A thought: Whenever I can, I like to go around barefoot. What about you? In the house, in the cottage, at the beach, yes I’m barefoot, whenever possible. Not only does it feel better, but it connects me to the earth – do you feel the same? – and if I’m involved in leading a ritual or ceremony then it reminds me that we’re on holy ground, and if Moses can do it, then we can, too! Health and safety excepted, ofcourse.
This got me thinking about shoes! I’ve had some great shoes in my time – thank you Clarkes, and some others that pinched, and what should be a joy, or even at least uneventful, that is the action of walking, then becomes a constant reminder of pain, as every step reminds you: your shoes are too tight, take them off! Expletives deleted.
The shoes I’m also talking about is more than what’s wrapped around our feet, but some of our attitudes and beliefs, that at one time may have served us well (though with hindsight, I have my doubts, sometimes), but now restrict us, or ‘cripple ‘ us, and hold us back. And are so painful, too boot [pun not intended].
So, are your dogma-shoes too tight?
Our first reaction is to dismiss this ‘challenge’, after all, these shoes have served us well for years, so why change? But, they’ve been faithful, and I’ve got used to them. Why change? They’re ‘fashionable (our shoes and our beliefs)? Why remove them? Because, they don’t serve you well, now! Because they’re hurting you? And yet, we do resist. We like our old habits, even bad and painful ones; we cling!
As Elvis Presley once sang:
Well, you can knock me down,
Step in my face,
Slander my name
All over the place.
Do anything that you want to do, but uh-uh,
Honey, lay off of my shoes.
Are your dogma-shoes too tight? Are we making excuses, being held back?
‘If you put on shoes that are too tight and walk out across an empty plain, you will not feel the freedom of the place unless you take off your shoes. Your shoe-constriction has you confined. At night before sleeping you take off the tight shoes, and your soul releases into a place it knows. Dreams glide deeper.’ Rumi
Rumi has the right idea. Some of those constrictions are too painful to put up with any longer. Some of them have to go. Take off your tight dogma-shoes, and relax. Interesting, he suggests we take them off at night and as our soul, at rest, eases into sleep, we move into the place of dreams. Unrestricted, ‘de-shoed’ and free, the soul flies and soars, and the Encounter takes places. Ofcourse, having taken off our dogma-shoes, the ego, with one last effort of self-preservation, then tries to persuade us that our dreams and the Encounter mean little or nothing, and it’s best to put our oh-so-tight shoes back on. Much safer, it suggests! And, many do!
‘You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth?’, The Book