I wanted to confirm CSULB but a glitch put my spot in jeopardy. There was a real chance I would not get in and that I would have to move out of state. I was beside myself with worry – something that I am mostly good at balancing by remembering to trust the process. I called Cyril. He did his best to calm me down, but I was surprisingly deep into my worry and angst and was unable to take in everything he offered, with unconditional love as always.
When I returned home, still fraught with worry, I had the most loving and wise email waiting for me. Besides his words of loving support, eloquent mirroring, pouring in and an invitation for me to pour too, Cyril offered the following midrash on the story of Jesus and his disciples in the boat in the storm:
Remember, Jesus and his disciples in the boat out in the middle of the Sea of Galilee, a storm was raging like never before. The disciples were scared shitless, they could not steer the boat, they could not navigate the boat, they could not row the boat, they could not set the sail. But what they could do was to soil there pants and they did that many times over. Jesus always had access when necessary to 12 extra change of underwear, not that he need them, but to give to those that could not contain themselves from the ravages of fear. Jesus, said to the disciples, “It is time to head back to shore. We need to protect our loved ones from this monster storm also. So don't be girly men at a time like this. Have courage and do not be afraid.” Of course, his command fell on deaf ears, and no one moved from there positions to change course. They were petrified. Jesus said to himself, “What the heck kind of crew do I have here. They can't do a damn thing now because they are disoriented and confused.” Jesus just shook his head and then climbed over the edge of the boat and on to the water. The disciples continued their downward spiral into fear, thinking that Jesus had committed Hari Kari by water. They were now in total meltdown and utter dismay, for they saw that their Capetian had just abandoned ship and left to them drown, or so they thought with their limited knowledge and little understanding. As Jesus strolled farther from the boat, still not seeing him the men lost all hope and were prepared to die. You would think with all the teaching they had from the Son of all things they would have remembered some of the basics of spiritual survival. Oh, I almost forgot, they are just humans. So much like myself, I too forget at times, the wisdom that I have learned that can help me endure and survive when I am in trouble. Jesus yelled out to the men in the boat from where he is standing. They did not hear him. They had thought he was committing suicide because he was afraid to die also. This doubt was always in their mind, even if it was a little doubt it was still there ready to block their actions of spiritual and physical survival. Jesus yelled again, one of the disciples heard the call of a familiar voice. He looked up and saw that Jesus was alive and well, maybe a little wet from trying to help his helpers, but being wet was no problem for the Son of Man, for it did not phase him. Now that he had the disciples attention he waived his arms for them to come join him. The men's brows raised quickly and their eyes went from side to side looking for a good reason to get out of the boat, especially in a one-of-kind storm like this. They mumbled to each other, “Jesus must be crazy, he wants us to get out of the boat and stand on the water?” They summed up a quick and logical answer, he must have eaten an out-of-date can of peaches. They continued to shake their head side to side, remembering that was the universal signal for, “Hell no!” Jesus continued to coax them with parables as all the times before when they were in a jam, or jelly, something like that, anyway.
Making the story shorter by miles, because I am getting low on digital ink, they all stepped from the edge of the now sinking boat and walked home even skipping at times.
Through one of his mundane acts, we call them miracles, Jesus was able to get the disciples to TRUST in him, and all that he represented of Life’s Truths. He invited them to be with the assurance that even a LITTLE FAITH can go along way to ease the troubled waters that we all find ourselves in.
I wept with deep gratitude for Cyril, for the deep love his offering came from, for the beauty of the telling, and for the beauty in the message. Surrender and Trust.
Surrender to the feelings of fear, dismay, and grief. Surrender to anger and helplessness. Surrender to “I don’t know.” Surrender and Trust.
Trust in the process of what is unfolding, even if what is happening is rocking my boat, my world in ways that seem unbearable. Trust that whatever unfolds I will have the clarity and knowledge to choose what is needed, and re-choose if necessary. Trust in Love….what is the most loving this I can do now, for myself and for others? Sometimes there is nothing to “do” and “being” is what is the most loving.
Cyril helped me remember, again, to surrender to the moment, to be present for every internal movement so that I could reveal a deeper trust in what I knew was true: I don’t know, I have no control, what I can do I will do, don’t over think, don’t numb out, feel deeply, be curious and open to learn, love fearlessly and trust, again and again.