In Praise of The Glimpse

Apr 25, 2018 | Blog

The other morning I was on my way to make a cup of tea, and just as I moved to turn on the kettle, I caught a sudden glimpse of my children (aged 13 and 9), where they sat talking nearby. Seemingly unaware of my presence, they were just conversing in that mundane sibling way they do~ nothing special~ and honestly I couldn’t even hear what they were saying. Still~ something about it halted me in my tracks, taking my breath away, sending my hand to my heart.

I think it was the intimacy pulsing between them; the light of love that moved between their eyes; a comforting flow of friendship in their gestures. It was the way in which they both seemed so unguarded in that moment, truly seeing one another and being seen. It was just a glimpse of an ordinary moment between my kids, and yet it was an utterly astonishing sight to receive.

Feeling moved, I quietly progressed with making my tea, getting a mug out of the cabinet, and while slowly unwrapping my tea bag, I pondered the gift of the glimpse. I contemplated all the many, different glimpses we are given in our daily lives~ as many as we show up for; as many as we choose to receive.

You know these moments in life~ I know you do. When it seems something opens to allow a certain quality of presence, a grace of true seeing, a returning home~ where everything is seen to be in its right place, and the love so clearly shines through?

I’m thinking about how honored I feel whenever I catch startling moments of kindness out in the world. Watching that big, burly truck driver climb quickly out of his truck the other day to rush to the side of an elderly homeless man, walking inebriated, way too close to the traffic. The gentleness and compassion I witnessed: the truck driver’s strong hands protectively guiding this homeless elder to a safer place. Oh my goodness. How a glimpse like that changes everything, melts every jaded bone in my body, sending tears of appreciation to my eyes for the countless ways ordinary people rise to the occasion of courageous love. Right?

Or~ what about the everyday courage it takes to choose love, when everything in us wants to choose something else? Those moments we find ourselves indulging some behavior or addiction we’ve outgrown, and we suddenly catch ourselves? We might be in the full swing of mental spin or emotional drama, some story of why life should be going differently than it is, some inner or outer rant of complaint, and all of a sudden~ by grace~ we stop. We somehow overhear ourselves, and remember something closer to the heart, to stillness, to what we love. We are suddenly available to some glimpse of deeper truth.

I’m remembering a recent moment cooking breakfast for my kids while helping to pack their lunches. It was the typical flurry of a busy school morning. And just as I called them to sit down, Arayla plummeted into a loud, downward spiral of teen image crisis. I nodded to her, my empathy clearly strained, and, rushing to butter the toast, I suddenly noticed that Ezra, still only half-dressed, was chasing the dog wildly in circles through the house. I could feel all my control issues coming up, hot anger rising to my cheeks and sad overwhelm filling my chest. I noticed the pressure of the clock pounding down, only minutes before we had to leave, the eggs were getting cold, and an old gremlin of “feeling disrespected” was starting to bare its teeth in my mind.

And then~ whew, suddenly~ a moment of presence, a single breath of remembrance, and with it the grace of self-compassion, stopping me in my tracks, returning my heart to itself, returning my palms to a moment of bowing in to center. Just in time, with a single glimpse, I was somehow granted the patience and clarity with which to skillfully navigate our mundane morning madness.

Just a glimpse of presence is often all it takes to call Love and kindness back into action.

But then what about the moments when we don’t catch ourselves in time? When our triggers get the best of us, and we react and respond to life from our pain, rather than from our hearts? And then later, maybe only a few minutes or an hour later, or maybe later that night, or even a week or month or year later, suddenly we are struck with genuine remorse for our mistake? How our own integrity alerts us to self-betrayal? I’m so grateful for that sacred glimpse that clues us in on how we were off. What a sweet humility we find when we can apologize, take responsibility, and ask for forgiveness. What mercy we are allowed when we can open to the beauty of forgiving ourselves.

That precious recent moment, after days of relational strain with my beloved partner, when in the private darkness of our sacred bedroom space, I could finally let down my guard enough to look into his eyes and really see him~ deeper than the passing triggers and beyond the pain of what was momentarily unresolved between us~ to his beauty, his goodness, his integrity and breathtaking innocence. What generosity is required of us at times in order to see the deeper truth of one another, free of stories and projections. What relief was found in that sacred moment of remembrance , arising just in time, allowing me to claim a fresh witnessing of this amazing man I love. What a gorgeous breath of softening follows that kind of glimpse.

I’m praising the glimpse, always available in the open heart of NOW, wherein life witnesses itself through fresh eyes, the truth is simply seen, and a wave of gratitude floods our perception.

I’m reminded of that riveting invitation from my teacher Gangaji’s teacher, Papaji, who said that all you need is one glimpse of the Truth, a single moment of True Recognition, in order to be true to that for the rest of our lives. Can you imagine the relief in settling for only one glimpse of the Sacred? Letting that single glimpse be more than enough proof for what’s unspeakably holy in existence??

How greedy we tend to be for MORE. More peace, more comfort, more wondrous experiences, more security, more happiness, more wild success, more juicy intimacy, more glimpses, give me, give me~ more, more, more!

And yet in any given moment, we need only find enough presence to recognize what’s already here, more than enough, within us.

In any given moment we can turn to meet this unruly, unmet yearning reeling in our own hearts with open curiosity, gentleness and respect. We can dare to beckon a glimpse of our own fleeting aliveness~ wherein what’s gloriously infinite and mortally temporary somehow share the same, precious, human breath. We can dare to summon wonder.

I’m praising the sacred glimpse I receive in this very moment, Dear One, as I carefully write to your listening, as I notice this deep, ever- growing love for us, leading the way. This deep, ever-growing love for us, leading the way.

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