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Garden Soul

Sweet soul, you’re lost again, your heart tangled in your ego’s vines, your mind cluttered with the weeds of uncertainty, the thorns of the world, the poison of perception. Did you know that you’re a garden, soul? Formed to be toiled. Created to be kept. But whatever grows or does not grow, whatever blooms or dies, is not up to you. It’s up to the sun and the rain and the air, the ground and the sky, timing and luck, She and Him and They. You’re lost because you’re thinking about the fruit, and there is nothing more pointless than thinking about results and opinions and the possible judgments of your labor, nothing more isolating than somehow trying to manipulate or control the growth of what’s been planted, when you've already done all that you can possibly do. Maybe you’ve forgotten the goal. It is not to grow fruit. It is not results. It is not the vibrancy of spring. It is to pour yourself out, dipping from the deepest of streams within, over and over, until there is none left to give, even when the skies are silent. The goal is to be emptied. To wait and to trust and to surrender with no expectations, no agendas, no ambitions. You dip into the stream until the ravine is dry, not to get something in return, but because it is what your True Self naturally does: flowing from a place of authenticity and love, into your creation. Then, having sacrificed everything, there is nothing left to gain, for being emptied is the ultimate form of gaining. Kenosis. Sunyata. Think about the first garden, before the grief of the Fall: being and enjoying were the chief end of man, the origin of life, not toiling; yet since now you must toil, you should toil your way back to being, through the mystery of emptying: by isolating your ego, by confronting the lies that contradict your inner truth, by letting gravity have its way with your heart and your mind, as they fall further into the plot of your life; not the life that is judged with clicking or not clicking, not the life that is judged by having or not having, not the life that you judge through the lens of your mistakes. No, this is your life which, at the same time, is not your life—for it is the Void which provides an infinite emptiness for falling into worlds unknown; and Christ in you the hope of glory, which provides an infinite fullness for loving without a care for approval or transaction. Think about the last garden, before the grief of the Cross: it was inner anguish—self-emptying—that brought creation back to being. For, having emptied all of himself, there was more of a void for God to fill.

By Stephen Copeland

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