I received the follow text in an email this morning that thought it good to share. It is published with the authors permission.
A recent book title spoke to me. The title was An Undivided Life and it asked the questions, what does that mean for you? do you live an undivided life? It sounds lovely, doesn’t it? An undivided life. Exactly what is it then that separates a divided life from an undivided life? Is it that a divided life is full of shoulds and if onlys? Full of how could I do that. and why didn’t I do thus and so? Perhaps it is not that an undivided life is absent of those insistently self denigrating questions, but that an undivided life is full of the willingness to accept those aspects of our self that seem to our mind less than lovely, and recognize that it is those very attributes, unpleasant as they may be for us to look at, that are the open doors through which we can walk to the other side of those habits of speech and behavior.
A colleague told me today that he is really afraid of doing something in the office that I might disapprove of because my reaction when that happens is so overwhelming. And we’re not talking major mistakes here, we’re talking little things, like where you put the teaspoons after you’ve made tea. Where does the need to control come from? Isn’t there room in my personal universe for more than one way to do something? And when I’m no longer there in the office, how will things be done? And when I die, how will things be done then? Any-place is a good place to start, right now is a good time to begin.
Please let me see myself as others see me, let me be as my heart wishes others to be. Please let me step through the mirrored doorway into that open spaciousness (fearlessness?) that allows us all to be a compassionate universe within ourselves, and with and for others.
Here ends my correspondents words.
3 thoughts on “Reflections on an Undivided Life”
I think we should be ourselves & not worry about what others see. I haven’t read the book but my idea of a divided self might be – not being at peace with myself. A divided life could be all sorts. Perhaps where some actions or needs or desires clash with others & don’t come together to make a harmonious whole. It’s an endless debate really……I feel like I live many different lives all at once.
Thank you for the prayerful ending of your post. I will join you in this prayer since whatever lack of compassion I seem to have for others appears to have root in my lack of compassion for some aspect of my self. In this way, let the truth of “no separation” flower in my actions.
Yes, it was a great retreat.
In gassho, Jim
One could contemplate on questions what it would mean if ones life is divided or undevided and its inviting and might be helpfull to do so.
On the other hand I feel for myself I don’t know how I can look at my life in this way. It feels like seperating myself from just living right now and right here. How can I look at it? I can’t stand apart from it.