As a singer/songwriter, I wrote a song called Cross_Eyed when I was observing two very good friends trying to communicate when it was clear that their differing points of view were completely standing their own ground without investigating the question that maybe they could learn from one another. It was fascinating to watch two adults engage in a conversation that was tearing at the soul of their friendship. I wanted to step in and save the day but it was plain to see that they wanted the day to pass and the walk away was going to be forever.
In the song, I penned in the first verse, ” Oh, it’s a funny thing the way people are , talking face to face, but so far apart, cuttin’ to the chase, oh but wounding the heart. What’s the price we will pay for what we got the nerve to say? OOHHH we’re talkin’ cross-eyed, from two different points of view. And it’s a sad thing when love won’t prevail, we say we’re from heaven but we’re raising hell, it’s a chain reaction, oh can’t get no satisfaction, no. Gettin’ under each others skin, in a game we can’t win. Cuz we’re talkin’ cross-eyed, from two different points of view, talkin’ cross-eyed me and you.”
This morning, as I’ve considered the journey of my life when I first stepped into the light for the first time at the age of fourteen and began the investigation into the question, ” What is truth?”, and having watched the movie, ” WILD”, thought about the lyrics I wrote to Cross-Eyed and the finality they seemed to have for my friends and I had vowed back then at the time of the writing that I would never allow my point of view be the initiator of a lost friendship, cutting off truth where it could be found among friends. I declared that if a relationship was going to be cut off that it would not be me that did the cutting. That if someone was going to cut me off over a point of view, that at least I would try to see it their way as deeply as I could without feeling the obligation to give up my own viewpoint. Could two opposites truly attract and stay connected? Did they have to sever relationship over petty things that never would matter in the long run or in the scheme of life? I’ve had about three of these types of relationships where I’ve waited it out until the sever worked it’s piece and the pain of it sought to undo me. I had choices to make. I came to the understanding that I no longer could live my life not having a voice and only swallowing other people’s “truth”, or waiting for them to show back up in my life.
This a.m. as I pondered what it meant to be cross-eyed, I realized that as a young girl I had lost my voice and sought to be so “cordial” for others that I lost not only my voice but my very soul as well. In that loss, and the amazing and fearful journey of finding my own soul and gaining custody again of my own heart, I allowed the most painful and agonizing question to surface from the deep, from that hidden place of my heart that demanded at least to be examined.
A situation came up within my soul that asked me to examine a situation in which truth involved more than just my own point of view. I didn’t want it to surface because it took me straight into the paradox of uncertainty and mystery. And yet, I wanted and craved so deeply the life of living so incredibly authentic and honestly that if I once again allowed it to go unexamined, I would remain intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually dishonest.
As a person that loves to live a life of wonder such as a child would, I had to address the area of my life that perpetuated magical thinking as truth, and I clung to it so tenaciously that to relax my grasp on it caused such a deep agony of soul that I thought I would come undone. The deep question of how God could allow the paradox of evil and good to dwell on the same planet. Where Kona and Mother Theresa could breathe the same air, walk the same soil, and drink of the same source of life. Where vitality of life and cancer could dwell in the same room. Where life and death stared each other in the face. This paradox had gnawed at my soul for so long but now demanded that I allow it to surface and look at it straight on without engaging my own point of view. I was just to look at it without a judgment and an answer. Without demanding that I give a logical explanation or even an illogical one that was truly, at it’s best, only a pat answer that was just a distraction and an attempt to make it go back underground.
To look at something in such a detached way became such a freeing experience into letting go of all the certainty that enveloped my magical thinking, to allowing the mystery of life, relationships, and even God, to walk free of my own familiar boundaries and walls. This very experience restored the trust I had lost in the burial I had done of such mystery. The word “restore” means to “bring back to life”. I hadn’t realized that I had actually pushed so much life away in my need to live small and contained so that I was “comfortable” with what was familiar.
As I looked back this morning at the scenario between friends and the lyrics of that song, it was like examining a diamond in the rough. I allowed myself to not only look through the self imprisoned bars I had created, I longed to release myself from those bars altogether. It meant I had to listen deeper to the silence that came with the question of a long ago ruler, ” What is truth?”
When we continue to allow ourselves to only engage with that which is our own point of view, we miss so much of what others have to share with us. We silence them by turning off not only their speaking, but our own hearing as well.
What a disgrace to truth itself! To silence it because it makes us nervous to see it’s other side.
Today, my heart was beckoned in my morning devotion to heed Mark Nepo’s challenge. ” Think of a deep question as a door that opens before you and what you experience, not as a veiled way to criticize or take things apart, or as a strategy to bide some time till you can pursue your own agenda. What can you ask that will open that door? What can you ask that will let you enter what has been opened? A sign of a good question is that the questioner is more alive having asked it.”
Not only a door was opened, but a floodgate of tears that spilled upon the pages of my journey to live life with open eyes and an awakened heart. To allow evil to dwell in the same space as love is beyond me, but to realize that I can no longer engage my magical thinking skills to resist reality is beyond me as well.
“We so filter what we hear through what we believe, that we limit what we take in to only what is familiar. This narrows our understanding of things as they are.” Mark Nepo
Mark challenged me to open my heart to allowing these things to pass through my heart as they are and not what I wanted them to be, the way ink is pressed through silk to imprint a lasting design that I could wear”. (Adapted from “Seven Thousand Ways To Listen.”)
It was a daunting and painful excavation that had been wound up in lots of scar tissue in my heart. Going through each layer has been a time consuming process over the years, but in allowing the questions of life and truth to surface has been a “restoration” of my soul. It allows me to face the fear and embrace the mystery rather than denying it’s existence.
Here’s the song: https://myspace.com/…/mus…/song/cross-eyed-77805320-85719665