While our minister, Rev. Michael Leuchtenberger, is on sabbattical, we will fill our Musings space with insights from our members.
Balance…and Finding Your Fulcrum
These are challenging days. My instinct is to pause and share a story.
I have had two experiences in my spiritual journey that shook me to the core in a very good way. The first thirty-nine years of my life were full of fear on the inside, bravado on the outside. After an unstable childhood I joined the insanity of late 1960s college campus life, and only a couple years later was told I was going blind. Thirteen eye surgeries spread out over many years exposed me to some of the kindest medical professionals, but also to two misogynistic surgeons, medical errors, and an increasing sense of my being damaged goods. Alcohol, legal and effective, became a good friend, then a bit of an enemy. My first deep epiphany occurred when I decided to check out a place one can go when concerned about one’s drinking, and discovered an entire “underground city” of the most loving, accepting, encouraging people I have ever met. Their wisdom and restraint and humility continue to leave me in awe and I am grateful for having this oasis of inspiration in my life, where the best of human nature is revealed. This first miracle is about faith in others.
But what about my inner life, my own soul and the filter I use every day? Is it naïve to be an optimist? Is it worth living if I wear my turd-colored glasses and am skeptical of everyone’s motives? Does rehearsing a disaster change the outcome or prevent the next eye surgery? Not that I have found so far. And then it happened.
In 2013, thanks to a Canadian friend having planted the seed (that seed is a glorious story in itself!), I had an Insight experience while driving 70 miles an hour up I-93. I had driven past the exit that led to my mother’s house and realized I would never be able to go see her there again because she had died a few years prior. My nose got prickly, the tears began to flow, my breath was jagged. My whole body was tense, holding back the sobs because I was driving and had to maintain control of the car.
Suddenly, at the Exit 23 overpass, I looked down at my hands on the steering wheel, and laughed aloud. Without moving a muscle of my hands or legs, I had just had a full body experience based 100% on a single random thought. “NOTHING just happened!” I cheered.
In an instant I saw the power of the human design, of how any thought has the ability to become so fascinating that it will cover one’s entire field of perception. That it will seem to be so much more than a simple Thought because one’s body will collude in the dance. The key is not the content of your thought, but rather remembering (then forgetting, then remembering) that Thought is a powerful gift. Once acknowledged, it will change your perceptions forever.
Archimedes said, “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” Balance? If you find your fulcrum, the sky’s the limit.