Where We Meet Ourselves

Don’t take the cheese out of the refrigerator until you’re ready to slice it. That’s my deep spiritual insight for the week.

It came about when, you guessed it, I took the cheese out of the refrigerator, thinking I’d do two quick things and then cut up some dairy goodness to take to work the next day. I have no idea what or how many things I did, but by the time I got to the cheese, it had started to wilt.

Every day I create an itinerary for each hour in my head, and every day, it doesn’t go that way. I mean every, single day.

Often around 5 p.m. I think with a tinge of confusion or surprise, wow, that didn’t go as planned. Existence consistently moves along in ways we cannot predict as we trail after saying, huh, I didn’t think it would happen that way, even though it has never once happened the way we envisioned it. It is so difficult to learn that we are not in charge.

Maybe the late Irish poet John O’Donohue was having a cheese moment when he wrote the short poem “Fluent”:

I would love to live
Like a river flows,
Carried by the surprise
Of its own unfolding.

What freedom we’d have if we lived in openness to the surprise and unfolding of ourselves. Instead of trying to stay on a course we charted for reasons that no longer apply, we could inhabit the spaciousness that exists within and around us.

We are already flowing whether we know it or not, and the moment we are flowing through has never existed before and will never exist again. It is incomparably beautiful. It is more full of life than all of our plans. It is where we will meet ourselves and all of creation, cheese or no cheese.

2 thoughts on “Where We Meet Ourselves

  1. Yuppers! So well put.

    I find myself baking cupcakes in the afternoon in my mind when I’m really cooking an egg for breakfast. : ) Over and over and over with variations in the verbs and nouns. Sometime I can remind myself, you are not doing that yet. Wait til you get there. I am cooking an egg. Then I feel like I am not very grown-up because I don’t have a plan. What the hey! Looking at the trees helps a lot.

    Thank you so much for your reflections, and the marvelous way you catch yourself doing things, and for sharing that.

  2. “the moment we are flowing through has never existed before and will never exist again. ”
    That realization alone is an occasion for a bit of awe if only we could keep it in awareness. Thank you for the reminder.
    When my brother was little he would often complain at the end of the day that “I didn’t have any fun today.” Evidently the menu that life presented that day did was not satisfactory. Somehow I don’t think it would have helped if he had read your column. I, on the other hand, would also like to live like a river flows.
    Thanks Rachel!

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