Yesterday morning I finished yoga and was supposed to “get up from my laying position and feel good about using these 30 minutes to improve my breathing and strength”. I stayed down. My body wouldn’t move except for a bunch of tears streaming down onto the floor. This position feels more honest to me right now than any upright, contributing-to-society position. Right now, I’d rather be honest than great. I’d rather be cohesive than impressive. A pile of parts on the floor. I’ve had this picture in my head, and yesterday my body was able to meet down there with my mind and my heart. It was awful. But it wasn’t hell. Hell isn’t that honest. Hell isn’t that beautiful. A couple of weeks ago I felt sick and had to lay down. I think I posted something about it after. Basically, I thought I was sick until I realized I was just sad. I allowed myself to cry and then got up and felt fine. It was painful. But it wasn’t hell. Hell isn’t that real. I don’t really care about the after-life hell right now. I’m trying to live today, so what happens after death feels too impractical. But I am becoming increasingly aware of another, more immediate and available, hell. One I feel much more drawn to than the after-life one. One I feel much more familiar with. I’ve spent a lot of time here. Separated. Fragmented. Part of me still back in real life, in moments which actually are. But my mind is in the future, controlling - deciding what others think, deciding what I will do and what things will happen to me and to my family and how and why… creating my own universe. But even I am not really there, or only a part of me is; the rest of me is back in reality. In life. And in being both places, I basically am being nowhere. I’m not being at all. I’m worrying. I’m controlling. But it’s pretending. None of it is real, and while I stay neither here nor there; while I remain in a state of not-being, of not-living, real life continues, and I miss it. Non-being. Separated not only from my self, but from my wife, my kids, my family and friends, and if God is life and God is real, then also separate from God. In a prison of worry, anxiety, and the responsibility to carry the world on my own shoulders. Isolation. Hell. Hell is where Life is not, like darkness is where light is not. Life is here, in this moment, where things just are. Hell is everywhere else. I’ll admit right now that I may be completely theologically wrong. That’s fine. I have no interest in being right. But I do have great interest in shining light on something when I see it. Here is what I see: I see life being skipped over by people who always believe they should be somewhere other than where they are. I see Industry helping people go - anywhere else, right now. I see a culture sitting on the starting line of their journeys, never taking the first step because Fear has them shopping for better shoes before they’ll start. I see this in our culture. In our work. In our churches. Everywhere. I see this in myself the most. I also see people waking up, lots of them. I’m not the only one. I see that very clearly. I see heaven coming. Not on the horizon or in the after- life. I see it coming from right here - from within people. People are waking up and realizing, Heaven is in our possession - a gift given to us, with a charge, to usher it in. We are the delivery system. I don’t think “ushering heaven in” looks like saying a prayer or believing the right things as hard as we can. I think it probably looks more like stopping what we’re doing and talking to our kids about legos (literally, as I was typing that my son came in and asked me to fix his lego guy 😐). Or stopping to just be still for a while. Stopping to pay attention to our breath, or to allow ourself to cry about something, or laugh. Stopping the universe-creating, the living in the future, the researching all uncertainty out from our lives… I’m sure it starts with stopping - becoming quiet. Rest. I don’t know exactly what it looks like for you, but I do believe each of us deep down knows EXACTLY what it looks like to live life, our life, just the way it is, today. I know it will start with a lot of letting go. And a lot more trust than we’re comfortable with. And a lot more uncertainty, discomfort, and even pain than we’d like. But deep down it’s what we all want. Real Life. We want to live. We want to BE. No longer fragmented; no longer separate from where we really are; no longer isolated from each other, from God, and from ourselves. If we want this, if we want to really live, we are going to have to fight. The battle between Hell and Heaven is for the moments happening right now. Neither of them cares about our silly future. The battle is real and it’s now. And you know exactly what you need to do. Please, do it.
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