Monday, January 31, 2005

Your Sacred Life

Abraham Maslow said, "The great lesson is that the sacred is in the ordinary, that it is to be found in one's daily life, in one's neighbor's, friends, and family, in one's back yard."

I don't know about you but I often look to find things sacred to appear like an especially holy soul, a quiet meadow with golden sunlight, a church filled with clouds of incense, a meditating monk, a once in a lifetime feeling of oneness with God. But we are hardly ever in the perfect space, mentally or physically. Life has a way of wearing us down, the daily grind. I've started to know and appreciate the holiness, the sacred in my day to day existence.

I woke up the other night to the sound of my son calling out in fear, caused by a bad dream. I groaned as I got up and padded cross the carpet of my bedroom, trying to proceed quietly so as not to disturb my sleeping loved one. As I entered my son's room his figure rose from the middle of a tangle of blankets and his arms reached out to me as he said, "hold me Dad!" At that moment I was struck with an explosion of love and a sense of oneness with the world. This exquisite being, my son, was allowing me to be the one to calm his fears, the one to hold his hand, the one to make a difference. What a responsibility, what an honor.

When I truly stop and let down the walls of fear, the years of accumulated stress, the thoughts that I'll never be who I want to be, or I'll never have what I think I need to have, I begin to appreciate the gift I've been given. The gift is the experience of life. The gift is seeing the actions of God in others, seeing the eyes of God in others. When I'm centered and contemplative I see God in the littliest of things.

"Thank you Dad," my son said to me, and he nestled down in his blankets holding his Panda bear in a warm embrace. I kissed him gently on the head and he was fast asleep. As I made my way back to bed, joining the warm curve of my love, I thanked God for the many blessings in my life. I am surrounded by the sacred.

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