“When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky” ~ Buddha
My favourite quote of all time. Its relevance is always fresh and profound.
Many might think epiphanies occur during or after meditation; a golden moment that magically appears after intense spiritual work. I can attest to the fact that epiphanies occur at any given moment no matter where you are, no matter what you are doing.
Today it occurred on the way home from the grocery store. I was trudging along, heavy bags in each hand, in heat and cloying humidity. Hardly the stage one would expect for a miracle.
As I walked I was pondering where I was in my life at this point, how deflated I felt at the thought I should be much further along than I am. In my human frailty I reviewed each experience that I perceived to have held me back and a loathing set in. Not a deep, dark paralyzing loathing. It was more a familiar tugging back to a place I had no desire to go but found myself anyway. A place and a time where I more valued another’s perception of me rather than what I knew about me. A place where I felt total betrayal, where I was diminished, de-valued and disrespected. Yeah, not a place I want to visit again.
I shifted the heavy bags and felt relief. I found myself walking in the shade which was even more of a relief. “Why do I keep doing this to myself? Why do I consistently go back ‘there’?”
Suddenly, the Council of 12 was with me and a thought shot through me so quickly I almost physically stumbled. “The measure of your despair is in direct alignment with your resistance of the perfection the experience offered.” I have to admit, I almost stopped in my tracks and shook my fist at them. I wryly asked them why it ‘couldn’t’ be someone else’s fault now and then. Silence. I sighed. Yes, I knew why but somehow with the last vestige of my human-ness I felt better asking the question anyway.
In that moment I chose to rise above the limitations of my human-ness and take a look at the situation from a higher vantage point. I have had several ‘acceleration’ points along my path this lifetime. This one of focus was simply another one. It wasn’t the experience that was holding me back. In fact, the experience caused pathways to open and expanded me into more than I thought I was or ever thought I could be. Aha! It wasn’t the experience that was holding me back—it has been me, and my perceptions and beliefs about the experience all along. I took what one person saw me to be and ran with it like damaged goods with a permanent limp. The experience had come and gone but I was defining myself by it. Trying to fly with the weight of it and it wasn’t getting me anywhere.
There was a glimmer of understanding dawning in some deep places within me as I walked along. I could feel the Council of 12 encouraging me to follow this glimmer until it shone so bright it would encompass me. I obliged. Then it hit me. Of course! At that moment of expansion so long ago the doors and pathways opened for sweeping changes to accelerate me to where I always knew I wanted to be. Instead, I hid. I hid the most precious part of me. Sure, I could justify it as protection but in essence it was fear. Fear of not being good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, just ‘not’ enough in general. Suddenly, I could see what had been offered and simultaneously what I had done with that offer. I had been given a precious gift that I never bothered to open, try on, or use. I was too busy protecting and justifying my lack of success.
The whole me has always been around, waiting to be claimed. I saw it as damaged and worthless so I tried to move forward in spite of it. Progress has been mediocre at best. I realize now that what happened was perfect for who I was to become. I just never allowed myself to accept it as I didn’t see it as such. The perfection right here and now is that once the pathway has been created towards who you came here to be it is always accessible, always there, always waiting.
So where does that place me now? Well, firstly, I am finally just a few steps from home but I hasten to add that home and I became reacquainted on the bridge on the last stretch of the trail from the grocery store. I see the perfection of what transpired just for me. How I left it on the sidelines and tried to live fully without it. Now, the gift is open. It has been accepted. I have allowed it into being—into my being. It almost makes me giggle how I left for the grocery store as who I thought I was and returned empowered having fully stepped into myself.
Perfection is divinity in motion. You might find yourself out of the flow for a time, even years, but when you are ready it will be there. Just trust you will find your moment.
There is another quote that has always been a favourite of mine. “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” I was finally ‘ready’ and the teacher (in this case the epiphany) appeared. How perfect is that!
In this moment I AM who I came here to be. How glorious. How magnificent. How perfect.
…..and for the first time in a long, long time, I am tilting my head upward and laughing at the sky.
~ Ara Parisien