Passing through these feelings and emotions surrounding the death of my brother has contained more lessons than I have ever learned at one time before. Life is school of genius for it truly teaches us wisdom… not just knowledge.
The topic today deals with sacred space between people, especially amongst friends. This is a topic I have learned much about and experimented with in my own relationships as well as in seminars, lessons, quarms and speeches. The idea of sacred space stems from the Shamans of old. They were to hold the ‘space’ for the spiritual for the entire tribe. Because they held that space they could address issues that others could not… they would handle things that others would have looked down up. Given their special position as Shaman to facilitate and guard that space they became very very powerful in the lives of their peoples. Why?
Think about the world today. Where do you have a space where you can share anything and everything that you feel without feeling that anyone within that space is judging you in any way? Is there a space in your life where you can share your deepest thoughts, secrets and emotions and feel completely accepted of others? In society today these spaces do not exist. The idea of God has been chased out of nearly every institution. The spaces that once held room for such ideas are now ridiculed as the ridiculous. When was the last time you talked about your deepest emotions and shared why you have them… where they come from… and what they mean to you… and not received the ‘advice’ of loving friends or family.
As a society we have learned to keep everything bottled up inside and thus the recurrence of depression and the onset of many diseases and mental disorders. We bottle everything up and have no place in the so called ‘secular’ world in which we can discuss such things. Emotions are not taught in school… all is observable… all is factual data which can be manipulate… Yet emotion is powerful and moves people in ways which cannot be predicted for it is connected intimately with our power to decide.
The reason I bring this up is because I have felt the love of many people, their appreciation of my strength, their condolences for my pain, their love for my brother, their thoughts of comfort to our family… and very often the open invitation to listen to anything I have to say. They offer to ‘be there for me’ and to in essence hold that ‘sacred space’ where I can share and not be judged.
There is a magic inside of such experiences as death that bring people into a state they rarely enter into often otherwise. So many of us, myself included, are so caught up in the ‘way the world is’ that we forget not only do we need that space to open up but that we also have the possibility and privilege to hold that space for others. That sacred space is something that must be opened before the tragedy occurs otherwise it does not come across the same way.
Most recently with a dear young woman by the name of Regan, we talked and shared information and memories around the death of our mutual friend Travis. That built the grounds for a sacred space between us where we could share anything… for what hurts deeper than death? That connection which resulted from the sharing we engaged in between one another created a trust where we can share anything and not feel the need to judge one another, simply to listen and accept with a loving hand. Because of the space created between us by that experience when my brother ended up in the hospital I was able to open up and share… in fact not only was I able but I wanted to and needed to.
We all need sacred spaces in our lives… but let those spaces be constructed long before the winds of trial blow across our bow… let those spaces be dug deep before the storm so that they can withstand the billowing hurricane around us. Perhaps those spaces will be found in friendships, or perhaps inside of family ties… or perhaps they will be found within the bonds of a relationship, whether old or new, where the space will bring two souls together.
The interesting thing about having a sacred space between people or in a group (such as at NewField when I was there) is that when you see them for who they truly are… the real them that is hidden underneath all the excuses, and negative assessments they hold about themselves… when you see what is behind all their defense mechanisms and you see them bare their soul you know without a doubt that they are God’s and Goddesses in the making. When their souls are shown bare before you there is a power that radiates from their being and touches all nearby. The world seems to pause, as if in awe, of the power that for a moment was glimpsed by all in the room. Here is my question: How can you not fall in love with someone having seen into their very soul… to have witnessed the majesty, poise, and grace that lie within them. You cannot.
Without fail each time I meet someone who bears their soul… the story does not matter… they could come from the best circumstances or the worst… it is not the story I remember. It is the power of the soul which comes from deep inside. It is the joy of living which shows itself in their every motion. The honesty of their touch which melts the heart and the unconditional love which radiates from their being. To bare your soul before the world you must be cleansed from all evil and be anxiously engaged in the pursuit of a good cause. That is where the power lies within. That is where decision makes its mark. What will you do this day to change the world? What will you do this day to change yourself?
How will you… how can you… bare your soul before the world? How can you become your gift and manifest it in your life and in the lives of others? A good question to be sure… but it is much simpler than we think. We must create sacred spaces in our lives where the goodness of our soul borne bare has a chance to fly. Without judgment of its flight or the duration it may entail… no judgement… simply joy to have either been present in the room to witness the inaugural flight of a soul borne bear or continue the journey which you have begun yourself.
At times in life we meet people with whom we have a sacred space where we can share our deepest thoughts and fears without worry of what will be said. It is discovery at the highest levels because there is no end… when we look deep inside ourselves and then open up within that space our souls shine bright and as two magnets they are drawn together by the sheer pulling weight that their shining souls exude.
I am reminded of the movie Hancock… in which they are drawn together again and again simply by the power of their being… of who they are. They recognized in each other something which they did not seem to find in any other being. They were kindred spirits drawn together by this phenomenon. I know its just a movie but the principle holds true… within a sacred space you cannot help but fall in love with each soul that is borne bare. I have seen people whose decisions and lifestyle choices I disagree with in every fiber of my being but when within the sacred space I saw them as they were I fell in love with them. I saw them as God sees them… as powerful… poised… present… graceful… living… as his children… as my family… as a kindred soul… and I loved them.
This is what it means to see people the way that God does. And how do we do that? Through the sacred spaces of our lives. If we do not have them then perhaps there is a change on the horizon. I pray there will be for the power that comes from that sacred space is exponentially greater than any one of us can comprehend. It is as if taking the power and love of God and witnessing it blossom forth from the heart of one of his children… it is to see their true potential for the first time. It is magnificent. This is charity, the pure love of Christ. This is the love of God.
THE PROBLEM OF SACRED SPACE
The only problem that exists within sacred space is the vulnerability of it. In reality this is not a problem… simply the reality of it. Within our society we are so afraid to put our emotions out there and be vulnerable… we create strategies and defense mechanisms as to why we do not open up in order to protect our soul and keep it hidden from the world, just in case it is ridiculed as good, or silly, or any other thing you have may have heard in your life.
Lao Tsu speaks often of rock and water. When we go inside and harden ourselves we become very effective at deflecting many of the problems which beset us and attempt to break us in life. However if we become as water… open… soft… vulnerable… we flow around, in and through all the problems which beset us in life and we not only survive but we thrive. Others watch in amazement and wonder at our strength. Yet it is simply the presence of sacred space, of love, of acceptance, of gratitude which allows that to take place. I have been blessed to have had one great source of sacred space my entire life. My family.
Because we moved so often throughout my childhood, and up to date 39 times… soon to be 40, I was forced to bond with my family on a level much deeper than most of my friends. This was because I never had friends for long, we moved and left… but one thing was for sure… I had my family and they were there for me. Because of the bond we all created therein I grew up with an inner peace and an assurance that I was loved for who I was and that I did not have to become something else. I am grateful for this and its impact in my life. Though I do not have the relationship I would like to have with my mother I can share with her when I need to. I would rather not about many things because we have our differences of opinion but I know that when it is one of the important decisions of my life that she will listen. My father I have connected with more on that level and share more of my thoughts around my decisions and I have realized that between my mother and my father I share different things with each one of them.
With my mother I share those things which will affect my happiness. All I want from my mother is a listening ear and a loving hug when I share. Then I need and want to hear, “You will make the right decision, I believe in you.” . With my father I share those things which will affect my livelihood and my future in general, he is more there to counsel and give guidance to me in wisdom. When I share my thoughts with him he never criticises or suggests but simply asks questions and lets me know that God will direct me and that I should do what feels right. Those two relationships though very different in their makeup have created the sacred space within my life up until a few years ago.
Then I was introduced to personal development and the beauty of collaborating with like minded people. Since then I have found many communities where sacred space has been achieved. On the level of personal relationships I have discovered sacred space most recently with a dear friend.
The point behind this all… though I talked in circles and off on tangents is that when tragedy strikes it is too late to find support or to be support. We must be there when times are good and build those bridges beforehand so that their power will be fully impactful at the moment of its need.
Build the sacred spaces in your lives and cherish them with all your soul. It’s life depends on it. For many a time has a man, when beaten down by the crowd… turned his head down and let life win… and stopped fighting for what was true. Pick up your head if you have been beaten down and take a step up to the bar. Stand tall within the sacred space and open up your heart… is it still there? The God or Goddess in you?