree we expect. There is no complete security here. There is freedom, and, there is no such thing as partial freedom.

The only security we truly have is the security in our own truth and our own inner knowing. To be a parent and know you raised your child the best way you could, with all the love you had and then have to deal with the shame these parents must now deal with, is the only peace they can possibly find in the midst of public ridicule.

There is security in knowing when you finish a day, you did all you could to make it a good day, and be done with it. We are secure in knowing, even if locked up, we can still have inner peace. Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison for what he knew to be true. I am sure he was secure in that knowing. He realized as so many others before and after him, if we are not all free, then no one is truly free. He gave up his freedom so that others might be free. We all can’t be Nelson Mandelas, but we can aspire to be a little kinder, a little gentler, somewhere, to someone. We need more than a moment of silence, we need to put down our cell phones, close our computers up and step outside of the vacuum we all seemed to be sucked into, there is more. Look at the world that is happening around you. It’s still there, be thankful you are too.

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