This month’s blog is dedicated to Colleen Collins, a former student who recently passed. Her passing was sudden and without much ado. Colleen was not the easiest personality to get along with, honestly, which personality is? We all struggle with our own idiosyncrasies.
Colleen inspired me. She wanted her journey to be sacred, and was aware of her shortcomings, reminding me that even when we are aware, it is nevertheless hard to manage and navigate. Frankly, it’s a daily struggle.
She didn’t give up, but she was learning to let go. Letting go is the hardest part of the journey. I am going to use her inspiration to practice letting go this year. I am letting go of things, thoughts and habits that no longer serve my life’s goal: to be my best self (notice I didn’t say ‘perfect self’). This year, I want to let go, embrace my humanity, and grow spiritually. In order to give the world the best of ourselves, we must first learn to let go.
Back in 2013, Colleen gave me this poem (below) She Let Go. It is no coincidence I saved it in my journal, to share with you today. Thank you Colleen for your inspiration. May the sun and the moon shine with you, forevermore.
She Let Go
She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go. She let go of the fear. She let go of the judgments. Let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head. She let go of the committee of indecision within her. She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.
Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go. She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a book on it. She didn’t search the scriptures. She just let go. She let go of all the memories that held her back. She let go of all the anxiety that kept her from moving forward. She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go. She didn’t journal about it. She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer. She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. She didn’t check the weather report or read the daily horoscope.
She didn’t analyze whether she should let go. She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter. She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment. She didn’t call the prayer line. She didn’t utter a word. She just let go.
No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or congratulations. No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing. There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. It was what it was and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be. A small smile came over her face. A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.
The Essence of Giving
Giving is not an unusual topic this time of year. Every single advertisement is about giving, as we all work on our gift lists, scurrying around to find the right gifts. However, the real giving has little to do with buying gifts. As I delve deeper into the spiritual aspect of my life, I realize that giving is a profound state of being.
We are in a constant state of giving. We give to our family, our friends, our work, our neighbors, our community and our country. The most important thing we give comes from our Self. We give our love, our attention, our compassion, our kindness, our time, our listening, our understanding, our help, our commitment and our labor. We give without being asked or feeling obliged. There is no special holiday that deserves these gifts, there is no hubbub or big celebrations.
It’s the time you took to create the meal for your family, the time you took to listen to someone who was needed to be heard. It is the time you pitched in to help clean up the local pond or work at the food pantry. It is the time you drove your friend to her doctor’s appointment or the time you gave someone a big hug. It is the time you called your friend just to see how they were doing, and the time you cared for your sick spouse. This is the essence of giving.
Giving are all of those actions that comes from your heart, even the seemingly insignificant ones. The main principle in true giving is that you expect nothing in return. NOTHING. It is not “well I did this for her so…..” or “I let him use my stuff so…” or “how can she after I did…” True giving expects nothing in return…ever. It is not a tit for tat, there is no running tab or score keeping. True giving is altruistic. True giving is selfless, whether you get credit or you are thanked, or get anything in return. True giving is a spiritual path. It is the path of knowing you are serving a greater purpose. You are serving life itself.
This holiday season give from the heart, put love into all of the things you do, without expectations. Do it because it helps preserve the sanctity of life. It helps make the world a better place and it costs nothing.
Namaste, <3 Grace*