UNDER A SAINTLY GAZE
Outer conformity can create inner deformity…… when your stated beliefs and cherished ideals fail to manifest in your actions. When there is a lack of congruence between who you think you are and what your habits demonstrate about you. Where is the Authentic You? Are you going to allow another year to pass on by, whilst existing un-joined-up? No wonder so many people feel depressed, overwhelmed and desperate. We veil our compassion at our peril, because denying the sentience, the suffering and the right to beingness of any other is to automatically also deny, constrain, and abandon an essential part of our own self. We are all connected; separation is an illusion; and what we give out returns : these are Universal Truths.
Being terrified to open yourself to the shared awareness that Earthlings inherently experience will only put off and intensify the inevitable awakenment which awaits you. Recently a friend felt the need to apologise to me for not feeling capable of witnessing to the many atrocities perpetrated by the MAD (meat and dairy industry) practices which underlie humanity’s prevailing daily food choices. She felt she would be annihilated by the magnitude of oppression and suffering suddenly flooding into her. I smiled and told her that within her own sphere she was every bit as courageous and in allowance of what is as I am in my chosen focus of intention. But that was not the whole truth, because really we block our own hearts to our detriment. Refusal to address your participation in some terrible cruelty, via supporting it on your plate, and paying someone else to torture, commodify, incarcerate, and kill, innocent beings for you cannot absolve you of culpability.
Another friend stated that his heart had turned to stone, which I could only laugh at when I know his heart to be as vast as the ocean of creatures he makes it his purpose to protect and defend. Purely by encompassing others our heart centre must expand, but this stretching process can mimic pain. The heart pangs from rapid openness may be felt as the opposite: a crushing and overwhelm sensation. This reminds me of the time I visited Nevers in France to venerate the incorrupt body of Saint Bernadette, where she lies in a glass case looking for all the world like Sleeping Beauty, even down to the delicate pink fingernails on her exquisite small hands. The Presence of Extraordinary Grace and Purity, she is the embodiment of Sanctity. Unlike the dead shell of other deceased persons I have seen, where the soul is obviously departed, I could clearly sense that my gazing at Saint Bernadette’s body, preserved miraculously these 132 years after her passing, was met by her own gaze looking back at me. But more than at me, her gaze penetrated my whole being. It was almost a form of radiation from which nothing could be hidden. At once humblingly disconcerting yet affirmatively wonderful. In the film “Avatar” two beings who are falling in love gaze into one another and say “I see you” in a way which demonstrates an intimacy and depth of honouring mutual sacredness. If humans regard themselves as superior creatures to every other life form on Earth, it is way past time that we evolved into this guardianship position, and began truly tending and befriending all the other animals to the fullest extent of our capacity. Instead there is exploitation, enslavement, inequity and slaughter even towards our own species. The human condition is deplorable, and mirrored in the groaning travail of everything else alive here.
The gaze of Saint Bernadette felt like being utterly scanned, read and met across all levels of my being, but more than this there was some form of transference occuring simultaneously. An unvoiced sharing gift was offered to me. Then silent words came from her to me: “Your gift is compassion”. I am ashamed to say that my ego instantly puffed itself up and coyly responded “Thank you for noticing” – for I take pride in my outreach towards and on behalf of the voiceless innocents I care about.
“THEN WHY AREN’T YOU USING IT???”
deflated and ashamed by the stench of my arrogance, and the fathomless depth of my ignorance
I threw myself on my metaphorical face. In disgust for such absurd posturing pomposity, and the truly pathetic condition of my besmirched soul. Unworthy to be in the vicinity of saintliness, yet with nowhere to crawl to, just who did I think I was fooling going on pious pilgrimage like that?
But this was more of my own limited self judgment and loathing flailing about. Meanwhile the true, naked inner me was sincerely asking Saint Bernadette for her help in fulfilling, and in properly using, the gift of compassion for the purpose it had been gifted to me. In that instant I felt her two beautiful undefiled hands being placed into my heart and pressed outwards sideways : “Stretch!”
came the imperative request from these outwardly diminutive but truly awesome healing hands. Striving to comply with them is my ongoing quest. Beloved Blessed Bernadette! Forceful fierce feminine Love in action – aaah!
I often have people express amazement at the way I have been capable of advocating for the innocent and marginalised for more than 40 years without resorting to aggression or succumbing to meltdown. In truth it is not because I am being the change I so long to see, for all credit must go to the invisible army of angels and saints which are the raft upon which I rest. When I imagine that I am holding firm to my vision, and steadfastly refusing to relinquish my ideals, regardless of appearances or perceived pressure, in truth it is the ceaseless support of The Blessed Mother of all which sustains me. Right is mighty and shall prevail. Love will always triumph. Rooted in such unshakeable ground there is no way to fail, even if the peaceable kingdom is not everywhere all at once as I would like. It is the easiest thing in the world to drop false pretenses and be your real self. No? Yes 🙂 So – simply be the love, give that which you would wish to receive, live harmlessly and gently, and respect all life. In a word : VEGAN
THANK YOU! From me and all the animals you will spare xxxxxxxxxx