I didn’t come up with the above title on my own, it’s the chapter title in a book I like by Gerald May, “The Awakened Heart”. I first read this book about five years ago. I’ve picked it up again, because I feel like my heart is being awakened again to go a little deeper on this journey of life. I’m heading off on a retreat this coming Tuesday with my other fellow directors in training as the level 2 portion of our spiritual direction training. Kathy Bence, who facilitates our group, handed me a copy of this chapter the other day. We will be reading it as part of our retreat time together. Here are some things that strike my heart:”We need space in the first place simply to recognize how compelled and bound we are. Then we need space to allow the compulsions to ease and the bonds to loosen…On the one hand we long for space; in the midst of overactive lives we yearn for peace, stillness, and freedom..On the other hand, we are liable to become very uncomfortable when such spaces do open up. We do not seem to know what to do with them….We have clearly lost something when we are no longer free just to be, when we must always be active, doing some things and refraining from doing others..We somehow must realign our attitudes toward spaciousness. We must begin to see it as presence rather than absence, friend instead of enemy…” Now I”m not exactly sure what to ‘do’ with this as it strikes and touches my heart. Some of it is my constant inner struggle of somehow feeling that I’m not ‘doing’ enough. I’m ready to ditch that belief. God, help me to enter into emptiness, be willing to be in spaciousness and love myself and see myself as you see me.
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Sharon, today (Wed. 12/18/13) I had some time to write a post on my blog, and I had Gerald May’s book The Awakened Heart on my mind and heart, specifically a chapter I had read several times, “Entering the Emptiness”. I searched for some Gerald May quotes on line, and I did not find many … I did not have The Awakened Heart in front of me. So I googled “Entering the Emptiness”, and immediately a blog post came up: yours. I read your post and was blessed, but I was also intrigued by the idea that you had written about the same book, same chapter (seven years earlier) that I was writing about today. I don’t know, maybe I’m the only one that is jazzed by that. I like your blog, and I will be checking in from time to time. I just started blogging this year. By the way, I acknowledged you and your blog, and quoted you (the conclusion of your post) on my post that I published today. Sorry for the long comment. Peace, T