one of the (specific & numerous) reasons that kept me from wanting to go, was that
what i had heard from a recently married friend of mine was
that a person who was going to be on retreat tried to break up my friend’s recent marriage.
(yes, i’m intentionally being vague)
i didn’t know the details
i still don’t
and heading into the retreat, i could feel a sort of shield up
ideas fixed & hard
(one of the many, various heart-shields)
with a particular one towards this particular person.
i was polite, and (re)introduced myself before the silence began
they didn’t remember me from the wedding
(i wear my invisibility cloak a lot here in town…)
and through the retreat
even though there are no words, and a lot of silence
i could feel my heart starting to tenderize
there’s a deeper getting-to-know-you which occurs there… in the silence, even without words.
something in me began to melt
with the realization that their own life is unfolding in mysterious ways
reflecting on the complexity of life.
and how it’s so easy to hold on to a fixed idea about something, or someone…
finding myself questioning and challenging the hard shield of beliefs and assumptions that i held regarding this person.
…what their life was like when young…
…what their own marriage was like…
…considering where life is leading them…
i didn’t know these things, and so much more.
by the end of the retreat
i could feel a softening,
and a sincere respect for their life.
there’s no knowing, as much as i would like to know, how this whole interwoven confluence of living beings is at play.
sitting here, i’m really grateful for the reminder that my mind & heart can shift, soften, & forgive.
Nadia Boltz-Weber calls this a heart transplant.
i’m reminded of the blessing (& the curse) of this beautiful truth:
all phenomena changes.