And he saw magnificent perfection
Upon this he saw
And with his eye of compassion
Then he was answered
Sunday morning while lazily enjoying the comfort of my bed, the window open to a fresh spring morning, the words of a song from my youth floated out from the radio by the side of the bed. As I listened to the words while a soft melody played behind, I was brought to that moment where I began to understand what my journey - our journey - is all about.
I began life in the 1950's. My coming of age carried me through the late 60's and early 70's. To say I lived history is so amazing and such an honor.
To be a child in the 50's was to feel safe. To grow up in a neighborhood where childhood fantasies were lived daily in the neighbor's tree house or the jungle gym in the playground three blocks away. Families knowing families. There was nothing you did that your parents did not find out about from someone's Mother or Father.
And then the 60's brought so many changes. I came of age during the latter part of this decade into the early 70's. The quiet neighborhood play turned to high school, then college. Women's rights. Vietnam. Human Rights. A world full of possibilities awaited.
Balance, to be in balance and one with the world. This was my journey in life.
Through the years that followed the balance grew difficult. Work became consuming. My marriage was less than the dream I held of it. The neighborhood fantasies were replaced with a reality that was less colorful. So many times I fell, wanting to stay in balance, yet.
As I lay in bed, feeling the threads of my youth I felt the way of balance as never before. It is so simple.
Maybe it is the years of living, and learning there are many ways to travel and all with the same compass.
And it elates and saddens me for it is so easy.
So in the cozy comfort of my Sunday morning bed I was brought to when I first knew balance and smiled.
The poem is by Graeme Edge and Ray Thomas of the Moody Blues album, "A Question of Balance."
It is again Spring. The daffodils along Rt. 6A will once more be in bloom. With Easter so early this year, the stores are displaying forced daffodil plants enticing us with thoughts of green and yellow. Cape Cod is a feeling that reemerges this time of year from deep beneath the sands of our beaches. No exercise of effort is necessary to bring it out, simply being with its natural process, its flow, one experiences all the Cape has to offer, its dunes, its beach plums, its pink sunsets. From this thought I have faint whisperings of want to share the efforts of forcing something verse the ease of allowing something. Where to go with it?
We are driven to grow up, succeed, have. Leaving us to believe forcing ourselves in all these things somehow is the way to being real. I ponder the phenomenon called Facebook that pushes us to connect with friends, such that it becomes a contest of the number of friends one has, the development of friendships lost in the push. Examples continue to flow, while the essence of this subject of genuine verse superficial continued to elude me. What is wanting to be said - Not Forced?
I read when flowers are forced to bloom early; it is difficult to get them to bloom again. Is it possible that being forced before your time to blossom, be real, may have you beautiful in the moment without an ability to sustain the image? Like a daffodil, does your true Self appears and lives in the light of this life, moment by moment, year in, year out when flowing naturally? Forcing your uniqueness, may have you shining briefly, only to fade, for it was too strenuous to sustain. The forced daffodil bulbs of Easter look wonderful and are gone too quickly after the excitement of the day passes.
Rather than the authentic verse the artificial, maybe what is truly meant by the title “Real Not Forced,” is waiting for the genuine that is you to make itself known to the world. Forcing to be who you think you are is more work, and sometimes inappropriate work, for the exploration of your Self.
We live in a world of instant and infinite connectivity. Daily we are bombarded to be authentic. We are led to believe when we are, we will be noticed. We will stand out in this instant infinite a somebody. There are self help courses in making your Facebook page original to have you noticed above all the rest. So you quickly buy what they are selling to have your page bloom, yet still you have less than 500 friends, and are spending four plus hours per day keeping up.
There are ads upon ads demonstrating that being an ideal weight and wearing designer clothing, demonstrates how natural and healthy you are. The effort to sustain this image eliminates everything from your living that truly is you, including the fuzzy slippers and 3-Cheese pizza. It is grueling. It is tiring. It is expensive. And most of all, there is always something lurking in the shadows that can take it away.
Feel, Flow . . .
How do you find your authenticity in the bombardment of all that tells you what is “real?”
Feel, simply feel. Allowing yourself to feel your realness, being aware of when what you are doing flows, sensing what feeds your spirit awakens the uniqueness that is you. Is it listening to music? Wearing hats? Playing the ukulele? Sitting quiet with the falling rain? Going out to “find yourself,” force the music, the hats, the ukulele, will forever be a strain because it does not come from deep inside. The real you sits waiting for the pushing to cease. What is you, simply wants to be its Self and accepted by you. It simply is, and when cultivated, nurtured to grow naturally, you will be all that it is.
The daffodils of Rt. 6A are just starting to push their way through the ground. Their green sprouts hinting to us the impending yellow riot. With it we will have weeks of their lovely yellows. They will burst onto the scene that one sunny, warm day to parade before us all the true beauty that is a daffodil. When they fade, followed by the blooms of the tulips, it will not be for being forced because their realness appeared in their appropriate time, unhurried. They can sustain their beauty and recede into the background, enabling other flowers to shine, confident for their realness that they will bloom again next year.
Being real will have its moments, if allowed to develop within you naturally, in your appropriate time. While circumstances may make you feel faded, and recede you into some background, the realness will still be there within you going through a natural process of blooming and hibernating. You need only acknowledge your Self, your real nature, and the world around you will take you into the natural flow of living. There is a time to shine and a time to remain dormant. It is in this quiet cycle your real self grows strong sustaining you through your next rebirth when again you will bloom as the daffodils of RT 6A do every year.