>Do you think that I know what I’m doing?
That for one breath or half-breath I belong to myself?
As much as a pen knows what it’s writing,
or the ball can guess where it’s going next. ~Rumi
My husband just bought a navigation system for his new job. As he set it up that first night I mimicked the voices, making sexual suggestions to him with each one. When I got into his car this weekend, I noticed he picked the sexy Brit voice. I asked him if he would listen to me if I talked like that. He told me to try it.
There was a time when I was his navigation system, and he didn’t like it. We were in Maui. It was our honeymoon. I had been there once before. He had never. When I was there without him, it was dark when we landed. We got a taxi that took us to the other side of the island. As we drove, I remember feeling afraid. All I could see was darkness aside from some dim lights scattered throughout a dark mountain. In the morning, I awoke to the most beautiful place I had ever seen, a place which now runs adjacent with my own blood cells, feeding me life when I get down and depressed. Naturally I wanted to take my husband there.
When we landed, it was dark. As the “Sexy Brit” I was confident where I was going because I remembered there being signs pointing in the direction of every town. Not to mention the road was one continuous circle. Go to the left you are in the ocean. Go the right you head toward the mountain. Yet, Chuck kept asking me if I was sure where I was going. Being the honest person I am, I said I was pretty sure. That it was easy. You couldn’t get lost, but that I did not know my exact way. This made him frustrated, and somewhat angry at me.
Fast forward 10 years later, and we are arguing in the kitchen of our Minnesota home. I sense he is frustrated with me. That he doesn’t understand me. That he can’t keep up with me. And not only this, he doesn’t want to. He says, “I don’t want to be that smart.” But I have wanted him to be. To navigate his way through me and understand my complexities. Isn’t it Bryan Adams who sings, “To really love a woman. To understand her. You’ve got to know what’s deep inside. Hear every thought. See every dream. And give her wings when she wants to fly?”
So I ask him to remember our time in Maui. “Remember when we landed in Maui and you were frustrated that you didn’t think I knew where I was going.”
He says, “Yeah, and why wouldn’t I be? You didn’t offer me any confidence you knew where you were going. Why would I follow someone who doesn’t know where they are going?”
This statement kind of pissed me off, so I said, ” You follow me becuase you trust me. Because I am of good character, and you try to enjoy the ride instead of getting pissed off because you don’t understand.”
I went on: “Remember how beautiful Maui was when you woke up that morning. My wish is that you someday wake up and realize how beautiful I am. That I am a work in progress and you don’t need to understand me to appreciate me. To enjoy me.”
So what does this story have to do with Spiritual Navigation? I am not sure I know yet, and that is okay. Read Rumi’s quote again: Do you think that I know what I’m doing?…..
As much as a pen knows what it’s writing…
Must we know every turn before we head out of a parking lot? Must we know and understand everything about a person in order to trust them? To love them? To appreciate them? To follow them?
How many of us trust President Obama right now? I know I do and not because I have a clue as to how he is going to navigate us through our catastrophes, but because I trust his character, his vision, and his valor.
Can we move forward even though it’s dark outside? Have you heard the expression about only needing to see the step in front of you, or the headlights on a car only shine a few feet ahead? The rest is a mystery. If we want to really live, we have got to move forward anyway, even if we cannot see that far.
There was a time when I thought I had my life figured out. I had a dream. I was going to be a mother, and a good and stable one unlike my own. I was going to get married and make it last unlike my parents. I was going to get a house, with a dog and white picked fence because dammit! I didn’t have this. And I did it. I got all of that, and then I met Maui. Maui captivated me and let me know there was something more suitable for me. Some place which felt more like home than any other place I had been.
Led by this new vision, we sold our stable life and exchanged it for what we thought would bring us joy, simplicity and authenticity. But instead that dream collapsed and we never got there, and my life has not felt figured out since. Thinking we have it figured out is an illusion, especially when we desire for more and want to REALLY live.
Can we trust when the sun shines again we will be amazed at where we find ourselves? YES! and now I know where Spiritual Navigation fits into my story. Spiritual Navigation is the ability to follow what is inherent in us. The life I was living, surrounded by the white picked fence was nice, but navigated by the unconscious fear and insecurity of a child who did not feel secure. Maui ushered in a new energy- a navigation system of renewal, which propelled me not to where I thought, but to where I needed to go in order to learn what I had to learn to be more of my authentic self.
True Spiritual Navigation is not taking direction from the “Sexy Brit” who tells us which way to go. The society which sets up a system for us so we can’t REALLY live. Or the family which is afraid for us to truly live. True Spiritual Navigation is hearing the genuine whisper or sometimes striking impulse from within, which may make us say to ourselves, “That’s crazy, but I’m doing it anyway.”
I just read in O Magazine about actor Timothy Hutton’s AHA! moment. After he won the Academy Award for his role in Ordinary People, he had a lot on his mind and thought the best thing to do was go to the airport and decide on a destination. He had a new passport, $7,000 and a new credit card. He decided on Air France. He then spent the next few days in Paris. His lesson: “If you have an impulse to do something , and it’s not totally irresponsible, why not do it?”
I am reminded of what “Jack” said on Titanic, played by Leonardo DiCaprio: “…I love waking up in the morning not knowing what’s gonna happen or, who I’m gonna meet, where I’m gonna wind up. Just the other night I was sleeping under a bridge and now here I am on the grandest ship in the world having champagne with you fine people. I figure life’s a gift and I don’t intend on wasting it. You don’t know what hand you’re gonna get dealt next. You learn to take life as it comes at you… to make each day count.
I’m with you Jack. This is the way I NOW choose to live. Does anyone care to follow?