With shoulders slumped and tears streaming down her cheeks, she sat in her dorm room. Her boyfriend sat close, feeling waves of emotion sweep through her as Kenny Loggin’s “Conviction of the Heart” was playing in the background. It was one of her favorite songs, but her heart felt numb. What did it mean to live her life with conviction of the heart?
Extended family is visiting. She is now forty-two years old, proud of herself and her practice. Things that used to irritate the hell out of her before, chafing skin and drawing blood, are now mild abrasions. She tries to bring kind speech and wise
understanding to each and every interaction. She celebrates the victories.
But she hasn’t perfected herself or the practice. Towards the end of each day when she is most likely to be tired and irritable, she notices the cracks in kindness. A misplaced word, a sidelong stare, turning away from what she does not want to face. What happened to Mrs. Mindfulness, Heart Lady?
One morning, she steps on the elliptical machine and decides to listen to “Conviction of the Heart”. As the words and music flow through her, she realizes that perfection is only a prerequisite for pain, for deep misunderstanding. Giving love with conviction of the heart was never about living up to an ideal or painting a flawless picture. It’s a mosaic created from bits and pieces of emotional experiences. Sometimes the fractured scenes are delightful, filled with inspiration and meaning. At other times they are distressing, heart and gut wrenching.
Can I as the Observer appreciate both as fine works of art? Can I as Loving Presence understand everything that goes into creating each mosaic?
With relaxed shoulders and a small smile on her face, she types this post. Her boyfriend come husband still likes her more when she embodies Mrs. Mindfulness, Heart Lady. Her task at hand is to love all versions of herself. Then she has a small chance of loving all versions of others, observing both mosaics with equal reverence.