Lostness and Presence: Part. 2. We need our lostness

This is the second part of a three part message… Listen to the Podcast here…

Wednesday, 20 May, 2018

‘For all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning.’ Psalm 73:14

In Part 1 of Lostness and Presence, we were invited to lean into our lostness; to stay in that place we call lost and to be curious about it. What are its characteristics? And in that space, with awareness, coming to know our inner needs. Here, in Part 2, we say we need our lostness in order to begin the gradual emergence into new ways of being. Let us start by honouring that we are lost, and opening to not having the answers.  
I don’t know

Last weekend, while visiting cousins in London, my heavily pregnant, going-to-give-birth-any-moment cousin explained that she and her partner didn’t want to know the sex of their baby before the day of baby’s arrival in the world: ‘It’s one of the few things that you can’t Google. There aren’t many questions you can’t find answers for online, but we won’t find the sex of our baby there. It’s a really precious thing’. Well, she’s since given birth to a beautiful healthy baby boy, and she had a point. 
Lostness is a state that won’t be answered online. And, rather than moving away from grief, from fear, from loneliness, from absence of feeling or reactionary feelings; rather than busying ourselves through distraction and seeking for answers, we hand all of this over to our unknowing; to the ‘I don’t know’. We don’t have the answer, and we simply stop trying to find one. And the moment we surrender to knowing nothing about our state, we become more readily able to know everything about ‘where to from here’.
I know only that I am lost

When we surrender to not knowing, and only knowing that we are lost, we leave behind all expectation of where we think we ought to be. We stop beating ourselves up for not having the answers or finding the way; for not being stronger or better or more capable or together. We release the weight of self-expectation. We sigh. We cry. We may rage in despair. But we let all the ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’ and ‘have tos’ melt away. And we plop down – in the woods or on the sofa – and we sit in our lostness.  
And I breathe

And we breathe. And we breathe. And we breathe. And we breathe. And we bring all our awareness to our breath. We come out of our thoughts and into our body, and through any emotional or physical pain, into our breath. We breathe. And we count our breath. One and two, and three and four, and five, and six… And we breathe.
I let go of expectation

As we breathe, we open fully to where we are. We move deeper into presence, into right here, right now. And this is where eco-psychotherapist, Bill Plotkin says the great discoveries happen. In this place, in the where we are, we find that our expectations of ‘what next’ dissolve. By trusting our unknowing enough to stay with it, we surrender our desire for outcome, and in doing so, we relinquish the hold that old stories, history and past experience, other people’s ideals and expectations, and our conditioning has had on us. We effectively release the old and ineffectual or the unhealthy that we relied upon in the past to guide us out of the woods. And we are now available to an entirely new mode of guidance.

I open to deep listening

And in this surrender of expectation, from the space of not doing, even in painful uncertainty, we find lostness is a friend, with whom we have the chance to listen. We open to deep listening.  And we listen in new ways. And there in the stillness we encounter so much beauty speaking to us.
And I come home to my self

When the old has dissolved, all expectation let go, we pave the way to discover the new, and we are free to be present to the voice and guidance of our soul; to the murmurings of nature, to connection with God, and to the brush of the Spirit as we come home to our self. Everything quiet now. Except sounds that ring true.
And my heart leads the way

And we listen to our heart. Our heart leads the way. As we move into presence and stillness, the rhythmic beat of our heart, rolling gently upon the melody of deep rest, born of surrender, tells our brain, all is well. Our brain tells our body, all is well. And we in turn feel… all manner of things shall be well. Gratitude and appreciation are known to create the ideal conditions for the heart-brain-body state of feeling uplifted and well. As our felt experience changes, we open even more to receiving internal and external stimuli that upholds and guides us anew.

And Spirit is there 

From out of lostness into presence, through gratitude and appreciation, open heartedness and joy, in the silence of surrender, we discern the voice of Spirit – in the leaves in the trees, in the breeze on our face, in the call of the raven, in the dance of the deer. We make space for the voice of Spirit to be heard inside us. Quiet at first, and growing in presence, Spirit is there.

Next Week, Part 3. I was lost and now am found

To read Part 1. Leaning into our lostness, visit here…
To see what else Karolyne offers, visit here…

Image Credit – Fire Dance. Freydoon Rassouli


Published by SEASEM

St Enoch and St Elijah Monastery (SEASEM) is a small contemplative community looking to the traditions of Celtic, Coptic, Catholic and Protestant spiritual practices. The monastery is located in New Zealand's Hokianga district famous for its wilderness, beauty and rugged coastline; 10 minutes from Kaikohe and 40 minutes from the east and west coastal beaches. Nearby is New Zealand's most famous ancient Waipoua Forest, home to the stunningly beautiful Tāne Mahuta. Situated on 50 acres of land, SEASEM invites people of any or no faiths wanting to visit, stay and retreat either privately or within the community's culture of prayerful life in God.

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