All of us go through times when we encounter resistance in the course of sharing our heart's passion. Others may not understand our perspective or may actually oppose it. This is especially difficult for those of us who are sensitive by nature. Our sensitivity turns out to be a double-edged sword: the very quality that makes us receptive to the beauty and goodness of the world also causes us to be sensitive to criticism and to the failure of others to understand our calling. It is during such times that we can take consolation in what Meister Eckhart calls "living without a WHY." He says:
"The one who has abandoned self in all things and does all she does without Why and in love, is alive in God and God in her. God loves for the sake of love and acts for the sake of action. Therefore, whoever is born of God loves God for the sake of loving God and does all her work for the sake of working."
Here, the "self" one abandons is the usual human identity that needs to feel support and consolation from others or from circumstances. "Loving God for the sake of loving God" means cherishing the divine joy present in one's field of endeavor, no matter what.
During these times, I like to picture that I - like all of us - have my existence as a mirror-image of the Beloved. Here it is as though the Beloved playfully withdraws consolation from a situation in order to get the mirror-image - i.e., myself and my passion - to act on its own, as though making gestures that the Beloved never made, and echoing in a voice that is playfully different than that of the Beloved and with words that the Beloved never spoke!
In other words, during times of desolation, I enjoy imagining that I am meant to add surprise and wonder to the mirror-image which I am, thus increasing joy and delight in the Cosmos at large!
Photo: Douglas-Fir cone and sprig and the Red Rocks Fountain Formation, Roxborough State Park, CO, March 12, 2016
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Stephen Hatch, M.A. is a spiritual teacher and photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His approach is contemplative, inter-spiritual, and Earth-based.