Thursday, April 12, 2012

Being Comfortable In Our Own Skin

"The spiritual life is about becoming more at home in your own skin." ~ Parker J. Palmer

This quote was in my Book of Awakening the other morning. As I read it, I looked over at Jake the dog and thought to myself, there is no one in our home more "comfortable in his own skin" than Jake the dog. Nothing much bothers Jake. Quietly unassuming, disheveled...always there. Jake knows what it means to "go with the flow" and no matter what, loves unconditionally. 

As Parker Palmer suggests , all spiritual paths help us to live more fully in the lives we were given. When people ask me how it is that I deal so well with all of my illnesses or they want to know what they can do to better live with the "lot" that they have been given, I always take pause before I answer. Not because I don't have an answer, but because the answer I have is one that is of great importance to me and I want the words spoken to to be as helpful as possible.

I watched a home improvement show the other day where the previous owners of an old home had built a new wood deck over the top of an old existing front porch at least 100 years old. The new deck, which should have lasted 30 years, was crumbling before them. This is what we do in our lives. We put on clothes that make us feel better, we try fad diets that take off pounds in less than 30 days, we post positive thinking lists on the sides of our computers, we read How To books and take on the identities of the "guy that found the answers"...we build our new decks over the top of our old porches every day. It's not until we make our changes to the foundation that we can withstand whatever walks across our lives.

What changed my life, what helps me to live more fully in the life I have been given, what has had the absolute most profound impact on me has been my connection to the spiritual. The spiritual is anything that removes what grows between our hearts and the present moment. It could be the face of a child, the look of a loved one, the realization of our impermanence as we watch a robin build it's nest. The spiritual is everywhere, waiting for us in all that we do. By connecting to it we connect to ourselves, and by connecting to ourselves we heal our very foundation, making ready for whatever the day brings. 

Like Jake the dog, we become comfortable in our own skin.



abcsofra said...

That puppy face is probably one of the cutest ones I have seen in a long time. I try to find solace in my own skin and usually I do ok until my skin begins to shift and change. It is at these times I find it most challenging to find peace with myself and all that surrounds me. But I do find that connecting with nature brings me the most spirituality in my life. Could be something as simple as a single flower blooming, a red robin or blue bird resting on a nearby limb. It is in these single solitary moments that I am content in my skin and at peace with the world.

Theresa said...

Thanks Deb...we think so too!

Yes, I completely understand. For me, in all the shifting and changing at least the grieving stage seems shorter - and I know better what to do - like head out into Nature or get as close to it as possible. Sometimes we work so hard to avoid the quiet - yet it's there within the silence that we find our answers.

Hope you are well today. :-)

susan said...

This really touched a cord in me today - I seem to be shifting and changing again, and struggling to find that quiet acceptance.

Thanks for sharing your journey, it makes mine less lonely, easier somehow.

I hope today brings smiles to all our faces.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

I read your post 6 days ago, and have struggled with the words that I want to say.
Today I am back.
I would like to be comfortable in my own skin too. Part of the struggle is accepting your own skin, yet finding ways to be more comfortable with yourself.
Sometimes I think about pain,,, and what comes to my mind that I deal with is the kind of pain that is not seen so much- the mental kinds of pain- that we deal with daily- just because of who we are.. and what are own soul deals with.
I cannot explain this,,, but my soul just needs a tune up..
and to find that inner peace of taking care of what lies in our hearts and mind.
Sometimes if there is a name of an illness- it can be treated,, but sometimes there is not a name for it- other than continual search to make our soul better and to find more happiness in life.
I hope you can know what I am talking about.
I loved your post---