This morning in meditation, I found myself thinking about all kinds of things as I normally do and I know I am not meant to, but I do. I was thinking about the day ahead, relationship issues, my dad and everything except anything vaguely divine. Then I remembered, what I was meant to be doing. I imagined Christ on the cross, as this is an image that popped into my head and my Swami (teacher) had said that Jesus is a reincarnation of Vishnu (preserver and nurturer) and started chanting my mantra – Om Namo Narayana.

I felt the body let go and come to stillness, any desire to fidget or move left me and a peace came over me. Then, as I internally gazed at the Christ figure on the cross, it came to me that his arms were open in an embrace, a desire to embrace the world and each one of us, while remaining completely vulnerable himself. His torso felt like a lightning rod between heaven and earth, guiding divinity down through his cross into each of us. In his pain, he did not shut down, become angry, bitter or resentful, he stepped out of his own suffering and was ready to hold us. My mind surrendered in awe and my body relaxed in the presence of this epiphany in my little world!

My dad has Alzheimers and is in a home now. He has episodes of psychosis and aggression, where he grabs and sometimes hurts the staff at the home. This is certainly not a part of his character as I have known him in the last 47 years. How to deal with this aggression, this agitation and this frustration? Only one way has proven successful – hugs, stroking, kisses, loving . A miracle occurs, his anger subsides, he relaxes his body and smiles, looks up and softly says “Darling, lovely, yes…” I cry quietly and he strokes my head too and reaches for my hand.

In our frustration, anger and at the root of it all, our fear – we lock ourselves away, we tie ourselves in knots for protection, when we need to soften, open and allow our vulnerability to show, to be the change we want to see. Are you courageous enough to soften?

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