On The Edge Of Wholeness

Pink Tulip

Lately, my posts have been flowing one from another, as if writing one allows an insight to surface and wash over me. It feels sort of like a scavenger hunt, where one clue leads to the next, and that one to the next. Maybe that’s not the best analogy, but close enough…

After writing my last post, The You That Takes Your Breath Away, I remembered something I wrote a few years back. It was never shared here on my blog. In fact, I don’t think I shared it with anyone. At the time, what I was writing felt too close to my heart to make known to others. Sometimes, this is exactly what needs to happen; we need to not speak those moments of insight so that they continue to work their way through us.

What I wrote to myself was sparked by this passage from , “Shadow Dance” by David Richo:

“We can even declare that we are what Byron saw: ‘a rose with all its sweetest leaves yet folded.” Eventually we realize that whatever in us has remained folded up is really that about us that was never loved. This is the sadness in the folded rose of ourselves. What was not confirmed and loved by others, especially our parents, did not have full permission to emerge. It is up to us to find this confirmation now from within ourselves, our relationships, and our spirituality. Joy results from permission to unfold.” (pg 110-111).

“Joy results from permission to unfold.” Wow. How powerful this statement is.

We are the only ones that can give ourselves permission to do this – to unfold those oh so sweet leaves of our being, those that hid away because, for whatever reason, it didn’t feel safe.

Now, we are adults. Now, we can hold these sweet and tender places within our own heart, hear what they have to say and give them permission to unfold, permission to be seen. Perhaps, being seen first by ourselves is the greatest gift we can give to them.

With this permission comes joy. And peace. And, as these parts come back into the light, wholeness naturally occurs.

The other piece is about the exquisiteness of vulnerability. Complete unfolding brings no more separation. When we open to the fullest extent possible, nothing hidden, petals outstretched, there is no longer anything that knows separation, and this can be frightening as hell.

But, our lives are really about the flower unfolding. We yearn to unfold, to blossom into complete nakedness, raw vulnerability that allows one to be seen and known.

This ripe blossoming is also the very last step before the petals fall and the blossom dies. This is our return to the whole, the moment of wholeness that is simply a breath away from death, where death ends our separation from the whole.

At the singular moment when we unfold every ounce of our being and exist at the height of vulnerability, that of out-stretched petals, we know our sense of separate self will fall away. When nothing is hidden, we can no longer be separate. In our complete vulnerability, we open to all and to everything.

There is a peak of each blossom, when it is poised at its pinnacle of beauty. This is our moment of realization of all that we really are. In this moment, our sense and identity as a separate flower falls away and we let go into our true identity as all that is.

When our petals fall and decay, we can grow into the fullness of a human being, wise and unconditionally loving, for who we now know ourselves to be is the life force that compelled the flower to emerge, bud and blossom, the instinctive drive to open fully to the light, the air, the wind, and all of the world around us.

The edge of wholeness, this edge of ripe beauty, happens many, many times, over and over, until we know ourselves to be the beauty itself. Nothing lasts forever. And, it’s in this knowing of our ephemeral nature, that we know what it is to be fully alive.

So, here is what I wrote, back a few years ago:

On The Edge Of Wholeness

Standing on the threshold of the one true moment of existence
I know myself as both blossom and the urge to bloom.
Every ounce of my journey has been to unfold
To follow the blueprint of this flower
From young rosy bud to powerfully stretched petals
From nubile possibility to the height of complete engagement.

As my petals open to the arc of full bloom
my arms stretch open wide and vulnerable
my chest aches with joy and
I am completely available to Life.

It is in this moment of complete openness
I know that I have loved to wholeness
Every ounce of who I am
Even those parts that once felt impossible to love.

Somewhere deep in the recesses of Being
I realize the natural path of this process and
begin to feel the life force that has propelled
my unfolding welcoming me home.

I know there is this one moment
When my petals are at the height of ripeness
The height of the arc of fullness
just before  I turn to the face of release
This moment happens many, many times
And at the same time is a singular moment in my life

I can now see that petals falling is also an act of grace
For as I stand on this threshold of change
I realize it is only by being courageous enough to open
That I have come to know what I truly am

The sunlight and soil of grace have held my becoming all along
my urge to bloom was always at the heart of who and what I am
This urge to blossom is also my urge to return
To the one constant in all of Life, the very nature of all that is.

~ Julie Daley

Just look at the beauty of this inside of this flower. We would never see it if it remained closed.

Image: Pink Tulip by Julie Daley

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15 Replies to “On The Edge Of Wholeness”

  1. Oh, Julie, this is so, so shimmeringly lovely. I needed this so much today. I struggle to believe that I can unfold, even to believe that there is beauty inside – but the physical reaction I have to your gorgeous words inches me closer to that belief.
    Thank you, thank you.

  2. Thank you for these words. I plan on sitting with these words, pondering how it applies to me when I think about sits unfolded within me. I know there are parts of me that I felt were unloved in my younger years and I do believe i will find those parts of me still tucked away somewhere.
    Beautiful words. Beautifully written and so true.

  3. I love what you’ve called the flow of this – from one post to another. I see (and am thrilled by) this whole flower thing: flower appearing, flower tight in the bud, flower opening and now even flower’s petals falling…love this!

    And the petals falling thing – wow! What I needed to see/hear/ponder right now. Thank you!

  4. I often wondered why something so natural (unfolding and blooming) could become so difficult. More flowers unfold than people! But off course, plants are able to unfold when just the physical needs are met. Whereas people need the human emotional support and connection to nurture that unfolding. Nurturing unfolding is the best gift anyone can give whether it is to themselves or someone else. Thanks for drawing my attention to this as I sometimes forget that this is the basis of a process I started several years ago despite getting bumped off the path every now and again.

  5. I am reminded of one of my favorite Rilke poems~ ‘Rose, oh pure contradiction, joy of being no-one’s sleep under so many lids.’

    This post is so inspiring to me. Heart medicine. Heart food. Thank you.

  6. I just started following you on Twitter and discovered your blog. It’s lovely. Yes, we are unfolding through every breath you take. And I do not think there is one human being who fails to unfold: the process is different for everyone and follows its own schedule.
    You may enjoy the piece titled “The Way Home” on my blog. Same subject matter. http://www.bluamaryllis.wordpress.com
    Best wishes,

  7. “…our lives are really about the flower unfolding. We yearn to unfold, to blossom into complete nakedness, raw vulnerability that allows one to be seen and known.” — beautifully put, Julie.

    “In our complete vulnerability, we open to all and to everything.” — Oh, how true this is! When we’re not vulnerable, we’re hiding, and often hiding the best part of ourselves…and in revealing that vulnerability, we’re not only open to all, but we show others how beautiful (and acceptable) it is to let it all “unfold”.

    As for On The Edge of Wholeness…inspiring to let go and just be; and to allow the nature of life to do the same, beckoning us to reveal and grow in the process. An open flower is a growing flower…

  8. i just read that poem OUT LOUD with all my heart. these words are SO incredibly beautiful. i’d only go one step further to include that when we, as individuals, stretch ourselves so open to life in all our vulnerability and rawness, we are inviting others to do the same. We must remember that the time is now for returning the very nature of all that is, both as individuals, and TOGETHER.

    The sunlight and soil of grace have held OUR becoming all along
    OUR urge to bloom was always at the heart of who and what WE ARE
    This urge to blossom is also OUR urge to return
    To the one constant in all of Life, the very nature of all that is.

    it’s an us. we feel these things collectively, some of us more viscerally than others. but it’s an us. we are not separate from ourselves, and we are not separate from each other.

    i love you so much and i love your words. thank you. i feel enlivened and inspired.

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