The great Zen teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, wrote, “To love without knowing how to love, wounds the person we love.”
A Word of Hope
Writer and poet, David Whyte has this to say:
“One of the difficulties of leaving a relationship is not so much, at the end, leaving the person themselves — because, by that time, you’re ready to go; what’s difficult is leaving the dreams that you shared together. And you know that somehow — no matter who you meet in your life in the future, and no matter what species of happiness you would share with them — you will never, ever share those particular dreams again, with that particular tonality and coloration. And so there’s a lovely and powerful form of grief there that is the ultimate of giving away but making space for another form of reimagining.”
Among the many things Whyte says, what speaks to me are two words: “making space.” It’s a wonderful metaphor and literally what I had to do recently in paring down an accumulation of collections that happened in the last 30+ years of our TV puppet productions, art businesses, and every day life itself.
But in the case of business accumulations, those would be things that we thought we would repurpose down the road, or those once happy things that hold special memories. For us, the puppets we made are in a slightly different category; to sell them is almost like giving up a child; so much investment of time along with the hard work and hours that went into making them. So, we began cleaning our studio and storage space of everything else, since we had finally reached the end of having enough space.
While we continue to throw out the useless things, I’m finding myself realizing a strange parallel. After a long-term relationship had ended, I knew for the first time I didn’t want to create the same mistakes again and wind up with the same baggage as these accumulations stacked up for 20+ years. Whether in my head or my garage, it is time to start over, only not to repeat it all over again. It was going to take a deliberate effort to create new brain real estate; not just to allow, but also to invite the new life that’s waiting.
With my business partner, we cleared spaces that were filled with cobwebs and rotten cardboard and decay. Some things that were once precious and new had literally become compost. It was a cleansing that not only emptied the physical space. It began to create new mind space I mentioned earlier, allowing for inspiration and creativity of the new adventure that has already begun.
Perhaps this is the foundation of what he meant when Jesus said in John 14. 1, 2 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me. In the Creator’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”
“…I go to prepare a place?” At a time in my life, his words were strange and made for a good mystery. What in the world was he talking about; maybe the afterlife, or Heaven? Were these meant to be abstract words of comfort?
Throughout the years I have begun to think perhaps it was simply ‘out with the old; in with the new;’ exchanging old theology for new. What are some of those cluttered spaces of outdated teachings in your mind you need to clear to make room for the next big adventure? I invite you to ponder Jesus’ message. No doubt we can all conclude for ourselves what it means for each of us. What does it mean to you?
Creator God, Jesus spent his whole ministry preparing a place for his followers. May we diligently remove the clutter from both our surroundings and out minds in order to prepare a place within ourselves for Jesus.
Order of St Francis and St. Clare