I welcome returning to my chambers within this cave. I have been travelling so long, I am ready for a much-needed rest. The dwelling opens its arms to me and enfolds me in its moist air.
My most cherished companion resides a short walk through narrow passages away from the cavern I call home. She introduced herself to me a few months back and has been with me, guiding me along my journey. Sometimes during my travels, I took action without consulting her. But, nonetheless, she prodded me until I learned the lesson I was meant to receive.
I have learned that Wisdom is ever present. She lies in wait for me to approach her. When I don't, she stirs up the situation to produce the teaching I need. Most often, her teachings are gentle. Only when she can't get my attention does she turn to whirlwinds akin to tornados.
Since my travels have returned me to this welcome cave, the home of Wisdom, I cannot put off visiting her. I enter the archway that leads to the narrow path to Wisdom's lounge. A few rocks have accumulated along the pathway since my last visit. I take the time to move them out of the way so I don't stumble on them on my way back. In no time at all, I can see the warm glow I will forever associate with Wisdom. I reverently cross the threshold into her chamber and make my way to the seating area.
Closing my eyes, I breath deeply the thick air and clear my mind. When I open them again, Wisdom sits before me.
"Hello, Dear One," Wisdom welcomes me in a gentle voice as soft as a whisper.
"Hello, Wisdom," my voice giving away my weariness despite my effor to hide it.
"Don't feel the need to hide anything from me, Dear One. You know I've seen all that you have been through along your journeys. I know of your grief and pain as well as your joys and triumphs."
"Why I thought I could hide anything from you, Wisdom, I haven't a clue. I'm just tired of grieving. I'm tired of the pain and loss in my life. It's a heavy weight to bear and I'm ready to get rid of it. Instead of moving on naturally, I'm trying to mask the pain."
"As you well know, you can't push the river. But, there is something you can do to help ease the pain."
"What can I do, Wisdom?"
"What kind of action?"
"Do something for someone else....anything."
"Oh, I've heard of that old adage," I sigh. "By doing something for someone else I'll see that there are people in the world who have it worse than I. In giving I will receive. Well, I know that there are people in worse situations. My brother, for one, who has lost a brother and a wife in a very short time. I'd love to do something for him, but I don't know that there is anything that will console his loss right now. And...well, I give all the time. I do feel joy when I give or do something unexpected for another..."
"So...why not do that now?"
"I have...I am... I purchased some food for a poor family. I am doing my Christmas planning to surprise people with special gifts."
"How's that going?"
"Not very well. It feels very mechanical. My heart isn't in it."
"Why not? Where is your heart?"
Sigh... "My heart is in recovery."
"Ah! But you know that you can't protect your heart from pain, no matter how many layers of gauze you wrap it in. You are human. You will feel pain, agony, remorse, regret, grief, depression....and all sorts of uncomfortable things. It's part of life, just as joy is a part of life. If life brings you dark or light, your heart will feel it. "Protecting" your heart is a mask. It only hides the real you from others and keeps you from expressing the sadness you feel. The mask doesn't protect your heart."
"I don't want to feel those things any more. I don't want to express those feelings. I want them to evaporate."
"In your heart of hearts, you know this won't happen. You know you'll have to experience the feelings, one way or another," Wisdom responded with much gentleness in her voice. I looked down to the floor, not wanting to meet her eyes for I knew what she said was true.
"Dear one, you can move on once you set your emotions free. The longer you put it off, the longer you'll be in this holding pattern, the longer you will experience pain. Let it go, don't hold on to it. Once it is released you will not be able to stop yourself from taking action. It just comes naturally."
Still looking down I could feel a tear roll down the side of my nose. The release had begun.