Tag Archives: phenomena

reflections from on retreat, fixed ideas, & change

before going on retreat over new years

one of the (specific & numerous) reasons that kept me from wanting to go, was that

well

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

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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.

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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

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there’s a deeper getting-to-know-you which occurs there…  in the silence, even without words.

something in me began to melt

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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…

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finding myself questioning and challenging the hard shield of beliefs and assumptions that i held regarding this person.

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…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.

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by the end of the retreat

i could feel a softening,

and a sincere respect for their life.

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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.

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