Why this leg of the spiritual journey feels so difficult, and why this is totally normal.
from Everyday Grace by Marianne Williamson:
"Fundamental change is not a casual occurrence. We cannot casually commit to the process of spiritual transformation...
Our entire being is called to the task, for the journey from density to light involves every aspect of who we are.
Whether we are angry at the dry cleaners because they've ruined our favorite sweater, upset with a friend who has broken a promise, or frightened at the diagnosis of cancer in the breast of a best friend; whether we're worried about the state of our marriage, looking for a new job, or anxious about nuclear bombs and terrorists in our midst, we see that everything we go through is a step along the path. We are taking the mystical journey as a way of transforming the world by transforming ourselves.
But I fear I am beginning to enjoy the unraveling too much. Like one of those wayfarers who hop trains and always with the dog and the dreadlocks, the one who decides to leave before knowing there was an alternative option to stay, the realization hitting them like the train in which they are barreling west through the Bonneville Salt Flats and at this point why not just aim for the Pacific?
There is a river that runs, that carries the overflow from the water table, the excess from wells; the same water that runs through our bodies. There is a community and belonging that lies in the water: in our bodies, in our wells, and the river.
The river, this flow of life and grace and disruption.
The river is another metaphor for the Divine and our communion with it as we come to discover our True Selves. It is the journey of Arkitekt.
It's in my seven year old coming into my room early on a Sunday morning to tell me she does not feel good and she may not be able to go to school tomorrow, she's pretty sure.
It's in her spit-filled speech and how proud I am that she kept her new blue sparkly retainer in her mouth all night long.
It's in the weight of my dog on my chest as I lay under my down comforter. “Weight” might not be the exact right word for her seven pound terrier body, but the warm rise and fall of her breath and the way she nestles in around herself is everything that makes a morning peaceful.
It's in the sound of my six-year-old pulling open the pantry, grabbing the Honey Nut Cheerios box, opening the drawer with the bowls, pouring the milk. It's when I get out of bed and find him sitting in his Very Hungry Caterpillar pajamas at the dining table reading the cereal box like I used to do when I was little and still ate cereal for breakfast.
It's in my older two sons spending the night at a friend's house and my husband heading to the mountains at 5 am to snowboard which leaves me time and space in vast uncommon dimensions.
I light a candle. I sit cross-legged in my chair by the fire and read two paragraphs of Pema Chodron. I watch the light from the window go from cold blue to sunrise warm...
You will probably not believe this right now (and that's okay), but you are going to love yourself. Like, actually LOVE yourself. Not just SAY that you love yourself. One day, you will start hovering beside yourself and watching with awe, saying, "Wow, this girl! Look at her! She is so interesting and strong and brave."
There have been so many, strangers even, who have entered into the blackness with a meal, with a check, with a coffee, with a knitted blanket, with an offer to babysit, with a "show up on your doorstep unannounced" kind of care...
Since I can remember, I’ve lived with this dread that the other shoe is about to drop.
I don’t have all the answers as to why yet, but in short, I think it has to do with some
deep anxiety in my ancestral history and a religious upbringing that was
preoccupied with Armageddon and whether you’d be on the right side when it all
went down, compounded with the fact that the world actually is a scary place that
often feels like it’s getting scarier by the minute.
Seven years ago, when fifteen women gathered to bring in the New Year with collage journaling and picking Words of the year and sharing stories in a circle, I had no idea what I was doing. I just knew that I needed a space to be real, so along with the help of a few good friends, I decided to try and make the thing I longed to experience.
It will never take you to where it is you want to go, and you will never know where that is unless you stop long enough to catch your breath. To look someone in the eyes. To see yourself. Besides, you’re skinny as shit and no, it’s not your genes. It’s because you’re slowly running yourself to death, doing damage to your precious and delicate and life-giving insides and you’ll still be paying for it 10 years later when you’re trying oh-so-desperately to have a period and keep your brittle bones from breaking. You’ll call these your lost years.