September 25 – To Hunt or Hide – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

“If to hunt or hide is twin-edged madness, then faith’s the courage to risk and receive. I close my eyes and am impaled by light….” Robert Mason

We spend so much of our time on Earth running after or running from. In our want of love, we chase after someone or set ourselves up as bait. In our dreams of success, we hunt after goals and hide from what we or others perceive as failure. And none of it—none of the strategizing to land a job or the hiding in order to prevent being hurt—can reward us with peace or protect us from life.

I wasted so many hours not just in trying to get published, but in hunting for the right publisher that would make me feel worthy in the eyes of others. None of that effort, even when successful, brought me any closer to the pulse of life that writing uncovered for me in the first place.

We often fantasize in secret, imagining that life is better elsewhere if we could just get there. We often work harder in our dreams than in our life. We tend to do this with our want for a more satisfying relationship. We imagine that somewhere outside of the life we are living there waits a man or woman who will alleviate all our pain and all our numbness.

So we hide our dissatisfaction with the life we’ve created and secretly hunt for an imagined cure  for what it means to be who we are.

As Robert Mason so wisely infers, our recourse to complacency and unhappiness is not to hunt for bigger game or to hide our deepest hurts. Nor is it to move our inner furniture to another town or bedroom. Our greatest chance to change our life is to close our habits of mind and to open our ever-virgin hearts.

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