What We Hold Dear
What we hold dear
can heal the world.
There is an ancient story of a group of pilgrims searching for the holy land. They wandered for days to the bank of a very wide river. It was too deep to cross, and there was nothing to build with. One of the pilgrims prayed for guidance, adn a voice appeared urging each to give up something they held dear. From this they coud build a raft. For only that which they held dear would be strong enough to hold them up as they crossed into the holy land.
There was immediate conflict and suspicion. The one who heard the voice was accused of trying to steal what mattered most to everyone. Finally, four of the stranded pilgrims agreed. Each offered what seemed useless to the others: a stone, a feather, a piece of driftwood, a page from a book no one understood. Mysteriously, as they slept, the dearness they had placed in these things flowed together adn they wok to find a magnificent raft.
Once on the other side, the one who gave u the feather heard a voice. It said that the holy land was right where they had landed. The four pilgrims settled on the far bank within view of the others who would not cross. That night, they burned the raft to cook their food and the voices told them that the holy land is wherever what you hold dear holds you up and then turns to food.
The wisdom carried in this ancient myth is that what we fear is most private mysteriously belongs to everyone; that is, once shared, the things we hold dear release a power that is healing. That is not to say that we should give up what is healing us in the midst of its becoming dear to us. Rather, the story urges us to relinquish personal icons so that they may continue to heal others.
Silly an example as it may seem, the past weekend I went to see Toy Story 4. The storyline includes a ‘talking’ doll who had long ago lost her ‘voice box’. After sitting for years in dusty antique store she encounters “Woody”. His ‘toy’ voicebox was the very relic she longed for. A plot ensued for Gabby to steal the voicebox from Woody.
Through the telling of this ToyStory the audience feels the pull for Woody to protect and keep his voice safe. The shenanigans of the toys offering empowerment and excitement along the way.
In the end, Gabby – having successfully secured Woody’s voice box and escaped the dusty antique shop – comes face to face with a lost girl at a street fair. She (Gabby) could belong to a kid!!
Instead of taking back his voice box, Woody willingly gave up what was most precious to him, his voice, so that this lost little girl could have a friend in Gabby the Talking Doll to comfort her in her time of need. And comfort her Gabby did!
You see, this working voice box is what made Woody special. As he fought to keep his voice he quickly learned that to give up what was most sacred to him was actually an act of kindness – and enabled healing for another.
And so I think this morning about the things I hold most precious to me. Would I be willing to give them to another whose need is greater than mine? For only in use do they again become healing. It is the giving of what is dear that helps us cross the river.
This week’s Soul Challenge:
*center yourself and meditate on something that hass personal power for you, something you hold dear. It might be a shell or a stone that you have prayed with. Or a special candle you burn when troubled
*breathe deeply, adn give gratitude for its dearness to you
*breathe deeply, and pray for clarity of heart to know if and when it might be right to give this dear thing to another
*do not act on this today. do not give this up if you still need it. do not hold on to it tighter if you fear letting it go
*simply breathe now and with a willingness to know if and when such a moment might come
Chief Travel Partner
Thank you for sharing this journey with me.
I love you deeply, for in truth we are old friends.
We are One.