Gratitude

Karachi – Pakistan, 27th January 2015 [01:03am]

Christmas Eve has just passed and the jingles of merry were resonant through the coldest time of the year. I was in Konya, center of Anatolian region in Turkey, about to pay my respect to the great scholar and poet; Rumi. When an email with title “Gratitude” was arrived in my Inbox. It was from one of the person that I dearest the most.

As I read his email, time was flashing back to 2010 when we first joggled in the deep forest of Lambusango. It has taught us in common and the deep sea of Banda has bounded our relation as firm as the rattan bracelet in the wrist of Buton girls. I feel grateful to the motion of destiny in such beautifully bestow the best lesson one could have.

1 month has passed away and I think of sharing this thoughtful piece with you together with the magical place he called home.

I hope you will cherish it as I do and maybe somewhere along the hundred words, you will find your lesson as I do.

***

Gratitude.

One year ago today, I woke up in what I thought was hell.  It was cold, empty, I was alone, chilled and unrested from a night of fear filled thoughts from a mind that had begun to demonize one of the people I loved most in my life.

 Today, I woke up unable to find something important to me, a hawk’s eye marble that has been like a lucky charm to me.  I searched high and low, moving my bed, undoing the sheets, clearly a bit frantic at six in the morning…  Instead of finding the marble, I found three objects – all of which seemed funny at first, until I thought a bit further … all of these were reminders of either people I have met or events this past year that have forcefully shifted the way in which I had to go about living my life – all of which have inspired me to grow, integrate new perspectives, let go of attachments, and begin to live a life more in touch with my inner world and inspired to begin reaching for what’s aligned with my heart center.

I woke up at 5:40 am to begin my daily yoga practice when this all began.  Searching high and low the time had come to 6:30 am before I let go of finding the marble, and decided that getting my practice in was more important than finding the marble at that moment.  Ironically, as soon as I set down my mat and got ready to practice, I found the marble … Placing the marble back on it’s stand, I came back to my mat, laughing and chuckling about life, feeling fortunate.

I began in child’s pose and began to give thanks for the reminders of the growth this year which had come up while I was looking for the marble.  As gratitude came in, I also began to reflect and say thankful prayers to the people and events that had unknowingly taught me so much, and inspired the growth in the past year.

First was my past love Karmen … but as I said thanks – it also struck me that it was exactly one year ago that I woke up in a holding cell in Mui Wo after I allowed the darkest of my shadow side to overtake my senses and became outwardly violent towards a person that I loved most in my life.  Suddenly my prayer of gratitude became filled with sorrow and tears.  I lifted my head and saw the quote at the end of my mat –

 “The wound is the place where the light enters you”  – Rumi

The tears began to pour, sobbing violently in a position of surrender, the meaning of this quote could not have been more clear.  Another thing that also became clear, is that I had not sobbed and allowed myself to feel the sorrow from having lost my sacred ground and lashed out at someone I loved.  For one year I held this emotion locked away, rationalizing with my mind, disconnected from my heart.  I sobbed with such gratitude and relief that I was finally feeling the pain that my heart felt that morning when I woke up, cold, alone, and full of fear. (i’m sobbing a bit right now … all this time so far away, so disconnected from my heart).The wound is the place where the light enters you  … since that event I’ve been forced to grow into something that was able to function better than who I was at that moment, the light has been entering.  It helped me identify and connect to values such as Respect and Honesty – it illuminated my nature as a codependent rescuer, and my tendency to use power in way where I would take others power, instead of empowering them through love and encouragement – it taught me more about the power of vulnerability and showed to me how many people I had in my life that were truly loving, generous, and there encouraging me, helping me, pulling me up when I was down.  Truly these insights, these people have been the most incredible and valuable gifts that that been bestowed to me this past year.  These acts of self-love, these acts of love from others – they have been miracles and blessings to me.  To all of you that I’ve shared this with, I am truly grateful for all that you have given me over the last year, and in life – your encouragement and love are the greatest gifts I could ever ask to receive.

This felt like the “Dark Night of the Soul”, a reference to an event that where one arrives at a place of conceptual meaninglessness – all the beliefs and stories you had told yourself about life, seem completely invalid – as if you no longer understand anything.  Thus it becomes extremely scary – sometimes leading to depression.  What can arise out of this is that you are forced to drop your conceptual framework of the world, and instead of interpreting it compulsively, you look upon events, people, and so on with a deep sense of aliveness, sensing your own aliveness, and you let go of trying to fit your experience into a conceptual framework anymore – arriving closer to our heart centers – a place of feeling alive.  This event has definitely brought me closer to my heart center – something I’m very grateful for.  Even though suffering may seem endless during these dark nights, I would go as far to encourage these kinds of events as they are so powerful in their way to bring one closer to their heart center.

The other two reminders, that I found along the way signified just as important events that have shaken me up, created feelings of aloneness, or taught me valuable lessons by challenging my perception of myself and my conceptualization of the world – encouraging once again for me to let go of these conceptualizations, live in my heart and feel grateful for all the valuable things that have come my way.  One was a sprained ankle – this forced me to slow down, reevaluate my goals, stop running so fast, blind and unaware of what career path and activities satisfy my soul.  Another was meeting a passionate flame that challenged my true character and reflected my faults, put me in a situation of loving detached and fully, filled me with a deep sense of love for another – without the expectation that it would be the right thing in the future- just enjoying it for what it was at that moment – and knowing that it was the right thing right then – again forcing me to live from my heart – trusting the feeling, and thinking less.

Today, I sobbed … but I sobbed gratefully in surrender. Grateful not only for these challenging events, but for all the amazing people that have inspired me to come closer to my truth, my heart – that have helped me to grow in a way  … where today I FEEL AMAZING!  I AM SO LOVED, I HAVE SUCH AMAZING FRIENDS AND FAMILY!! I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH (it brings tears to my eyes …)  Thank you THANK YOU !  THANK YOU!! For all that you did intentionally or unintentionally – your presence in my life, your acts of LOVE, your ALIVENESS!  I FEEL SO ALIVE AND FULL OF LOVE, Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.

Husni –  Your gifts, physical, mental, emotional, and soulful have been one of the biggest blessings in my life.  You’re unconditional love, your inspiring determination and character that’s honest, kind, brave, thoughtful, and sensitive – have taught me so much over the years.  You’ve had me questioning life, and inspired to reach for my full potential.  I’m grateful to have a friend like you in my life.  Thank you.

There are many others that have been a part of this journey this past year,  the return to the light, the learning to live from my heart center  — I have shared this note with you because I wanted you all to know how grateful I am to have you in my life — you’ve contributed so much to me without asking for anything in return — you’ve all truly loved me in one way or another, and I’m absolutely blessed to have been able to receive that.  Thank you for everything.

Similar to the bird – you all are the winds under my wings – pushing me higher, showing me new things to see, and providing the means to safe journey full of abundance.  Thank you.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays! 

May this time of renewal, rebirth, and sharing of love with others remind all of us how blessed we are to come out of these dark nights of the soul with the help and support of our friends.

Be well,

Michael Hazen

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