Guess Who’s Coming to Breakfast
Aaaaaahhhh…expectations…what I’ve called a pesky little stupid human trick that keeps coming back to bite us in the buttocks. It’s not just a mental habit, it’s part of freakin’ biology. Sorta helps us figure things out, make sense of chaos. Whether we are actually mentally seeking (or presuming to see) patterns to create stability in surrounding chaos or, as according to a new study released in Nature Neuroscience, our eyes and brain do that for us. According to the study’s co-author, Jason Fischer, we “are seeing at the present moment is not a fresh snapshot of the world but rather an average of what you’ve seen in the past 10-15 seconds”–it’s a sort of ‘visual smoothing’, a ‘continuity field’ that “is the brain’s way of reducing the number of things we have to deal with in the visual environment…If we were sensitive to every little change, our brains probably couldn’t cope”. So, not a stupid human trick at all, a fancy evolutionary & advantageous one. The exercises of physical vision may not equal that of mental expectations. In my mind, though, that ‘visual continuity field’ goes far beyond navigating the world with our eyes. To me, it’s a reflection (yes, intended!) of how we keep seeing what we want to see & looking for things to appear in the fashion we believe they should.
We expect the light of god to show up, well, in the manner we expect it to show up. Usually, in a comfortable manner, one in which we think we know or have read about it spiritual texts, one in which we have actually wanted it to show up & made up our mind that it is going to show up (or how it’s not going to show up, in many cases). Each one manner defined how we believe we should see that god-light.
Combine that with the notion of how we think that amorphous love-thing should show up, throw in some scrambled eggs and a hug from a stranger…well…
We forget that the clarity brought by light brings illumination of everything related to our truth–even that from which we’ve hidden. We are often confronted with pain, the depths of which are commensurate to the years it has been buried and breadth proportionate to how we’ve used that pain as a weapon toward others.
Enlightenment–such as it may appear for each of us (if it does appear for any of us)–isn’t about the opening of the heaven’s in the romantical, clouds parting & angels singing fashion.
It’s about the opening of the heart. Not gently but cracked hard & wide open. So that light may be shed into the places we’ve hidden aspects of ourselves, tucked pain behind, turned into weapons and shields that have not served us but harmed others.
There is, in the song Glory of Love that I first heard when I saw Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and then again in Beaches. The lyrics that go a little something like this:
“You’ve got to give a little, take a little, and let your poor heart break a little. That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love.”
That broken heart is often how love finds you or how you actually let it loose–the love you’ve walled off and shielded from. That love-stuff in all of it’s glory.
To the person who’s heart was unexpectedly cracked like those scrambled eggs after a hug from a stranger, I say this:
I see you. And I love you. I feel you. And I love you. I see your pain, your loss, your grief, your fear, your grace. And, I love you. You are loved immeasurably. Without condition. I have and forever will hold your heart in mine own. Let yourself know mine through those who want you to feel their love.