There are times when we seem unable to reach someone and whatever we try doesn’t help, they cannot receive the benefit of our infinite wisdom – you know those times? Our friend/partner/colleague/family seems to be stuck in a loop, berating themselves for never getting it right, for feeling helpless in the face of the pattern or trap, for failing to learn and change. And then pulling it back to ourselves (because we know we’ve experienced the same . . .) we have to ask the question: why are we such hard cases?
Twenty ago when Jeff and I were separated, I was starting out as a yoga trainee. We were sharing in a group and one woman said, “I’ve always known there was a light inside me”, as she put her hand on her heart. I remember the startling impact those words had on me; this was something I had never experienced or even thought about. Once I got past my instant jealousy and the competitive instincts that kicked in, I also realized how much I longed for the same understanding. Suddenly I had an inkling that this light could be a route to take me beyond the patterns that had wreaked havoc in my relationships and made me a hard case.
Our workshop in Abensberg, Germany last weekend coincided with the opening of the Christmas night market in this small town. In the evening the lights came on and people came outside to greet friends and to eat and drink together. It is the season of light (Hanukkah and Diwali also focus on light) and the streetlights, the house decorations, the fires and candles, the sparkles and glitter, all remind us of what is essential to us – friendship, laughter and a sense of sharing the light, our light.
In my experience, establishing a relationship with the light inside us starts with a spark that needs kindling, fuelling and tending. Ask yourself, how do you reconnect with this relationship every day? It doesn’t matter what the form is, whether it’s through mediating, running, playing music, walking the dog, praying or gardening. What matters is that we devote ourselves to it, because from that relationship everything else will follow and we won’t be such hard cases.
Sue and Jeff (in China)