By Julie Daley
“Have compassion for everyone you meet even if they don’t want it. What seems conceit, bad manners, or cynicism is always a sign of things no ears have heard, no eyes have seen. You do not know what wars are going on down there where the spirit meets the bone.” – Miller Williams
I’ve always loved this phrase – “where the spirit meets the bone.” For me, it gets right to the nitty gritty reality of being a conscious, responsive, compassionate human being.
Listening and Responding
In the years since I returned home from my Process in 2002, I’ve dared to show my sensitive self and warm heart to the world. As a writer and artist, I’ve revealed the way I see beauty in the mundane moments. As a woman, I’ve expressed my receptivity and my desire to engage in tender, conscious relationship. As a teacher and coach, I’ve embodied a capacity to listen and respond in kind.
In doing so, I’ve noticed something: that tenderness and talk of love often brings out defensiveness in others. This defensiveness often shows up as criticism for being “weak.” Often what is deemed weak is some of what we uncover at the Process – a compassionate heart, a child-like joy, and a vulnerability that is unnerving to the dark side, both individually and culturally. Sometimes this causes me to recoil and close my warm heart. Sometimes I can find the strength of Spirit to continue to be who I know myself to be.
Spirit Meets the Bone
The Process awakens us to our own powerful presence. We know this place where the spirit meets the bone because we’ve traveled to this place in ourselves, surrounded by 30 or so others doing the same courageous thing.
In the Process, the things ”no ears have heard, no eyes have seen” are finally heard and seen. In going down to the bone and opening ourselves to the Light, we’ve done the work to end the war inside, and it is in this place a truce is called and our arguments with the past can be laid to rest.
In opening ourselves to the Light with courage and vulnerability, we’ve bridged the gap between our humanity and our Spiritual Selves. In touching our deep wounding and witnessing others do the same, we soften, we awaken, we come to know ourselves as powerful, resilient Spirits living in tender, vulnerable bodies. More than this, though, we come to know other human beings in the same way.
Being a Compassionate Presence
Once we’ve experienced this and witnessed this in another, our hearts are awake to the power they hold – to be a compassionate presence in our lives here on Earth.
And then, we return home and quickly re-enter a world where compassion, vulnerability, and tenderness are rarely revealed. Instead, what we tend to see are the ways we hide this place where ”the spirit meets the bone” with “conceit, bad manners,” and, yes, often “cynicism.”
This is where the power of choice comes in. The powerful presence we revealed at the Process is exactly the powerful presence we can bring to our encounters with others’ distrust, contempt, and suspicion – and it’s exactly what our world needs right now.
When love awakens within us, we can love in a broader circle than ourselves, our family, and friends. We can embody the compassion we experienced at the Process. We can meet cynicism and distrust with Light, love, and compassion.
Please join us on the Free teleclass on compassion, Wednesday, May 29. Click here to register.
05/27/19 at 10:59 AM
Thank you 🙏
05/30/19 at 12:00 PM
Lisa, Thanks for leaving your comment. It’s wonderful to connect.
05/27/19 at 8:45 AM
I love this poem and have had a copy at my desk for years. Thank you, Julie, for your willingness to share your open and compassionate heart in your essay.
05/30/19 at 12:00 PM
Thank you, Tami. It’s a pleasure to be able to do so. It’s wonderful to connect with you in this way.