February 19 – Instead of Breaking – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

The glassblower knows: while in the heart of beginning, any shape is possible. Once hardened, the only way to change is to break.

With the precise tools of modern medicine, unborn children who are malforming or experiencing obstructions can now be operated on in utero. Profoundly, these state of the art techniques reveal a deep timeless truth about growth and healing. For just as amazing as the fact of these operations, is the fact that these surgeries leave no scars once the infant is born.

What this tells us is that if we tend to things at the deepest level, our repair will be such a part of who we are that there will be no scar.  It is easier to bend underneath the surface, in the deep timeless fluid of the beginning, than to break once fully grown.

But it is too late for me, you might say, I am already fully grown. Not so, for in the world of our inwardness, we are always growing and are blessed to carry that fluid beginning within us. It is never really out of reach.

We can return and begin again by facing ourselves. In this way, we can go below our hardened ways to the soft impulses that birth them.  Instead of breaking the bone of our stubbornness, we can nourish the marrow of our feeling unheard. Instead of breaking the bone of our fear, we can cleanse the blood of our feeling unsafe. Instead of counting the scars from being hurt in the world, we can find and re-kiss the very spot in our soul where we began to withhold our trust.

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