Endings That I Love

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Course Ideas / Reflections

The endings I love most are the ones where appearance is turned inside out by the fall of this one little domino—think Sixth Sense, or Interstellar, or another personal favorite, The Thomas Crown Affair. (Or what actually set me off on this post, which was the final episode of the Showtime series Homeland.) When that last piece falls, the meaning of everything that came before it is transformed. I particularly like when this reveals an outcome far better than we would have previously imagined possible. We see then how the seeds of this beautiful realization had been there all along, in all the strife and doubt and muck and grime and whatever else it was that had to be endured. It all becomes worth it in light of this final revelation.

I think our lives are like this. No matter our path, the territory we’re exploring is that of grace. And what’s amazing about grace is that it shifts beneath our feet and we never know it. We’re wobbly, heavy of heart, uncertain… or disciplined, rehearsed, confident—and either way, grace responds unerringly with the moments and circumstances we need the most. Grace ensures the path is perpetually arriving at the time and place of our renewal, at the moment of our heart’s recovery.

I read a beautiful line recently that Jesus gave to Mari Perron. He said, “Trust your mind completely. Not a little bit. Not in certain situations. But completely. This is the only way certainty will come to you.” (When Jesus says mind he’s talking about the heart and mind together, the unified mind we share that is distilled uniquely into each one of us—not merely the analytical or conceptual part of ourselves.) I thought this was really profound. It’s the idea we can depend on what we’ve been given. Even if we’ll never know everything, we always know enough.

Those endings I love are the moment when we realize this is so, and always was. In that sense they’re not endings at all, they’re beginnings. That’s what’s so great about them! The entire journey that brings us to this point, where we finally discover that we can trust, is recast as prelude. And then we face the real choice: to explore what this new knowing makes possible, or to set it aside and restart the cycle once more. If we take the discovery to heart, what lies beyond is not some new debacle through which grace clears a path once again to our beginning, but the full-hearted expression of who we are. Which is everything.

It’s easy to look at all the challenges facing our societies and the planet in general and wonder just how in the heck we could possibly turn things around. We’re wondering this pretty intently these days, but the truth is we can’t. The primary misconception is that we, who occupy these various circumstances, are uniquely qualified to undo them. On our own, I mean, in the seeming separateness that obtains when trust is absent. From that vantage, we think we’ve got to do the right thing, muster the right response, make all those difficult choices and turn this leviathan beast of our own momentum in some new direction. We think we’ve got to somehow be other than we truly are.

The paradox is that it does depend on us, of course. Just not in the way we think. The transformation we seek comes not of “making” it ourselves, in a vacuum, through our own disparate devices, but of recognizing that all Life is in movement together. We don’t need to be the heroes of some mythical, epic battle against our lesser natures, but authentic participants in the beauty unfolding all around us.

To move with trust is to see this. Trust is the perfect fuel for transformation because it enlivens us and laces our every breath with meaning. Without it, we languish and labor, we rely on resources outside of ourselves, we shackle ourselves to ideologies and to great thinkers we admire, and our own voice is lost in the shuffle. We plot, plan, and preempt. And this ultimately pits us one against the other. Trust might seem as if it is the opposite of engaging, of caring, or moving into the throes of things with passion, but it isn’t. It doesn’t mean any of us care less about the elements of Life that have been placed in our care, it simply acknowledges that what is at work here is greater than any one of us can see.

Do we do what is in our hearts to do because of some calculus that confirms, yes… it’s a worthy investment of our time? Or do we do it because we simply can’t do otherwise?

Trust frees us to express and become that which is ours alone to express and become, because we don’t have to understand how doing so will accomplish the outcome we desire. We don’t have to conceptually or intellectually understand how the callings of our heart, the uniqueness of our interests and desires, or the avenues into which we channel the time and energy that are ours to channel, add up to something more. They simply do. The fact that they do—the fact that billions of people don’t need a plan to participate in the ebb and flow of Life, and the creative transformation that is upon us—is what we call grace. Grace simply is. The truth is that each of us is precisely where we need to be. The fact that we can’t understand how this could have happened without us, without our being in charge of the process and formulating some sort of conscious plan to make it happen, just doesn’t matter.

We simply are coordinated.

When we let ourselves be.

When we trust…

When we recognize the ending is only the beginning…

8 Comments

  1. Thank you Micheal for the message of hope and reminder to trust in the bigger picture, not trying to figure life out, but simply playing our part by being ourselves and following the call of heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My pleasure, Brad! Getting the mind to accept the heart’s wisdom can be a challenge sometimes, but I think that action is what we call trust! I believe it can take us to some good places…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the idea of grace…always a wooly read for me Michael along with so much to think about especially these days 🤓 happy weekending smiles and joy your way hedy 🌷💫

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Hedy! Yes, grace is an ever-shifting tapestry and miracles are the loops of color that reveal the whole pattern… Hope you had a lovely weekend, too. I enjoyed some beautiful afternoons outside with the birds and the yard and the sky…

      Blessings, my friend!
      Michael

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  3. I get this. 💕 I love this.💝thank you Michael. And then I am drawn to ask what about many others who are still stuck in their small fear filled and desperate selves? I so admire people who can breach the gap and open up a broader understanding of life. Shining light and opening up understanding. Thank you for doing this Michael 💛🙏💛

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Val! Loved your enthusiastic reply…

      I’m not entirely sure what you are asking about regarding those “still stuck in their small fear filled and desperate selves?” Is it about how the transformation comes? Or how trust could work for the whole when there are still so many of us unaware of it?

      Regardless, there’s a lot in any of these and other related questions I think. But if it’s still fresh in your memory I’d love to hear more about your question to see what comes in reply…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for your response Michael. I think I was tuning into others who have a different level of understanding and how we can embrace them and perhaps guide them to awakening. Not so much about the process but about we can relate to others.

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        • Hi Val,

          This is something we all grapple with I think, at least until we catch ourselves in the midst of that grappling through mindfulness and release that hold on things again. And then maybe slip into it again. And awaken. And slip. Until we stop. But I think there’s no way to break the cycle without profound trust, because it’s that sensation that all those people who understand the world differently are actually preventing the world from becoming what it could be (for us) that leads to this dilemma. At least for me.

          I began to write about this in my post a bit and then left it out because of the complexity of it… but you’ve pulled it back out of me! Haha. Rationally there’s something that doesn’t compute, right? So, let’s say there are a group of people in some setting who bully others. We could imagine that trusting means we look on this situation and think, “Everything’s actually just fine…” But we know that it’s not fine. And if we walk around in a fire saying it’s quite chilly out, we’re denying something and just not making sense. So that isn’t the type of trust I think is required.

          But maybe we can trust enough to respond to the situation as we truly feel called to respond, without all the baggage of conforming to some image of ourselves, and trust enough to understand the situation is bigger than we realize at the same time. Maybe there are some people involved who absolutely need that experience for their own coming to awareness. And maybe there are others with whom are most natural response will open doors. And maybe there are others who simply wish to keep going and are incensed at our response. But when we trust in the whole, maybe all of that is okay, too. We’re at least able to hold the knowing of who each “other” truly are, because trust allows us to do that. And whatever difficulties may continue to arise on the ground in the face of our most genuine response may not be so bad. I sense a lot of times I don’t like situations that push me to take that risk of responding naturally, or alternately, that are in a sense goading me to discover my misperceptions. Until we do this work, we’ll need those situations at some level. And when we trust we can understand that even in our difficulties what’s transpiring isn’t quite what we’d call “wrong.”

          This is not easy for me. It’s a magical journey into personal authenticity isn’t it!?

          Michael

          Like

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