I had a dream in which I was standing outside in front of a looming chainlink fence with razor wire across the top. It was scary, especially because I couldn’t tell if I had been caged in or shut out.
The image has haunted me for several days. It seems archetypal, maybe universal. I imagine that most of us wrestle with feelings and questions like this: Am I in or out? If I’m in, am I trapped here? If I’m out, have I been excluded or exiled? I don’t think it’s being too self-indulgent to admit this existential angst, this sense of isolation and separation from others, from the Divine, from our own selves, from purpose and meaning, from Life.
We put so much energy and effort into trying to reconnect — working on self-awareness, studying philosophy and metaphysics, practicing spirituality, contributing the time and resources that we can when we’re already spread so thin… Hopefully we find or create community with which we can do at least some of this exploration together. That’s all great! Personally, I do a lot of both navel-gazing and community-building.
And yet these questions continue to pester my psyche: Am I in or out, and how, and why?
What occurs to me today is that maybe such questions never go away. Perhaps it isn’t even the point to make them go away, because no matter how hard we try to work it all out, our hearts and souls will never be sated by anything less than Infinity.
Absolutely, this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t keep creating togetherness, even if we know we’ll always yearn for ever-deeper communion, more profound intimacy, more love. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t continue to examine feelings of connection and disconnection in our lives. But I’m starting to think that it’s not really a matter of whether or not we’re “inside” or “outside” but how to feel ALL IN and FULL OUT, wherever and however we are right now.
The key, to me, seems to be about truly allowing ourselves to be ourselves — in our lives exactly as they are and as they aren’t, in the world just as it is and as it isn’t. Not to get or stay inside or outside, or make things be some other way, but simply to be ourselves here and now.
Our whole selves ALL IN — we don’t need to leave parts of our being outside in order to be worthy. FULL OUT self-expression — we practice remembering that what we have to say, be, and share is precisely that for which the world is waiting. Wherever we are, however we are, we’re starting out COMPLETE.
If we really allow ourselves, then all our explorations and connections to ourselves and each other and everything can be authentic. It can be fulfilling. Our togetherness can be true.
I love you, friends. Can’t wait to see you again. XO, Drew
© 2018 Drew Groves