I have a confession to make. I, more often than is comfortable, feel like I don’t quite fully belong.
I have an incredible and resounding community of people which I consider to be not only friends, but family. So, this statement is not to discount my many luminous and authentic connections with the people I love.
As many of us may have, I awoke this morning and began a contemplation of this day which honors one of our greatest humanitarians, social leaders and potent philosophers/activitists of the civil rights movement. Martin Luther King. It is my practice on this day to spend time reconnecting with his passionate and powerful words and to offer gratitude for one of our fearless.
Today, the one quote, which I had not come across until today, that vibrated with familiar clarity and poignancy in my heart is this:
Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted ~MLK
It is interesting that the term “maladjusted” refers to those who have always had or are reclaiming their own relationship to time, space and vibration, liberating themselves from the narrow confines and Pavlovian responses that our perfectly timed school bells taught us so long ago. Yet it is the “maladjusted” who seek and question and invent and catalyze dynamic solutions, mind bending ideas and radical change.
It has left me wondering how many times did Dr. King sit in his own head with the very feeling I have confessed to? Did he ever feel alone? Did he ever feel that the next inspired words to come out of his mouth might just be the ones that left people with a blank stare of incomprehension or a flat out response of rejection.
A dear friend once pointed out to me that the word “alone” breaks down as “all one.”
And in my moments of feeling that sense of unbelonging or aloneness, I realize that I have a choice to either react to the rising swell of emotions this can bring up when we immerse ourselves in our human ego or if I am able to embrace and look into the shadow, I can practice going inside, listening to my heartbeat and in the moments I am actually able to achieve a glimpse of stillness, this is where the “alone” transmutes itself, with a serpentine slither and glide, to the “all one.”
Sanskrit has a word for this. Kaivalya. Which translates as “isolation, aloneness, independence, absolute oneness.” The aloneness is the space between the breath, the sacred awareness that the aloneness can bring a profound experience of connection to the oneness.
It is the emergence from the perception of unbelonging or aloneness that has the potential to crystallize our “human salvation.” Those “maladjusted” states are a healthy refusal to accept what does not resonate with us and give us voice to speak our truths, create our art, and activate movement to design our lives, around and within, that which informs our individual divine nature.
Recently, I have found myself, admittedly fearful and sometimes knee-deep in the self-pitying quagmire of I-don’t-know-where-I-belong muck, at a cross-roads. My throat chakra tightens and my tongue presses protectively against the roof of my mouth. Do I speak up and share the experiences of my life, my perceptions and awarenesses, including the most uncomfortably revealing ones? Will fully revealing my story actually help others to embrace and connect with their own story, their own truth or will it be a self-indulgent instrument of my own ego? I’m sure that as this process continues to unravel, the answer will become clear.
Dr. King continues to serve us through the willingness he had to raise his heart up through the power of his voice and reveal his “maladjustment.”
Whether we are currently exposing, contemplating the unveiling, or in the process of discovering our stories, our truths, our “maladjustments” more words of Dr. King’s come to mind.
The highest form of maturity is self-inquiry. ~MLK
Can we feel alone, feel unsettled, scratch those cerebral and existential itches, open dialogue with ourselves and allow what unfolds to simply BE?
I still believe that one of our most powerful tools is our vulnerability and the shift that is required for our “human salvation” depends upon it.