My team, the Minnesota Vikings, lost a "heartbreaker" last night.Lapsing into old habits of responding, I experienced personal defeat that mirrored theirs.
Watching the game, my intention to stay Zen-like in the moment, compassionate and dispassionate, was challenged by a number of miscues and lost opportunities on the field.I did ok until near the end, when, with one final mistake, Vikings snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
Old woeful stories re-surfaced (like, how the Vikes always seem to find a way to let us down).I found myself ruminating about that final interception, re-playing it repeatedly, fighting with its occurrence, imagining "what-ifs."
Upon reflection, I see how that inner repetition of injury etches the hurt in neural pathways, deepening the wound, leaving a mark that's more permanent – like a steer being branded by a hot iron.Mind chatter and rumination are so different from the healing experience of staying gently present to one's feelings and bathing in light.
Grumpy and irritable, I chose disconnection over connection – finding escape (but not solace) in a book of Jumbles (word puzzles), when the comfort of snuggles and emotional support was readily available.
And so, defeat (an inevitable part of life) became self-defeating (which is optional).
Luckily, defeat teaches.Luckily, I'm not bound by past choices and patterns. Being mindful in this new moment, I'm free to choose healing over rumination, relationship over isolation, vitality over habit.
Lately, I've been looking for a text to inspire the winter/spring session of Connecting, a meditation and spiritual growth group I facilitate on Thursday nights.
In a recent Speaking of Faith newsletter (thanks, Dan, for forwarding it my way), National Public Radio's Krista Tippett recommends a translation by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy of a book by mystic poet, Ranier Maria Rilke - Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God.
Here's a sample of his work.
I love you, gentlest of Ways,
who ripened us as we wrestled
You, the great homesickness we
could never shake off,
you, the forest that always
you, the song we sang in every
you dark net threading through
on the day you made us you
and we grew sturdy in your
Let your hand rest on the rim of
and mutely bear the darkness we
bring over you.
Fascinated, as always, by big LOVE - the LOVE we share and the LOVE we are - I ordered some Rilke, today.