Smoldering Hopes in Wintertime

At times, all feels frozen, stuck, or fixed. Looking around, the mind sees only impossible circumstances with impassable obstacles. The pond is ice-still and the trees are bare. Yet a sharp, painful hope continues to stir and disrupt what otherwise would want to become numb and resigned to misery. This feeling arises, this longing for more, this longing for movement and flow, which the mind shuts down saying, “There is nowhere to go. There is no way out. Nothing will ever change.”

Even still, parts of the self are waking up and wanting attention. Old fears and wounds, shame, guilt, passions or hopes stir at some unheard alarm and sit up. The longing returns, to be whole, to be healed, to be free of these burdens and patterns and create a life only dreamt of. What if these awakenings are the gift that will lead to this liberty? What if we could stop waiting for the world to give us what we think we need for freedom? What if we did not need that special person to save us from this situation?

Himalaya Lakes, by Liran Ben Yehuda

We need a daring that defies the logic of stuckness, the logic that narrows the gaze and keeps  focused on what has failed, what has not succeeded, what doors are shut. The stirring inside is the fire that could fuel a kind of faith in the life desired, a feeling of being that we crave. Perhaps at this time this faith is only an idea, an image, a wish that is scary to name. If we are not willing to name this for ourselves, the world has nothing to offer us. We do not have to know the entire wish, the full intention. Perhaps all that is available is this spark of desire and a glimpse of what step to take next.

The mind says this feeling will only appear when we get a new job, a new lover, a new haircut, more money—all things that could be useful supports but cannot create within the feeling desired. These wishes for outer changes are a way of avoiding the truths arising within the self. We need to learn to make room for this discomfort and discord.

Within us is a yearning that defies the reasoning of the mind, though it needs the mind’s reason as an ally. It needs the mind’s capacity to adapt, to loosen its attachment to how an outcome will occur. The image of the dream will never be the reality, and the mind cannot accurately know what will happen with every step, but the mind can anticipate, can research, can plan, can prepare. All of this can be done in service to the yearning to dare, the willingness to stalk across the frozen lake, to stand beyond the stuckness and begin calling in a new kind of joy, a new kind of blessing.

Breathe in space for the self, making room for all the disagreements and doubts and hopes, and allow them to speak. Breathe in a new openness, a willingness to make new possibilities. Imagine the quality of life you would like to live and, today, face each situation as though you already possessed that quality.