Monday, October 8, 2012
Today I want to welcome a new friend who calls herself Nothing. Last week she introduced herself here with these words—
Hello Diana...I'm commenting in response to what I've read here of your alarm and not accepting the things that go against your grain.
So often those of us who feel the same way feel we must conform to those things. My own childhood invalidated my senses and inclinations so that I learned to ignore my internal compass and ignore my self in favor of survival in a loud and vicious world. I've woken up to this fact, after over 20 years of dredging through life as I was told I must, trying to conform to it and play the role. I am having a world of trouble simply recollecting the truth of myself.
The IH way of things resonated with me deeply, and the things that always made true sense to me, but became convinced were foolishness that I had to repress. Learning of simpler living vindicated and examples given a real and sustainable things brings out such a soaring of hope and a crushing despair for having wasted my life so far listening to the voices who told me what I had to do and be.
I've spent so much of my life wondering what is wrong with me, and still tell myself that I am broken for my nature. IH gives me some hope that there is somewhere for me and maybe that I have some sense after all.
These words awaken a strange feeling in me, something between a recollection and a promise realized.
It is so difficult to say who is someone and who is no one, or which it is better to be. Emily Dickinson wrote, "I'm nobody, who are you?"
Still in the world it does seem to be a great advantage to be someone. I have known people who appear to have made a worldly success of their life based on very little more than appearing to believe they are someone.
It is strange though. In my experience of our guests, those are just the people who least have eyes to see Innermost House. It is just "nothing" to them, and I am no one. They are never really around the fire, they are never even really inside.
It is as if to be someone in the larger world is often to be nothing and no one in the Innermost Life. And perhaps to truly see something in Innermost House is often to be willing to be nothing in the world.
I remember from a very early moment in my life the feeling of choosing to be nothing. I grew up resisting being someone with all my silent stubborn might.
At Innermost House I ceased to have to resist and was able to relax into being nothing and no one again. It was like coming home to an experience of life I only remembered once I stepped inside.
If I never learned to ignore my internal compass, it may simply be because I am so incapable of learning. If I often did not do what I was supposed to do, perhaps it was because I could not do it. Those closest to me wanted to know what was wrong with me through all my early years. I have always been foolish in the world.
And yet if I have learned anything of myself, it is that my strength lies in my weaknesses. It is by your abilities that the world lays hold of you, not by your disabilities. And I have never had any abilities.
Thirty years ago I was possessed by a sense of life wasted, as though my time were forever past. I do not feel that way now. I think of a favorite line from Emerson—
We must be very suspicious of the the deceptions of the element of time. It takes a good deal of time to eat or to sleep, or to earn a hundred dollars, and a very little time to entertain a hope and an insight which becomes the light of our life.
The answer for me did not prove to lie in time but out of time, in Timeless Time. I came to see the advantages of what I could not do and the time I did not have. For in these I was free of the world and its expectations.
Then I began to see that I could do what was of value to no one but me, and my time began to expand. At Innermost House at last the circle of my life enclosed me wholly, and there was nowhere for time to go.
Innermost House arose from the ruins of a life that had run out of time and hope and possibility. It was built out of Nothing, and No One lived in it. It was heavenly. It is still heavenly.