February 24 – Behind the Urgency – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

When feeling urgent, you must slow down. 

I learned this, over and over, during the many crises of cancer. Unless someone is bleeding or can’t breathe, unless there is some true physical requirement to act swiftly, a sense of urgency is a terrible illusion, a trick that happens, again and again, because life inside our skin and outside our skin are forever different.

It is as hard as it is humbling. When feeling like I can’t sit still, I need, more than ever, to sit still.  When feeling like I will die if I don’t have your approval, I need, more than ever, to die in my need for your approval. What we need is always harshly and beautifully right before us, disguised in the wrapping of our nearest urgency. We just refuse to accept his, because it feels so difficult to face.

The doorway to our next step of growth is always behind the urgency of now. Now more than ever, when all feels urgent, you must cut the strings to all events. Now more than ever, when the weights you carry seem tied to your wrists, you must no run or flail.  Now more than ever, when each decision feels like an end, you must believe that each question is a beginning.  Now more than ever, when you fear that being who you are is a knife to those you love, you must be strong inside where no one has seen you, for loving from there, can only make those you love grow.  Now more than ever, when feeling that you are the source and recipient of all pain, you must bow your head until the ancient channel from sky to heart can reopen, until you remember that you are a blessed piece of spirit dust in spirit wind. Now more than ever, you must breathe until your ounce of breath becomes the sky, again and again.

In this way, pray to know your place in the human family like you’ve never known it.  In this way, pray to have your True Self inch through your turmoil.  In this way, love yourself the way you love the emptiness of time. Love yourself the way you love your children or your dog or your dearest friend, without reservation.  In this way, today with all its hardships will spill into tomorrow, and decisions will become as clear as streams thawing.

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