Sustenance: A Participation Essay

One by one the seeds of a false self die, each falling into the blessed soil of Trueness and sprouting forth into Universal Reality. Much of what comprises the false self (or ego, if you prefer) is from what we have experienced, and what we have experienced, in truth, serves valid purpose, if we but allow it to be so. If any part of this experienced self becomes bad, it is probably when the time to let go of some particular event or situation is past and one finds himself/herself holding on.

Life is full of crosses to bear, junctures of this and that; what once seemingly worked meeting the call of a new direction – one we most likely resist, at least at first introduction. For me personally, I find myself at a juncture of sorts, at the crossroads of love and presence. It’s a place where I’m being asked to consent to true compassion. What does this mean? What does this look like? Interestingly, it’s a compassion that begins with self.

I’m no youngster, and I am still learning daily about letting go. More and more I’m understanding that the reality of possibility can only become truth when I let go of each dead seed of the falseness that no longer serves the true self; allowing each seed to now draw from the richness of Trueness.

Holding Tender all that is Past
After completing the essay preceding this one, I sat for a bit to see if I might receive some vibe as to what should follow. For some reason sustenance was what came to me. As I began to write I found myself asking if this was about sustaining Trueness. Yes? No? Or just maybe? Yes, and not only about sustaining Trueness, but so much more: the last many months being very challenging to both my strength and my stamina as a physical, emotional, spiritual being. It has been difficult balancing energy required internally and externally during the transitions of the last few years.

As I worked on the introductory paragraphs to this essay, I sat in an old house where a friend named Cindy grew up, now a coffee shop. Looking out the shop window, I was vividly reminded that right in my view was the very small complex where BJ and I had our first apartment. I loved this little place, and I still love it. It seems almost unchanged in all these years, albeit very well maintained. Such a memory is somehow very sustaining, fact and feeling working together for the good of my spiritual strength and stamina.

BJ and I have been partners in everything we’ve been through. It is as important as ever that we continue this commitment to partnership and Trueness. It is also important to reestablish a sense of community for our individual selves and our part in serving the collective whole.

“Indeed, we cannot be truly ourselves in any adequate manner without all our companion beings throughout the Earth.” –Thomas Berry

A recent commitment has allowed me to work with some very pleasant individuals. One of them is a 25 year old man, husband, father of two boys and a girl on the way. Near the end of one particular workday, he and I were standing and talking together. He was sharing with me about his work schedule and how little time he felt he had with his beautiful wife and children. I listened, and then I shared the following: It all goes by very, very fast. Do the best you can to slow it all down by simply being as present as you can. If he can succeed even a little bit with such presence he will have very little to regret. He will be able to hold the past tenderly because he held as best he could the many opportunities of love and presence with conscious tenderness.

Allow me to reflect on what Trueness is:

Who one is since the beginning is already present, with colors and hues on an original palette, simply waiting to be stroked into present being by the dance and dialogue of artist and canvas.

Sustaining
In his intriguing book, Thank God for Evolution, Michael Dowd speaks about day language and night language. I realized how this seemed to equate to what I’ve long referred to in my writings as external and internal (day language/night language); or, the necessary balance of tangible and intangible.

In the soil of Trueness, the self finds the nourishing balance needed beyond the basics of survival and safety. One can truly know the why of all contemplation and each conscious action. For me personally, Trueness is what was given from the beginning. Trueness also must include all that has been a part of my evolution to this point. Nothing is lost. Everything is used.

“This way of perceiving is transformational and empowering. ‘The Universe can be trusted’ is a very useful belief. When I act as if all things work together for the good of those who love Reality and are called to serve a higher purpose, I love my life! What more could I want?” –Michael Dowd

Beyond the basics of survival and safety, what sustains you? For me, I know it’s Purpose; it always has been. Even way back when, after my first year out of the university, I was recruited into life insurance sales where I leveraged my propensity to study, combined what I learned with my desire to ‘sell purposefully’ to those who would become clients, and became the rookie of the year in that company’s territory. The why behind this drive of Purpose is the strength of my voice, Encouragement. To encourage  another is the one thing I cannot help but do when my voice is in flow. As I composed this essay I realized that the glue holding together purpose and strength is, for me, compassion.

I still hold a definition for contemplation I expressed in my book, Participation: It is compassion for oneself, and all, as one. My mom was a deeply compassionate spirit. She taught me early on how to have compassion for others. Moving back to my hometown after all these years, I am reminded of some of these relationships as a youngster. One in particular lived on a street I drive down quite often as I take a short cut to our house. Andy was a bit different than the normal young boy at the time. We were friends. I don’t remember a lot about what we used to do when we played together, but I do remember something after we entered high school and were both in the band. As freshmen, we were picked on by the older members. And because Andy was not like the rest, he was picked on by fellow freshmen. While I never succumbed to high school peer pressure with drugs, alcohol, or such, I sadly joined the picking on of Andy. I wish I could see him and apologize. With today’s technology and tools, maybe I can track him down and do just that. This possibility reminds me of the life-giving flow of: Forgive Everything; Everything Belongs; See the Unfolding. In the meantime, I will keep taking the short cut home down Andy’s old street and trust he has had a good life.

So, as I’ve worked through this essay on sustenance, I’ve given some practical and meaningful definition to what sustains me beyond the basics. It is super encouraging to me, at this time, to know that compassion has shown itself in the work I’ve made purposeful and in my presence with each individual with whom I’ve been blessed to work, and encourage. I suppose that Trueness has been at work for some time.

Again, Trueness: Who one is since the beginning is already present, with colors and hues on an original palette, simply waiting to be stroked into present being by the dance and dialogue of artist and canvas.

If this is indeed Trueness (night language), then how is it sustained practically and plainly (day language)?

Evolving; Moving Forward
At the time of this writing, we are only four months into this geographical transition back home. For reasons I’ll not go into here, the flow of business didn’t seem to make the transition with us; at least not very well. So I needed to make a decision: keep chasing transactions or step back for a time. I decided to step back. Based on where I am in life, and work, I dedicated the next six months to contemplating the work and what it is now asking of me.

Thankful I am to be reminded of not only how important Purpose is to me in my Trueness, but how it has practically worked for all my adult life. Don’t get me wrong, there were times of straying, conforming to the particular machine of the moment. I was never successful in truth during such times. The practicality of Purpose pulled me back, giving me ample opportunity to encourage others, furthering the realness of compassion.

So yes, I’ve set aside both time and energy for contemplating where I am now, who I am in this work, and who I yet want to be in doing what it is that I do. One of the realities of the work I’ve done thus far is that I will not in this lifetime know the consequent influence and/or impact my work has had on each individual. I’ve come to be at peace with this reality.

“I am now a sower of life I will not see with these eyes. And I am committing to creating a community of sowers who can let go and let our work and intentions and someday impact be received by all that is.” –Dan Roller

As I contemplate where now I am, what this work now asks of me, I must bring into the process the trust and faith of the sower, whose actions are energized by Trueness, my unique art.

Trust the Mystery

The mystery of impact,
a paradox hard to hold,
being who I am
doing what I do,
to what end?

The answer held truly
by the one, herself
by the one, himself
read aloud in their own lives.

In the theater of my life,
I stand somewhere between
the second and final acts,
scenes replaying and lovingly teaching.

Youth now walks behind me,
but deserted me it has not.
Its diligence dutiful and due,
its design served adequately.

From the words of life & living,
a manuscript evolving,
my impact unfolding in the chapters,
written by others
finally by me being read.

And read I do
often and openly.
no longer hiding,
impact embracing,
the mystery holding,
the mystery holding me.

Notes:

Berry, Thomas. Evening Thoughts: Reflecting on Earth as Sacred Community. San Francisco: Sierra Club, 2006. (p. 33)

Dowd, Michael. Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World. New York: Plume, 2009. (p. 58)

Roller, Dan. What I Choose to See Blog: Sower – June 24, 2019