December 26 – Inside the Wind – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

“Sometimes I go about with pity for myself and all the while Great Winds are carrying me across the sky.” Ojibway Saying

Our crucial task when in pain or despair is not to let the sour feelings spill into everything, so that we stain our sense of the world. Yet we must also take care not to so contain our feelings that they fester and infect our sense of ourselves. Somewhere between these two extremes waits the life of healthy expression, not personalizing everything and not painting the world with our troubles.

Our inner work is often most demanding when we are sad and afraid, for we can so easily be overwhelmed by the power of these emotions that we can start to believe the world less possible or ourselves diminished. Once feeling less than, we stop feeling the truth of what is genuine and start losing touch with the Great Winds of life.

Yet, somehow life has a way of carrying us along whether we are aware of it or not. Just as the stream carries both the hungry fish and the sleeping one down stream, the Great Winds carry both the agitated heart and the peaceful one into tomorrow.

Thus the work of prayer, when we feel least like praying, is neither to inflate or deflate the world or ourselves, but to restore our connection to the powerful currents of life.

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