May 16 – Not Needing Approval – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

“There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” Rumi

I have a young friend who speaks of the time when he reads stories with his daughter as a time that needs no confirmation. There is wisdom in his phrase: a time that needs no confirmation. We all need to touch down with the source of life, again and again, in order to brighten enough to continue. Whether we make our way in by playing or listening to music, by meditating, by painting, or loving, or reading stories to our children, or to our friends’s children, or to ourselves – when we close our mind like tired eyes and surrender our hearts like mouths thirsted open, we come upon a common source where nothing need be approved or accepted, where no rejection or criticism need be overcome. The experience itself is all the authority we need.

interestingly, these renewing moments open precisely when we forget about ourselves. Like horses with blinders we can’t quite shake, we sniff out our way until we come upon the deep pools to drink from. And for the moment, we are saved.

In truth, we drink from this great paradox daily: though everyone alive shares this moment we are living right now, no one experiences this moment more directly than you. No one can say what it feels like for you to be alive but you. No one needs permission to be alive, to stay alive, to know the joy of touching your unrepeatable hand to the earth.

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