i just read a post by steph (of adventures in babywearing) over at christmas change and it got all these thoughts spinning around in my head. it was too much for a comment so here i am trying to sort it out some on my own blog.
when she wrote about feeling so strong in the midst of her personal struggle (when her son was having seizures), it took me back to the moments when i first discovered my own faith. my own spirituality. my own light. finding my connection with the universe and uncovering the depth of my own spirituality filled me with light so bright i could barely see anymore and i didn’t need to see because i suddenly had vision. i was radiating. i was able to feel whole and free and joyful without medication for the first time in – oh years and years and years.
it was a glaring bright light. a heart thumping life changing light. and it wasn’t a flash, it was sustained. how long was i so filled with buzzing connection? i can’t remember exactly now but i think it was months. it was enough time for my life to change and my self to shift to a new way of being. then slowly, without me noticing, the light dimmed.
it is not that the light was gone but the pure unstopable glare was gone. the shining, eye squinting, undeniable spectrum of light was now more of a hint. more of a suggestion. as soon as i noticed i cursed and mourned my loss. i wondered what i had done wrong. i was frustrated to discover that i could have found my it, my path, my way, the truth, and then lose the fireworks of it all. i toyed with the idea of going back to the old way of being. i faced some of my old demons again, smaller versions, less persuasive than before but there they were showing up in the grayness of my dimmed light.
and then the teachings started rolling in. the path is not always clear white bright. finding my way did not mean i had a key to unstoppable bliss. the gray did not mean i had lost anything it meant – this is life. life is finding and refinding your way on your path with your god/goddess/divine/universe. life is seeing the light diminish to a pin prick on the horizon and then digging into your faith and finding your practice, your foot steps, back to a brighter moment. back to something stronger and more full. the process of the work of the faith is truly the point of our life. basking in the bright light is a gift, a moment of transcendence, a soul warming spirit turning meal.
then the light fades to a glimmer and we wonder. wondering is ok. seeking our baby steps on our path is more than ok. trying to find the practice that fills us with the blinding light is work and it is work that is often disappointing. because the prayer, the meditation, the breathing doesn’t always produce the mind numbing power that it can. sometimes it just is a practice. sometimes the leap of faith is believing in our practice, believing in our path, even when the work we do is not illuminating our soul so clearly as it did once before.
if i was steph’s friend i would send her a note to say:
dear steph, i don’t know what your covers are right now. i don’t know what you feel is resting softly between yourself and the brightest light you have to shine – the brightest light that shines on you. i do know that you write about the process, the work, the path of faith in a way that leaves no doubt that you are there. you are doing it. you are taking each step on your path with leaps of faith and frustration and conviction that is human and superhuman. you let your readers in on the secrets of real life, real faith, real waxing and waning of light. maybe the comments you get in response to this piece can lift you up today and hold you closer to the sun. maybe someone’s words will peel back a blanket or two and let the flash of light in closer to your skin. or maybe there is a way to embrace the blankets, to embrace the ways we have to learn to do our work, to remember that the bright light is still there – we are just around the corner from it at the moment. maybe there is a little something the blankets want you to know and if you can listen to their message they will lift of their own accord.
i am not steph’s friend though (i am a huge fan) so i won’t be sending that note. instead i will do what so many people do – i will read her words and then i will let them reflect and refract into thinking about my own life. i will realize that my light is flickering a bit these days and i will sense that for me the baby steps towards a more abundant connection are accepting what is and continuing my practice even when it doesn’t feel like it is taking my breath away. how many times i learn that my world of woowoo is holding me close and lifting me up even when my eyes are not blinded by the light. how many times i learn that my path includes moments of gray and that is ok too. not to sink into. but, also not to fear – just to say hello and keep walking my way through.
at my house when i plug in our holiday lights and light our advent candles i remember that i am doing it to bring light to our shortest, darkest days. i celebrate the darkness and i invite the light back in as the year ends and begins. now i will work to respect the same shifting in my spirit. i will honor the darkness and invite the light in. i will bring the flame to our candle wicks to symbolize the process. i will hold my faith that light does linger and return. it is bound to be all along my path at just the right moments.