on groundlessness

For a long time, I understood “being grounded” as positive. I aspired to “feeling grounded”. For me, it represented a feeling of being solid, sure, connected with a sense of integrity and wholeness.

The irony of being grounded is that this groundedness is rooted in groundlessness–a deep understanding that there, in fact, no solid ground at all. This groundless form of groundedness allows us to experience life beyond the labels we claim, answers we assert, forms we grasp. Grounded in groundlessness offers presence, aliveness, vastness.

My mom is ill, really ill–one piece of the kaleidoscope of life these days that is shifting in uncertainty. We’re traveling tomorrow to Mayo Clinic for a week seeking answers. Seeking clarity. After all, we all need answers. And yet, I’ve learned that we can go and seek while also not hoping for any real certainty. Because the reality is, there are no solid answers. For anything. This might sound dark. I’m sure it does. But this is truth. And like all truth, accepting it is…liberating.

And that liberation allows me to be present with her, my family, my self as we move through this uncertainty.

Pema Chodron offers, “As we practice moving into the present moment this way, we become more familiar with groundlessness, a fresh state of being that is available to us on an ongoing basis. This moving away from comfort and security, this stepping out into what is unknown, uncharted, and shaky–that’s called liberation.”

What we’ve been trained to think of as comfort and security is a lie. Knowledge, truth, control–these are lies that we desperately grasp out of fear and need to secure solid ground beneath us. And these lies are stealing our precious lives from us, pulling us away from the present moment. And this present moment is all we have.

And in moments like this, with my mom, I want to savor every one.

So, I’m headed to Mayo with my mama, and no ground in sight.

2 thoughts on “on groundlessness”

  1. Amy
    I have been reading THE PLACES THAT SCARE YOU by Pema Chodron. So what you shared makes sense. I have no doubt you will be able to be present with your Mom even as you experience uncertainty. Have a safe trip and stay open to whatever it offers. Peace and love, Bonnie

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