“In every relationship, we have a choice: to choose love or separation, to choose for love or to choose for hate or fear.” — Margaret Wheatley, IN SWEET COMPANY: CONVERSATIONS WITH EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN ABOUT LIVING A SPIRITUAL LIFE
Lately, almost everyone I know is up to their eyeballs in some expression of chaos. The world has sped UP! Big time! What manifests on the macro level as wars and earthquakes and near-government shut downs manifests on a micro level in our own lives: We battle, we rattle, and we power down. Oui?
Eastern philosophy talks about the chaos as being part of an eternal cycle of creation, preservation, and destruction. This cycle — the notion that things change, that nothing is permanent — comforts me. It helps me put the chaos in perspective, helps me manage it; to see it not only as temporary, but to understand the way new beginnings rise from the ashes of rude endings. When I reduce events to a point in the cycle, I more easily stand above them. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, I see them through God’s eyes.
There is a wonderful poem by the Persian mystic Hafiz, called “Divine Invitation,” that I sometimes read when I am roiling that helps me remember I can choose how I respond to the turbulence around or within me. I share it with you now:
“You have been invited to meet
No one can resist a Divine Invitation.
That narrows down all our choices
To just two:
We can come to God
Dressed for Dancing,
Be carried on a stretcher
To God’s Ward.”