I’ve been contemplating action vs. allowing in recent weeks, and I’ve been struggling with the balance between the two. Generally speaking, I have felt somewhat off-kilter – as if my actions have been largely born out of anxiety, and what passes for allowing has merely been indecision and emotional confusion. I suppose that this makes sense, given that I have emerged from several months of action that followed upon a longer period of something that looked much more like hibernating. But it seems that the rhythms of my life feel this way – movement appears small or not at all while great changes are happening underneath – and then I take some external steps. Now, as new circumstances enter my life because of those recent external steps, I am looking for a new rhythm. Because it does seem to me that I have awakened to the possibility of combining allowing and action. But still, it’s a clunky dance, and I’m stepping on my own and others’ feet as I learn the steps.
So when I found this new poem from Oriah Mountain Dreamer today (she posted it on her Facebook page), I felt relief. Oriah’s words provide a reminder that when fear and anxiety cry out that action is essential, there is a deeper reality.
To wait when waiting feels unbearable
When action seems imperative
But there is nothing to be done.
To trust that what is needed will be provided
When human resources are limited and needs are great
And distrust is more available, but divisive and destructive.
What is unacceptable
Because to fight with what is adds suffering to pain.
To be attentive
When the mind is clouded with exhaustion
So that opportunities to hold with tenderness are not missed.
To be with the anxiety that arises in muscle and bone
Not letting it drive action or paralyze
Allowing breath to create mercy around the anguish.
To take a break
When the fear-driven mind screams for constant vigilance
So the mind and heart and body can find respite and rejuvenation.
To receive the help offered
From others and from the Great Heart that holds us all
Letting gratitude temper grief,
fullness counter fear,
and compassion carry us all.