just be it It’s about the work involved in establishing a dedicated practice to feelings of a bigger belonging through practices aimed at increasing feelings of compassion, gratitude and forgiveness

You Matter.

Published on 14/04/20
by randy

Nothing stays the same. Everything affects everything. Nothing disappears.

It can be extremely challenging if you’ve bought into equating your ‘mattering’ to what you have or what you’ve done.  We can spend lifetimes chasing after the approval of others, forever seeking more stuff, more recognition, more attention and a bigger audience to what we do.  No doubt, validation from others feeds our self esteem.  It also feeds our sense of separateness.  The more we have the more we put attention to not losing it.  The more attention we get, the more we want it.  Yet, our real sense of ‘mattering’ begins with putting loving attention to the matter that transports us through this thing we call life, the body.

Ground zero for mattering is the body.  If you’re alive, you matter.  If anything is alive, it matters.  There’s a recognition of the sacred in all life.  We may use arbitrary symbols to create words and thoughts that may seem to be matter.   They’re not.  They are much like the perspiration from the body, they come and go.  I can attach to the concept of mattering due to my possessions and accomplishments.  Yet, sooner or later this breaks down.  It’s of human nature to age, to face disease, to say goodbye to the body, goodbye to all our stuff and all our relationships.

In the midst of this pandemic, the felt experience of worth or worthlessness has touched so many.  If you’re struggling for food and/or shelter, in full survival mode, you may already have lots of experience in dealing with those feelings of low self esteem.  If you’re someone new to the humbled experience, new to unemployment, new to spaciousness in your day, and new to losing attention from others, you are probably being worked pretty hard.  Thoughts of ‘not enough’ may be running rampant in your head.  Anxiety about uncertainty may be causing great stress.  

I’ve found the most effective treatment for this ‘squeeze’ is to simply put my attention to the breath.  I begin with the body, deepening awareness to the mystery of its functioning, extending gratitude for all that it does for me.  The first step is to move into the present moment, accepting it fully as gift, gift for the opportunity to participate in this thing called life.   It’s most helpful when I can eliminate personal possessive pronouns when thinking of the body.  Instead of directing loving attention to ‘my hand’, I’ll extend warmth and appreciation to ‘the hand’, often prefacing my gratitude with, ‘dear hand’.  I learned this from a serious knee injury I sustained at the age of twelve.  It was not helpful to whine and complain about the injury.  The more I did this the more the knee hurt.  I learned early on that the more loving attention I gave the damaged knee, the better it responded in the healing process.  That injury had me confined in a hospital for a month, in a wheel chair for three months, and on crutches for eight months.  My surgeon understood the healing process and challenged me hard to stay in the moment, working through the pain of the exercises he gave me.  I suffered to the degree I stepped into craving things the way they were before the injury and suffered to the extent I pushed him to definitive answers to my uncertain future.  He did speculate that I’d need an artificial knee at twenty-two years of age.  I’m now almost seventy and daily give gratitude to the beautiful functioning of that knee.  That knee matters.  That knee is matter.  That knee deserves my resolve to care for it, to exercise and strengthen it, to give attention and compassion to it when pain sensations arise, and to steward it the best I can.

Our attention may be all that we own.  Others are continually asking us for it.  We may feel like we matter when we get it from others for what we have or what we’ve done.  Yet, our real mattering comes from waking up to our matter, giving thanks for how it serves us and stewarding its functioning through awareness training and conscious consumption.  At this time, for me, it’s critical to tend to the body strengthening the immune system to face another potential viral predator.

When cultivating this sense of ‘mattering’, it’s not a comparative to others.  It’s full recognition that all life matters, nothing superior, nothing inferior.  That’s the beauty of waking up to the illusion of our separateness.  When we care for the body, no complaint/no complaint, we care for the universe.  When we abuse the body or recklessly put it in harms’ way, we harm the universe. That’s why awareness training is never ending as we continually deepen in balanced, awake behavior that takes us just beyond our edge of performance.  Moving deeper, we’re ever increasing our capacity to hold a balanced posture, to move deliberately, from a sense of support, gratitude and compassion…finding the true meaning in ‘take care’.

You matter.  You have always mattered.  You will always matter, nothing disappears.  You are loved.  You have always been loved.  You will always be loved.  You are supported.  You have always been supported.  You always will be supported.  You are not alone.  You have never been alone.  You never will be alone.  You matter.  You have always mattered.  You will always matter.  Living in the divided mind, the us vs. them mind, is living in the profane.  Living in the unified mind, the mind that wakes to the illusion of separateness, is living in the sacred.  In the sacred there’s no birth, no death.  Just this precious moment. Just Be It.

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