Welcome to 99 – your weekly spiritual journey. I’m Andrew Chirch
Each episode is like one step on a pilgrimage – and I’m so glad you’re here for this step.
Over the next 9 minutes or so, I invite you to slow down and invest in YOU.
Whether this is your first time listening, or you join each week, I’m here with this offering – part invitation, part gentle challenge for you to learn more about yourself.
To get started, let’s take a minute to fully arrive. Here. Now.
I’m going to invite to take 2 breaths together with me so we can both settle into this experience.
From way down in your belly, let’s inhale for a count of 4, hold for 3, then exhale for 7. Ready?
Inhale 2 3 4
Hold 2 3
Exhale 2 3 4 5 6 7
Do you know how there are parts of you that are fun? or smart? or generous and how great it is when you get to be that person?
What about the other parts of you?
The addict part. The tired part. The part that isn’t sure you’ve ever really known what love is?
I won’t go any further into details, but I think you know what I’m talking about. Because we all have that.
I used to have names for those different Andrews that showed up. There was Andrew the dealmaker. Andrew the creative one. There was manager me and finance me and dad me… oh and Saturday night me was a lot of fun. WAY different from Sunday morning me.
I’d sometimes hope that sad me didn’t show up at a party where Saturday night me had been invited instead. Boy was that a downer.
As I get older, I begin to understand that there aren’t all those different versions of me. There’s only one.
Maybe it’s more accurate to say that there ARE those different versions, but they’re just aspects of a bigger truth…. kind of like facets of a gem that catch the light differently as you turn it.
Is it because we get wiser as we get older that we become less afraid of admitting what we’re about? … or is it that we just get tired and don’t want to keep up the façade anymore? I’ll let you decide.
Ta Nehisi Coates said, “You are growing into consciousness, and my wish for you is that you feel no need to constrict yourself to make other people comfortable.”
Is that what this is about? Making other people feel comfortable?
Now to be fair, Ta Nehisi was talking about institutionalized racism, which being a white man, is an added layer that I don’t have to worry about. I’m grateful for his words, though. Am I growing into consciousness? Are YOU growing into consciousness?
What does that even mean?
We talked about this a little last week.. .this notion of already being complete – having all the answers – all the tools you need… The notion that growing up is about learning to access all of that.
I want to look a little farther though… Just because you recognize some part of yourself that you don’t particularly love… just because you recognize it doesn’t mean it’s WELCOME.
But what would it mean to do that?
To welcome it.
What if I’m angry. Like ENRAGED at a level so deep that it’s in my bones… in my soul. Nothing I can do would make it stop and to let that out feels too dangerous, like I woud just burn everything around me to the ground?
What if I feel ashamed. Not just shame but ashamed… as a part of who I am, not just somethign I’ve done?
Not that I can “Go There” with these parts of myself… but I wonder what I would find if I did…
I think part of being human means that we’re wired to be in relationship with each other. We’re meant to have family and friends. To do that, you kind of have to care about what other people think, don’t you?
Well… sort of…
If everyone has a handle on their own stuff and then, coming from that grounded-ness, decides to consider the folks around them, that’s great.
But what happens when we’re all just playing pretend? When start to live my life as if part of me isn’t welcome….. in a world where lots of other people are doing the same thing… Doesn’t that sound like a terrible idea?!
Is that what we’re doing?
Is that what you’re doing?
In my spiritual tradition, you’re all sacred… 100%
Not just Saturday night you – or smart and funny you – or whatever YOU that you think is the most awesome.
The rest of you is sacred too, you know. Can you imagine being kind enough – forgiving enough – to let that happen?
What if you weren’t the only one being that kind and forgiving? What if, because someone saw you being brave enough to befriend the unwelcome parts of yourself that they started to do the same thing?
I want to leave you with a quote from Hafiz of Shiraz who said,
All this time
The Sun never says to the Earth,
“You owe me.”
With a love like that,
It lights the whole sky.”
My friend, you are a gem with many facets.. some you like and some you don’t, yet every one is apart of you and wants the chance to shine.
Be Hafiz’ sun and earth – giving and receiving your own light.
Now we’ll finish today’s journey by taking 2 more breaths together.
We’ll breathe in for 7, hold for 3, exhale for 4.
Inhale 2 3 4 5 6 7
Hold 2 3
Exhale 2 3 4
Inhale 2 3 4 5 6 7
Hold 2 3
Exhale 2 3 4
Whichever part of you is listening, invite the others, would you?
Go out into the world in peace and have courage
Hold on to what is good.
Return to no person evil for evil.
Strengthen the fainthearted
Support the weak.
Help the suffering.
Honor all beings – including you and you and all of you!