There is something magical about the moment the groom lifts the bride’s veil to see her face.
What is it that makes that moment so sacred? So satisfying?
What other moments elicit the same feeling?
They have been working on a major project at the beach where I walk; widening the path to allow for both walkers/runners and bikers. For many months, my gorgeous walk has been compromised by the construction site with its workers, vehicles, debris and noise. A fence was erected in the last few weeks to delineate the two sides; one for walkers and runners and the other for the bikers. It was a flimsy, easy to see through, thin fence, clearly a temporary one, and yet, when I walked by today and noticed that it had been removed, I felt like I was in a completely different place. Without the barrier, the path was completely unobstructed; it was wider and more open; the view of the water more noticeable. I was struck by how transformed my experience of walking was without it.
The power of lifting the veil, removing a barrier of any sort, is powerful.
Think about the sensation of opening a curtain and allowing the sun to come in, how in one moment, there is darkness, and the next, a flood of light.
During Covid, we had the challenging experience of going through our days wearing masks. Was anything better than the moment when you could remove the mask and breathe again? The moment you could see someone else’s face and be seen yourself?
One of my favorite examples is driving through a particular tunnel to get onto the Pacific Coast Highway. As you exit the tunnel, the most glorious view of the Pacific Ocean is before you. No matter how many times I’ve driven through, I am always breathless at the sight that awaits me at the end of the tunnel. From one state of being to another. Transformative..
When I think of the movie The Wizard of Oz, it is easy to summon the feeling of relief when Toto pulls at the curtain and exposes the Great and Powerful Oz as a fraud. Even when the lifting of the veil reveals something that less than wondrous, it is the sense of seeing something for what it is that is its own reward.
While most of us strive to live lives of authenticity, there are often obstructions (metaphoric, psychological or physical) that keep us disconnected from our truest selves.
How do we dismantle them? How do we move through whatever blocks us so that the sun comes in, the ocean is made visible, the face seen?
Elizabeth Lesser, the author and co-founder of The Omega Institute, focuses on the importance of this and prays every day to “remove the veils so that I might see what is really happening here and not be intoxicated by my stories and my fears.”
We can move towards transformative moments by being keenly aware that they are possible, even looking for them, and we can commit to being open to the truth, even when it’s challenging to confront. We can all be veil lifters…
When you are with someone and angry or tense words are being spoken, choose instead to offer an apology and watch the experience of the moment shift.
When you are feeling low or uninspired, get out and walk on a new path, taking in the sights and sounds with an open heart and mind. See what awakens.
Whenever possible, be in nature, watching sunsets, sunrises, cloudy days giving way to sunshine, sunny moments turning to rainstorms, waves going in and out..
Buy yourself flowers; perhaps choosing a bouquet with not yet opened buds. When you wake to find them in full bloom, enjoy a moment of exquisite transformation.
Be honest in your communications; with those around you and with yourself.
Be willing to see things as they really are and allow yourself to feel the relief that truth offers.
Be open to seeing those veil-lifting opportunities and embrace them.
I sat with my daughter in the park today watching her interact with the baby she takes care of. The baby was cranky and tired, frustrated and near tears. But the moment we started playing a game, making silly sounds and faces, magic occurred and he immediately began squealing with delight, moving out of irritability and into pure glee. His face transformed in an instant; the veil had been lifted and the mood became light-hearted and joyful.
Find moments like that.
Create moments like that.
Lift the veils.
Apologize, offer hugs, be moved by life, let yourself move from one state of being to another, embracing openness and honesty.
As the 15th Century poet and mystic, Kabir instructs:
Lift the veil
you will find
what you are
May we all find what we are looking for.
Sometimes, its already there if we lift the veil.
With love and light,