I call this milestone The End of Seeking Aka The Light at the End of the Tunnel. Read on. And when you're done, click on over to Donna's for the links to read the rest of the entries. I'll be doing the same thing.
What milestones brought you to this moment, this place, this time?
A woman met a man she didn't want to meet.
She liked him. She saw in him a burning light.
From deep within a feeling unbidden
overwhelmed the woman. The feeling
frightened her. How could this be from the
sight of the light in the man she didn't want
to meet? The woman sat still. A memory of a
far off place came to her and remembering
the beauty, the awe and the wonder, her fear
left. The man talked on, unaware. His flame
burned bright in the night. - Olivia Herrell
This is from my personal library, and was penned painstakingly one February, years ago. I was early in recovery in AA, stinging from a long weekend in Hilton Head with my wonderful, but alcoholic mother, who'd spent the entire weekend whining about anything and everything in general, but mostly about me in particular.
There was a man in my life, just then, who was a member of Al-Anon, the sister organization to AA. Though I was sober in AA, I had no defense against my mother's drinking, nor against her tongue when she was drinking.
That man introduced me to Al-Anon, where my recovery continued and grew.
It's been almost 19 years since I started down this long road of recovery.
Over that time I have peeled away one layer at a time, doing personal inventories, making amends, clearing up wreckage, learning to say no. Then learning to say yes. I've spent countless hours in AA meetings, Al-Anon, group therapy, individual therapy, motivational seminars, ashrams, self-help books, meditation, walks in nature, journalling, writing, thinking, feeling, being, sleeping, reading, dreaming, changing...one cell, one breath, one heart beat at a time.
I've had good teachers. The best. And, I'm a good student.
But there was always another.
Today, that came to a rather abrupt halt.
I even heard the "eeerrrrrkkkkkkkk!"
It was a peculiar sensation. Rather like being slammed against a concrete wall. The wall at the end.
Now, for all my fellow seekers out there: Have you ever wondered how you'd know when you reached the end of your long search? I don't think I'd ever even pondered the question! Yet, now, here I am, at the end. And knowing it.
"What's at the end?" you ask?
The light that burns bright in the night.
The big surprise? There's really no surprise, at all.
It's what every weary seeker must find.
I don't feel cheated. Not at all.
I do feel deep gratitude. And relief. And not just a little silly.
I bow to my divine, to that burning light within me.
Baba Muktananda advised, "Honor your Self, Worship your Self, Meditate upon your Self. God dwells within you as you."
Tonight, I know, more than ever before, what he meant.
Thank you, to all my teachers. I love and respect and appreciate you, more than you may ever know.
And, thank you to Karen Anderson, Angelic Intuitive, whose loving Spirit helped me to recognize the end.
I will close with this. We all know this story. But...guess what! I found the teacup! :D
Taken from an NPR script:
A seeker has heard the wisest guru in all of India lives atop India's highest mountain, so the seeker tracks over a hill in Delhi until he reaches the fabled mountain. It's incredibly steep, and more than once, he slips and falls. By the time he reaches the top, he's full of cuts and bruises. But there's the guru, sitting cross-legged in front of his cave.~Olivia J, Herrell, September 13, 2009
Oh, wise guru, the seeker says, I have come to ask you what the secret of life is. Ah, yes, the secret of life, the guru says. The secret of life is a teacup. A teacup? I came all the way up here to find the meaning of life and you tell me it's a teacup? The guru shrugs, so maybe it isn't a teacup.
More than anything, I hope this post gives you permission to look around your own life. Eyeball that huge milestone. What was the turning point that got you here? To today. Are you happy with where you are? If not, what would you change?
I changed everything. I sold my worldly goods, left my practice, changed coasts, stepped off the hamster wheel. I will admit that the dismount was less than graceful. I'll even admit that I did a face plant. It took a while for me to regain my sanity and my bearings. But thank God. Because that is what shoved me in to your world. And birthed my novels. So this milestone? It's a big one.
What about yours?
~Olivia J. Herrell
Picture of that rebel (yeah, that would be me) in Oak Canyon Park across the street from my apartment in Oak Park, CA. Even better, my sister (Cheryl) took this picture only a few months before I wrote this particular post. Good memories. :)