To Have and To Have Not

Gratitude. ||. 2018

Contrast is something that I think of with a consistency of frequent rather than few and far in between. All experiences bring with them contrast. It is the way of change. It is the way that each of us has arrived at the place of our standing. Nothing remains the same; the good, the not so good, and that which feels suspended between the two have an ebb and flow about their movement. Nothing is fixed or set in stone, not even that which we seek to hold onto. It seeps slowly through our fingers and into the space of change.

Some moments reveal this truth to me as though in neon lights flashing overhead. I can’t deny what was and what has come to be. I used to have it all and now I have but the memory of the material and the growth of my spirit and its practice in faith. When I chose to let everything go and move to Mexico, I didn’t think about when I would regain all that I had before. I only knew that the release was necessary, and now I exist seemingly at the center of the unknown where my having is less and my being is more. Perhaps that is what happens when we enter into “having not” after having had it all.

My material life is scaled way back and with that comes moments of longing. My ability to have several glasses of red wine at fifteen dollars a glass has settled into one. There is an appreciation for the one in a way that was not there when I could order several. I sip a bit slower, and I linger a bit longer over any meal eaten out. I order more carefully and am more mindful of each step in the direction of the material. It is a humbling experience, one that my spirit chose even without my conscious awareness understanding all of the reasons why. Even now, I do not fully know and yet I know fully that this time now, this period of rebuilding has deep and heavy roots that spread undersoil where they are creating a world with which I will grow intimately through time.

I have chosen this journey. The very moment I gave notice and walked away from my career in hospice, I stepped over the divide and into freedom. The thing about freedom is that it’s free. There are no walls to lean on or hold onto; there is no door with an exit sign allowing us to return to what was when we had all that we needed and more. Inside of freedom there is only our faith. It is the invisibility on which we lean. It is the quiet guidance that we listen out for in order to know in which direction to step, or if we are to remain still. It is as though I have cashed in my ability to order the entire menu for this journey in seeing what is meant by walking on water or feeding the five thousand with less over the more. It isn’t always easy, no. That is a misconception. The journey is filled with waiting and being tested inside the wait. Yet there is peace.

Some things can’t be explained, perhaps aren’t even meant to be. That is how I feel about the level of peace I have deep within about this time now where my material having is less while my inner well is filled to overflow. I am somewhere I worked all of my adult years not to be: without, and yet I am somewhere I have always desired to be: free, unburdened, and without the confines of clock-time. I know that soon I will rebuild and regain; I will be able to have several glasses of wine and order freely from the material menu, and yet I will never return to that place of not-knowing what it means to have. I will remember always the way of the circle: how one hundred and eighty degrees of it is having, and that it directly connects to the other one hundred and eighty degrees of not having.

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