We are all able to navigate in our world with care and kindness, but when we face difficult times our tendency is to withdraw and retreat, or to strike out, both the result of great inner stress.
The thing is, life even in the midst of chaos shows itself as a choreography, a dance of change that is never still.
Yet within that, we have a still center, a place in our inner self that is always calm. I was once told a story that is a metaphor for this. A pearl lies in the shell of an oyster on the sand at the bottom of the sea. Wild storms come up and roil the ocean’s surface, creating massive waves and turbulence. Anyone in a ship riding those waves must prepare for possible death, for the power of the wind and sea far exceed anything a human being can control. The chaos renders a person helpless—unless they understand the sea itself, unless they recognize their job is not to control it but to remain aware and alert, ready for whatever has to be done, but not afraid of it. Not an easy path or choice.
Only—there is that pearl…far below on the sea floor. Not swept away by the turbulence above, even when touched by it, the pearl continues to form, created over and over in layers by the animal that inhabits the shell, sometimes for years. Like the lilies of the field, the inhabitant of the shell does not question its right to exist, or stop its own creative force. The result, we know, is precious.
Nor can you stop your own creative force and will it to be silent. But you can enter silence as the path into the center stillness. Stay there awhile, a few minutes each day. Not in some formal meditation, but as a suspension of whatever else you are doing or must do.
Give that to yourself.
[Credit: Photowitch | Dreamstime.com]