I want to share with you a very powerful story from Stephen Levine. At the beginning, this story is heartbreaking, but stay with it because this story points to the healing that we all took birth for.
Stephen spent some time with a man called Aaron who had ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s syndrome) which results in gradual deterioration of the nerve cells leading to paralysis of the body. Before he got ill, Aaron was 36 years old, living with his wife and two children. He was a singer, dancer and virtuoso guitarist. But by the time he met Stephen, he was strapped into a wheelchair, unable even to support his weight. His lung capacity was so decreased that he had to consciously breathe in sufficient air to push past his voice box to create the few words he was able to communicate.
When Aaron first realized how sick he was becoming he became lost in ideas of how things were, along with feelings of resentment and diminishment. But with much inward looking, a never imagined freedom often arose. As he discovered how to let go, he reported, “I am now free to just be and I have never felt so alive in my whole life.” He goes on to say, “As my body gets weaker, somehow I get stronger. Now that I can no longer do all the things I used to do to be someone in the world, I see how unreal all those things were. I see, in fact, that all of that doing separated me from everyone and everything in a way that made my life a kind of dullness of kind of separation from the vitality of things.”
Then he speaks about the core healing he experienced through ALS: “My heart has never been so open and I have never felt so much Love for so many beings. Everyone who enters this space I Love, not being-to-being, not out of separateness. We exist in Love together. I’m touching the place inside of me I’ve never looked at before a place I never knew. All of my singing and dancing, and all the plaudits I received, all the praise, the money, never really brought such a deep satisfaction as I am experiencing now.”
How can this possibly be when his whole life as he knew it was fading away? Because Aaron realized that he, along with every other person, is so much more than he thought he was. In this very fierce cracking open of the armoring that separated Aaron from the joy of simply being (the armoring that we all carry), he opened up into the field of Love that all of us truly are. As Rumi said, “Beyond right doing and wrong doing there is a field. I will meet you there.”
Before I opened to it, I had never even heard about this and yet, as it revealed itself, with tears streaming down my face, I knew I was receiving Truth. I knew I was recognizing the Truth of my own being.
When Anita Moorjani, in her book Dying to Be Me, wrote of what happened when she ‘died,’ she said, “The feeling of complete pure and unconditional Love was unlike anything I’ve known before.”
When Eben Alexander, author of Proof of Heaven, spoke about what happened to him when he was in a seven-day coma, he said, “Love is, without a doubt, the basis of everything.”
If we are more than we think we are, why don’t we see this? Why don’t we live from the truth of Love? Because we are all caught in our stories about life, stories that are so busy trying to do life that we have forgotten how to simply be. In a way, Aaron was forced into being, and there to meet him was Love.
No matter what stories are flowing through your head and no matter how deep your challenges are, the truth is that every day you breathe Love, you drink Love, you eat Love, and you are showered by Love where ever you go. As Eben says, “Love is the reality of realities, the incomprehensibly glorious truth of truths that lives and breathes at the core of everything that exists or will ever exist.” And this includes you!
You don’t need to try to find this field. That is just more struggle. Simply allow the invitation in this blog to begin to filter into the denseness of your stories. And be willing to cultivate what I call ‘the pause that refreshes:’ a moment here and a moment there when you actually let go of thinking about the past or the future and simply rest in this living moment – the moment where Love is.