The Illustration Friday word of the week is warning.
Sometimes in moments of acute frustration, I find myself wishing fervently for an external, clear path to follow. I wish for a path or a system that could tell me exactly what choices to make and how to achieve that elusive goal, success. That path would have road signs that point, “You are here. This is how you get there.” It might even be handy to have a red warning light on my forehead that could predict, “Danger! Danger!” in a no-fooling, mechanical voice.
Usually, though, I am counting on the belief that trusting my Inner Guidance is an art that can be learned and depended upon for all of my life choices. It is the art of Listening, augmented by the ability to pay attention to, and learn from, the outcomes of my choices. When I am not in a fearful (or frustrated) state, I remember that human beings are bodies and souls. Such a dual journey may well be more about the Soul’s journey than it is about the status, resume, or bank account growth. It may be that the acquisition of property, success and external perfection are not what we are really here for…not the Purpose of a life. If it’s not for external achievement, then what are we here for?
Surely Leonard Cohen was alluding to the true purpose when he wrote, “Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” (“Anthem” lyrics from the album, “The Future”)
Mary Oliver, in her poem, “Wild Geese”, said this another way,
“You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.”
Let us remind ourselves: we are already the goal. There is nowhere to get to, nothing to achieve that will make us more perfect, more successful than the miracle that we already are. When we realize this, we bring the joy and peace of that understanding to everything external that we do. “Success” takes on a whole new meaning…
“Danger” (watercolor, gouache, pencil, pen & ink)