“There is a twilight zone in our own hearts that we ourselves cannot see. Even when we know quite a lot about ourselves – our gifts and weaknesses, our ambitions and aspirations, our motives and drives – large parts of ourselves remain in the shadow of consciousness”. Henry Nowen.
I am a slow learner, oh my! way slow specially when is learning about myself. It took me 39 years to accept myself and even now I am still learning. I like how Nouwen describes it, as the Twilight Zone of our heart, that place unreachable, and some times so hidden that even I can not see it. The problem I see is that this place is been guarded by one of the strongest and more mean guards in my emotional army, it is called General Pride. This peculiar character wont let anybody get closer to this zone, and he even will deny the existence of such a place. It becomes like the Area 51 in Nevada, you know something is going on there but we do not really now what. Some of my friends have tried to go through this great General but most of the time they are stopped and send back to where they came from. Once in a while some of these friends are able to get through him, but the army of defensiveness will come into the rescue.
In the last article I mentioned that we had a sacred center; the twilight zone is the room next to it. Even though I am a contemplative and vulnerable person, and I am always finding ways to get to know me better; there are times that only those who are closer to me can see what I can not. When I say “closer” are those friends who have listened to my heart and who have walked with me through my journey. I am so surprised when people respond to my articles without the full knowledge of the story, or the whole context of my life’s story. We are so prone to respond and defend our position than to keep silence and listening. That is why there are so many voices talking in behalf of the Bible, trying to defend the correctness of the book without quite down their strong desire to respond to something they do not agreed with it, and listen to the voice of the “others”. This week I thanked a friend for her silence the last couple of months. In a way Mr. General Pride was touched by her silence approach to me.
Nouwen continues “Other people, especially those who love us, can often see our twilight zones better than we ourselves can. The way we are seen and understood by others is different from the way we see and understand ourselves. We will never fully know the significance of our presence in the lives of our friends. That’s a grace, a grace that calls us not only to humility but also to a deep trust in those who love us. It is in the twilight zones of our hearts where true friendships are born”.
So I am called not only to find that sacred place in me but also to release General Pride from his post and let the voices of my friends come and touched my twilight zone, and in a way become contemplative friends. Rolheiser defines Contemplation as the moment we wake up, to experience an event fully, in all its aspects. A contemplative friend, for me then, is the one who wake ups with me and experience fully my life and journey in all its aspects: in silence, in arguments, in controversy or just through a small cup of coffee. I am privileged to have most of my brothers and sisters in this category, but I am extremely rich to have many other people also joining them.