Unclenching the Fists

Posted on June 5, 2013

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As I have been writing and writing, question after question, I continue to see that there are two ways to live life… with open hands or with clenched fists.   First, I began to see the clenching; the things, the myriad of things that I was clinging to. Why was I holding so tightly to so many things? Nothing is permanent in this life. All is temporary? How do we live life when nothing lasts? Why do we hold on?

“If I loose my grip… will I take flight?” (Bruce Cockburn)

We hold on to homes, cars, possessions. We hold on to our kids, our spouses, our friendships. Why do we hold so tightly to what will not last? Often suffocating what we love the most. “Our disasters come from letting nothing live for itself, from the longing we have to pull everything, even friends, into ourselves, and let nothing alone.” (Robert Bly)

What if we were to live life without holding on, allowing the butterfly to light on our open palm without grasping it; leaving it free to fly away unharmed. Maybe everything in this life is as fragile and beautiful as a butterfly. Maybe, just maybe, if we allow it to just be, without grabbing it, it can continue to live its own life, unharmed by our grasp. Maybe, just maybe, we can marvel in wonder at its beauty, both as it sits in the open palm AND as it flies away… free to return… if it wishes.

What if we see each other as fragile beings

… in need of the freedom to sit with each other, or fly away?

… in need of the freedom to speak out or be silent?

… in need of the freedom to just be, without being changed?

… in need of following the light we have been given?

… without judgement

… without coercion

… without manipulation?

… just being the person that I am?

What if?

How do I treat my money? … with open hands or with clenched fists?

How do I treat my material possessions? … with open hands or with clenched fists?

How do I treat my career? … with open hands or with clenched fists?

How do I react to what another person says? … with open hands or with clenched fists?

How do I treat someone I disagree with? … with open hands or with clenched fists?

How do I interact with people of other religious beliefs? … with open hands or with clenched fists?

How do I get along with people of political beliefs that I don’t agree with? … with open hands or with clenched fists?

How do I act with other human beings? … with peace or with violence?   Does it have to be MY way? Do I HAVE to be right?   I wonder why we cannot seem to live at peace with all people?   I wonder why religious people seem to be the worst offenders?

Refer to these verses in the Bible: Romans 12:18 and Hebrews 12:14

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