restriction

You've got yourself stuck in a moment

And now you can't get out of it

- U2

Arthur Henry Young. Life through the eyes of Trees

Arthur Henry Young. Life through the eyes of Trees

Have you ever felt like your life has been taken hostage by circumstances that you have no control over or power to change, causing you to wonder if fate has dealt you a bad hand or that there was some kind of malevolent force conspiring against you for unfair reason. The unpredictability of life can be down right scary at times, full of uncertainty and apprehension. Learning to navigate this terrain takes skilful resolve and wise input from as many sources as possible. Getting stuck is inevitable, it's the futures way of introducing you to the possibility of change and transformation. For many this can evoke a social anxiety that disorientates and disturbs the inner workings of our well-being, but as disconcerting as it is, evolution comes to us all, not just to disturb our equilibrium but to introduce us to new ways of seeing and thriving in the world around us.

We are living in unprecedented days of advancement and progress where antiquity is being confronted at a fast rate of knots by futurity. Our ancient ways of seeing the world and primitive social constructs are under threat by the ever increasing advancement of knowledge. Human consciousness and the sciences are collaborating together like never before, suggesting that our old binary ways of looking at the world are no longer sufficient and that we need to consider a more unitive and non-dual way of processing the deep inner workings of life.

The mystics believe that the holy work of sacred spirit is a counter intuitive partnership with 'release and restraint'. ‘Release’ seeks to promote ever greater dimensions of freedom and flourishing while the ‘restraint’ element is the arbiter that seeks to define the boundaries and limitations that manage our well-being.

Our ancient biblical forebears described the HOLY SPIRIT as a restraining agent that controlled the equilibrium of all matter, a binding force or energy centre that holds everything in play, including the life flow that governs the animation of humanity. If we are to believe that there is something bigger going on behind the scenes then we have to ask how our experiences of restriction have actually presented the divine to us. If God is present in the restriction or restraint then we have to discern the moment in order to find the grace and power that is potentially on offer. Restriction slows us long enough to get in touch with that part of us which is in pain or in need of healing. Depression, once seen as something to overcome or exorcise from our life is now being recognised as a signpost that is pointing to a deeper suffering or agony that is deep in the human psyche.

'My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness'.

If we refuse to lean back into or engage with the struggle of constriction we can end up trying to prematurely extricate ourselves from the situation only to find ourselves back there sooner than later. I personally hate the claustrophobic feelings of restriction and invariably try to extract myself as fast as possible, but truth be told I need to let the powers of restriction and restraint have their way with me especially if I am going to learn the subtle art of trust. When I get stuck I need a helping hand, a rescuer of sorts who reaches into my life to remind me that I am a communal agent that is constitutionally connected to others and in need of assistance. More often than not my independent inclinations cause me to withdraw and battle it out alone afraid to let my vulnerability be seen by another, after-all, who wants to come across as weak and needy. Pride has a wonderful way of putting on a strong front even when your life might be imploding in the background and the ego likes to be in control especially when your soul is crying out for help. Our egotism loves the path of ascent, the upwardly mobile direction of success and external notoriety but the soul knows that the path of descent is the only true way to wholeness and health.This path is one of letting go, or in Biblical terms ‘carrying your cross’; facing your demons or befriending your grief and loss.

When Bono wrote the lyrics of 'Stuck in a Moment’ he was referring to his good friend Michael Hutchence who sadly took his own life. A poignant line in the song is…"You've got to get yourself together, you've got stuck in a moment...” which for me is not a get-over-it or toughen-up taunt. I would like to think that he was saying, if you are stuck in a moment then you need to get yourself together with someone else because you cant do this on your own. Maybe we need keep an eye out for those who are on the same path of descent and cosy on up in order to find solace in the moment. Or maybe we need to look to those who have travelled this road before so that we can glean from their wisdom and insight. Which ever the case you are not alone on your journey. Some thing WHOLLY is going on.