Cliff and Castle

With so much time alone with my thoughts, something has stuck with me these past few weeks.  It’s a memory of a piece of art that my dad bought that has hung in our house for 20 years. It’s a beautiful, elaborate, eclectic castle that dangles on the side of a cliff.  It’s hand drawn with watercolor– filled with lots of people celebrating, dancing, mingling and laughing.  The party is at night and the castle is full of excitement, curiosity and wonder.  There are interesting costumes and people. Outside the castle is a strip of land surrounding it on three sides before it drops off into endless darkness of a cliff. Not too many guests were outside in the dark.  I remember seeing a few….one woman walking her dog whose leash was pulled tight as she stood away from the cliff and her dog peaked over the dark deep edge.  There were a few younger guests sitting further back from the edge while one was on all fours stretching to sneak a glance over the side.  From the outside view, you’re really just drawn to look inside the lit up castle where the festivities were taking place.  I’ve thought of this picture quite a bit and the similarities to my situation.
Right now I feel like I’m on that edge of that cliff, outside that carefree blissful party that was my old life.  I can look inside through the windows and happily admire how others lives move along.  I’m fully sitting on the edge with my legs dangling into the dark abyss below.  Sometimes they swing back and forth and I might even lean a little more forward to see what I can see… and other times they are still and stiff with fear as my eyes well up. I am walking on the edge of life right now.  I am pushed to a physical place of fear and exhilaration all at the same time.  I am both paralyzed by fear, and motivated by truth on this razors edge.  I am touched by sadness of letting my old life go inside the castle.  There are times I’m cheered up when someone comes outside the party to tell me hello, share a quick story, or bring me a plate of food.  What they are saying is ‘I didn’t forget about you – I wanted to check that you didn’t fall off the edge – and now that you’re good, I’m heading back into the party’. Really, I’m out here alone.  To explore the core of who I am….on the side of the cliff…on the edge of life.  I’m on a tightrope of uncertainty, fear, and hope…and I feel fully alive at the same time. Fully awake.  Being pushed out of my comfort zone has been a good thing for me. I’ve learned more about myself in 8 weeks than I ever would have had I not gone though this experience.  If I don’t embrace this opportunity, I will waste it and this hardship needs to be transformed for good.   That’s where the choice of my attitude comes in.  I made a choice early on that I was going to be positive about this.  I’m not going to sugar coat it – this is the hardest physical and mental challenge I have ever encountered…not just for me, but my whole family.  I can’t control that but what I can control is my attitude about it.  Some days I have to fake it, but eventually I get there. Living in gratitude makes everything possible.  After spending so much time alone in bed with my thoughts and aching body, I’ve dug up and unearthed new truths about myself.  I know and trust that my body knows how to heal itself.  Because my thoughts are seeds and become my beliefs which bloom into my reality.  My mind is stronger than my body and will lead it with loving, positive thoughts. I believe my soul will override all by giving me strength to keep going.  All three… body, mind, soul are tied together.  All three depend on each other.
Living on the edge of life is rare.  We avoid standing to close – feeling too much– being too vulnerable – and implementing change in a perfectly controlled life.  But standing on the edge is also exhilarating because it causes you to be fully awake, engaged and present.  It’s where the mystery and magic live.  Two weekends ago I felt good...I enjoyed simple things on a whole new level.  I went for a bike ride and this was such a treat. To feel the sun and wind – have freedom to move quickly with ease – to marvel at what a great invention a bike is. I ate a farmer’s market strawberry and savored the summer taste with my eyes closed.  I laughed a hardy laugh with a friend at exactly the same time in harmony.  These are small but multiply this by every moment in-between…causing every moment to have meaning.  That’s what walking on the edge is like.  Leaning into love not fear.  That’s being awake and living with meaning. 
I was meditating and drifting off and I heard a crystal clear voice that said, “I’ve seen the face of God… and it looks like all of you”.  Your love, kindness, and thoughtfulness has kept me from crumbling and falling over the edge.   It has kept me moving with one foot in front of the other.  It has reminded me to choose a positive attitude even when it’s tough.  Your belief in me has given me courage to believe in myself in those dark moments. I know I’ll come out the other side stronger, more compassionate, and more engaged in a meaningful life…that rests in a castle, on a cliff.

No comments

Post a Comment

© One Way