Good morning, dear friends,
It’s about 4:30 AM as I begin this morning’s Journal. I’ve been awake since a little after midnight, the interlude between then and now a surprisingly relaxed time where I felt cradled somehow, enveloped in what my mind at the time kept insisting were the arms of God. My imagination at work again, no doubt, but it did allow me to experience a deep rest while at the same time writing in my head the complete text for today’s post. I don’t get it. I can’t explain it. I’m just trying to record accurately what I’m sensing at the moment and only too happy, in my puzzlement, to share it.
As I’ve mentioned recently, I’ve been editing most all of my housemate’s daily posts to her membership, her “Tribe” she calls them, which often contain valuable insights about the interior life we are geared to live. Occasionally, she provides a valuable exercise to help us on our spiritual journey, a mantra to repeat during the day, maybe or in yesterday’s post, a challenge. At least it was to me. “Write a love letter to yourself”, she said, and then proceeded to write her.own which was beautifully done. Could I do such a thing? I wasn’t sure. Coming out of my background – a lifetime of avoiding self – it created serious discomfort within me but by working with the notion over the last 24 hours, and last night, I concluded that I could and did, as I say, on my mental slate.
Within the mystical tradition it’s often mentioned that the material is a gateway to the spiritual so I’ll start with that by stripping down and standing naked before a full-length mirror. What do I see? an older man, his hair gray and thinning. I hadn’t noticed until recently that my ears were not set against my head evenly, one slightly higher than the other. My stomach, I saw, was relatively flat but with a thickened waist. Most noticeable was the scoliosis that had set in, one hip much higher than the other, distorting my posture. The only way to stand erect is to stand on my longer right leg while on tiptoe with my left. My testicles appear normal, not suffering from disuse. My legs are much thinner, the calf muscles have disappeared, no matter the amount of running and walking. Turning my body 180 degrees reveals that my “glutes” have disappeared as well. I remember seeing a photograph once of my biological father stepping off the gangplank at the end of a cruise and thinking, “I never want to look like that”. And here I am, looking just like him and most older men, thick-waisted and flat-assed. The changes to my skin are something to behold. my upper legs and arms like parchment, the lack of collagen slacking my chest muscles, the surface otherwise rough with dry spots and brown spots and other, more questionable, growths.
Can I possibly love what I see? Yes, indeed. The reason is so simple it even astounds me to say it. When I look in the mirror I’m seeing my body, accepting it for what it is, my aging home, something to be nourished and cared for, but, at the same time, acknowledging that its not me. I am not my body. Moreover, there’s an “inverse process” going on. As my body gets older, my spirit gets younger. At least that’s what is happening to me. I’m feeling younger as I get older, a direct result of making the choice, with my muse’s invaluable help, to do something to overcome the old ways of thinking and acting, to look at everything in a new light, including my view of myself, replacing my negative thoughts with positive ones, and in the process, discovering the presence of God within. So here it is, my love letter to myself: “Dear Bob, there’s not the slightest hesitation in my saying how much I love you and how much I care what you think and feel. I’m grateful that you chose the path of unconditional love and that the chance meeting with Kornelia occurred when it did, allowing her, as your muse, to inspire you to think and act in new and creative ways. I put my arm around your shoulders now and walk the path with you into tomorrow, proud and happy to be your friend.”