January 21, 2017

Prayer for Unity

Prayer For Unity                                    by Lucy Pierce

When I go to war with that which diminishes me, when I blame and shame and turn my back, when I take up arms and attack or retreat into bitterness and resentment, I make myself less and I stem the impulse to evolve through the tension of apposing forces, that great fertile ground where opposites meet and collide in a fecund hotbed of confusion and misunderstanding. Those who appear as my enemies are actually my greatest teachers in disguise, and when I seek to annihilate them I rob myself of my own awakening. I walk from the testing ground where understanding and respect have not yet flourished, where what is tender and fragile has not yet been seen underfoot, where the impulse to care for that which is other to us has not yet managed its own cultivation. 
How do I stay with that which triggers my pain? How do I tend to the rifts that dwell between those who have hurt or misrepresented me, so that growth can happen? How do I honour myself and also stay open to teaching the other of how it could be different, of what it is my soul aches and reaches  for in the night? I look at the world around me and I feel so tired of the rending apart of the fabric of life and family, of tribe and blood, of man and woman. I want to stay when my pain is screaming hate, I want to learn what it might look like to come to love that which has transgressed against me. 
And when the shape of our lives have become such that a part of our innocence of expression has been thwarted or crippled, by those who in their unconsciousness knew not the preciousness of our vulnerability, how then do we lean into the shape of that wounding so that we can again embrace the unique shape we have become, and give of ourselves with fullness and purpose, so that our wounds become our gift rather than the excuse for our withholding from what we are? For is not the inevitability of life's capacity to bestow pain as well as joy, only made toxic by our contracting around that pain? Is it not the holding on to the belief that we are not safe to offer our giveaway, where the true poison lies? How do I cultivate such a profound practice of self love that I cannot be belittled or betrayed for I am pristine and incorruptible, answerable only to myself? 
After the great dismantling of 2016, and as my partner and I enter a new year together, I find myself asking many questions. How can we weave a robust fabric from our lives, that will carry the bundle of our children into the future, that they will know that loving has less to do with compatibility and more to do with tenacity and the capacity to hold multiple truths in hand at any given moment, it has more to do with forgiveness than grudge, more to do with human fallibility, with wounds poulticed and bruises salved, than impeccable execution in the first place? 
The love between my man and I can be rugged and fierce, it has at times been a battle ground and there have been times when I have so wanted to make him wrong so that I could be right. How now do we stay with our hearts deepest truth, with our longing and hunger for each to be more than we have ever learnt to give? How do I ask for miracles of love from us, with our wounds and hurts? How do I honour the grand call to unity and intimacy and connection from my own battle scarred heart that has learnt so fiercely to protect itself from those it is supposed to love? 
How do we put down arms my love, and sit together, with the bloody carnage all around and learn what it is that peace might look like, an embrace of diversity, a growing into the qualities that we are most resistant of within ourselves, a courageous laying bare of the most tender of scars, most annihilating of fears, most punishing of illusions, and learn the deeper lesson, the great and holy grail of loving, the places that once were unlovable, caring for the parts that are most in neglect, severing our attachments to the most entrenched mechanisms of safety, burning on the pyre the illusion that  we are victims to one another, and seeing ourselves instead as great allies in the transcendence of pain, and the seeking and slow finding of belonging to our own selves in our own skins, belonging to one another in some mythic and also mundane way, but maybe most importantly belonging to this great cosmic movement of alchemical transmutation of suffering into blossoming, of separation into unity, of fear into love.

Cards and Prints of the image Prayer for Unity available on my Etsy store. www.etsy.com/shop/lucypierce 

Words and image © Lucy Pierce