She tells herself that she will stay in tonight. Restlessly she clicks through television show after show. She deliberately ignores the knitting calling for her hands. Distractedly she searches for something to occupy her time this evening. Anything rather than sit and examine her bewildering emotions! Finally as if ejected by the apartment itself she hurtles out the door running towards others as a way of fleeing herself! We’ve all experienced that kind of evening, mystified by our discontented flight and slightly afraid of our restlessness! Despite all of the emotions that bathe our days the workings of our heart can seem like a foreign language we just can’t decipher!
We live in a culture which neither fosters reflectiveness nor teaches us how to fruitfully gaze inward. As a result many search for understanding outside themselves as they desperately hunt for a magical formula to unlock their heart’s mysteries! Certainly self-confirmation through how others perceive us can help us to understand ourselves, our motives and even the trajectory of our mysterious heart! But in the end we must be in possession of our own internal understanding against which outside input can be compared.
How about if once a week we “unplugged” from our regular life, stayed home and simply sat with ourselves? The first stage in knowing oneself involves learning how to physically stay put! The next stage involves how to make the mind stay put! The next stage in all of that stillness involves learning to hear what the heart is whispering! Yes one can take a weekend and search for nourishment and understanding through participation in a structured retreat which can be enlightening. But we are talking about a life and not just a weekend! Our life requires that we learn how to become our own Retreat-Master! Unplug and sit. Grapple with staying still. Yearn to hear the heart’s whisperings. Seek and you SHALL find! I guarantee it!