There are many kinds of spaciousness – there is spaciousness of physical form, of time, of presence, and I have discovered, of love.
Form: I recently moved into a different house, and took this opportunity to purge a lot of unnecessary possessions that have collected over time. It is so freeing to feel the spaciousness of physical form –uncluttered walls and airy rooms with few furnishings, and even drawers and closets that have extra room in them. Also, the view from the windows looks out to a vast country landscape of fields, distant hills, and deep forests – a delightful spaciousness to explore.
Time: A couple of years ago, my only child left for college, and my extra activities related to her busy schedule came to a sudden slowdown. Since I work full-time, finding extra hours when I was free from tasks, schedules, and events was a luxury. Though I missed my daughter’s daily physical presence in my life, this change brought about a new and welcomed spaciousness of time.
Presence: In quiet moments of solitude, I have been turning to the spaciousness of the present moment. I have been allowing this feeling of spaciousness within me expand, just to see how far it can go, and observing what the experience of it is for me. The intensity of this experience is subtle. In the simplicity of observing the present moment, noting what thoughts come and go, hearing the flies buzzing by and the soft clucking of the chickens, feeling the warm breezes on my skin, and observing my own breath… there is a prevailing fresh quality of resting in Presence. I still don’t know the answer to that question or how far this can go yet, because there is no end to the in-the-moment experience of this. In other words, each moment of feeling spaciousness is a new moment - I feel it expansively and freshly. The experience of this for me is of open possibility, and a quiet peaceful serenity. Though occasionally disturbing thoughts surface in the present moment of observing, I am becoming practiced in just allowing these troubling thoughts dissolve. When I realize turmoil, and then become less absorbed within it, I feel a humbling compassion toward myself. This is fertile ground for love.
Of late, when lingering in a sort of pause mode, I have begun to be more aware of this interior spaciousness – of an emptiness within me. This emptiness is not incompleteness, no – not at all. This emptiness implies possibility, a place of receptivity, of room for something huge. In this space there is no finiteness of capacity, no walls to confine, no social constraints to limit. This kind of space is freedom, freedom from confinement, from preoccupation, from oppression, from drivenness, and from all the other interior and exterior forces that tend to bind and restrict my spirit. This space gives me elbowroom for my passions. The passion I notice most is love. I am reminded of this: “Make your home in me as I make mine in you.” (John 15:4) To the extent that I find this grace filled space within me, I keep discovering an expanding emptiness in which love makes its home.
Spaciousness is always a beginning, a possibility, a potential, and a capacity for new awareness. If I can bear the truth of how things are, and actively seek the truth, not just what is comfortable, I eventually find myself in the midst of a peaceful Presence.
A friend suggested that to the extent we make our own spaciousness holy, and intend it for love, pointing it toward loves source, this space responds. In my experience, our increasing availability to the truth, to love, happens gradually, gently, and with grace. It happens in keeping with our unique personalities – and (smile) I seem to have a penchant for love. My heart opens widely in response. We seem to be given what we need as we need it – this space opens before us at precise increments. Space becomes brutal when we try to force it, make it a project, or demand that it meets our expectations.
It is a blessing that love is relentless. Love waits for us to make space for it in our lives. When I step out, risk myself in love, let this love exude from my wholeness, I find an ever deepening capacity within me for this spaciousness of love.