There is Even More
We stand on a beach looking out over the expanse of an ocean. No matter how much water we can actually see, there is even more. Watching wave after wave reach the shore we know there are even more to come.
We look up at the night sky knowing no matter how much we can see, there is more. Stars beyond our ability to count and keep track, and there are still more beyond them.
It is not only water in the ocean or the night sky of which there is more. We may take a moment to reflect on a challenge we face and realize it is just the beginning.
Life can feel like an unending series of obstacles or tests. We have accomplished so much, but always seem to have even more to do.
When we are tired or discouraged having more to face can be disheartening. Looking out over the ocean or up into the sky can give us feelings if insignificance.
We can see facing more as exhausting and intimidating. There are times when we want a few moments of relief, but there is even more for us to do. More responsibility to meet, more lessons to learn, more questions to answer, more which needs doing.
Why is there so much more? Is it more than we can handle? What if we get to a point where we cannot do more?
The idea of more can become a burden for us to bear. Some of us believe if we want more we need to do more. Other people feel an expectation or a duty to do more.
There is a sense of unrelenting demand in the idea there is always another wave coming toward us.
If there is always more, will we ever have enough?
Recognizing There is More
There are times when we begin to feel we have done everything we set out to do.
We may have accomplished our own personal goals. It could be the results of a very good year. We may have followed good advice, exceeded expectations, even gotten things under control. It is possible we even have overcome opposition and outscored competitors.
There are also times when we feel there is no real point to continuing.
Do we feel hopeless about making a difference? It could feel like we no longer believe in what we are doing. We might be discouraged, tired, ready to give up and stop trying. Do we see ourselves as out of options, out of time, out of luck?
People come to me for many different reasons, looking for different answers. Some people want to become better or stronger. There are people who have been told they need to see me.
Some people would like to develop new skills and learn to do things in new ways. Others want to find peace, happiness, or calm which has eluded them.
Some people are looking for someone who will listen to them.
Each of us is seeking something more. We feel dissatisfied and disappointed with what we have found so far. Each of us wants to heal the pain of lacking the depth and joy for which we hunger.
The people who come to me want more than reassurance or comfort. They want something real which will make their lives different. People coming to me are looking for deep, underlying truths which transcend the challenges of their lives.
Together, we work to discover and explore the deep joy where they can find the more they seek.
We work together to recognize there is even more.
Appreciating There Is Even More
The night sky and the ocean are not the only places there is more. Our lives are not merely collections of even more challenges to overcome or even more lessons to learn.
Spiritual life shows us there is more within us as well as in the world.
The value of experiencing more in the world is it helps us find even more within ourselves. Spiritual life shows us, again and again, our expanding potential.
As we experience fear or frustration, we recognize we could be and do even more. When we do not meet our own expectations we see ourselves more clearly. One of our most significant realizations may be the silliness of our own expectations.
Each step on our path shows us how to take the next step more wisely.
Every breath we take reminds us we have untapped potential within us.
When our bodies get tired we rest. Our minds get tired and we stop thinking to listen to sacred stillness. When our hearts grow heavy and tired we laugh and we cry. We remember and depend on the more within us.
The more in the world around us can feel overwhelming when we forget the more within us. We remember and recognize the power of the more we carry with us.
Watching the ocean reminds us we are like the ocean with more waves heading toward us. Looking into the night sky we recognize we are filled with more stars than we can see.
The Power of Recognizing There Is More
We do not recognize there is more within us once for all. The challenges and expectations in the world can distract from the power of what is within us.
We may have been told all our lives we have no more within us. It can be easy for us to forget.
Spiritual life flows around us and within us showing us there is even more. When we pay too much attention to difficulties and obstacles, spiritual life reminds us who we are.
Our fear, frustration, and fatigue are temporary manifestations when we forget there is more within us. It may be a lifetime practice for us to recognize there is more.
We remind ourselves by repeating, aloud or in stillness, “There is even more.”
Where are you looking for even more today, this week, this month, this year?
Who will we trust to guide us as we seek even more from within ourselves?
[Image by Magnus Bråth]
Greg Richardson is a spiritual director in Southern California. He is a recovering assistant district attorney and associate university professor, and is a lay Oblate with New Camaldoli Hermitage near Big Sur, California. Greg’s email address is StrategicMonk@gmail.com.