“I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.”
Dedicated to anyone out there who’s going through a rough time right now.
I know it hasn’t been easy.
Some friends of mine are going through tough stuff right now.
Sometimes it seems to be everywhere simultaneously. So many things are going wrong. So many problems, everywhere you look, sprouting up just like mushrooms after a long, soft, autumn rain.
Our ideas of how things are supposed to be, well, they end up being as short-lived as the morning glories who spiral open so triumphantly as soon as the sun clears the horizon — and then they’re finished by noon.
The conditions that were perfect for them before are no longer what prevails. Yet everything keeps on going on, singing, stretching, unfolding… creating fruit where there was nothing before, spreading more roots to be able to stand taller than ever, bearing seeds, those tiny miracles… soaking up the sun, swallowing the rain, growing.
Things change. Our ideas change. We change.
The path can look so scary in places, I know. Believe me, I know.*
But I also know that one day you’ll look back on this part of the journey and be grateful you were here. You’ll see that it was important for you to become the person you could be. The even more beautiful and amazing version of you than the one you are living now.
It might be impossible to believe that now, to hold that place in your heart open. You know the one. It’s the place that forever cradles hope, the place that sees possibility and opportunity in absolute disaster, the place that knows you are fabulous and that you always — always — deserve love, exactly as you are.
Its voice sounds a little bit like Pollyanna sometimes. And that’s cute when things are looking up, or just so-so, or just bad enough that a pep talk can make a quick attitude adjustment. But when you’re really suffering, sometimes what you really want to do is scream at it, tell it to shut up, lock it in the closet, and get on with your dark night of the soul.
Panic tends to shut off our connection to that place. Not that your fears are illegitimate. On the contrary. I’ve heard many of them, and I’ve got my own share, believe me. I’m the last person to discount the things that keep you up at night. But whatever it is, you are more than this. You are being given these precise challenges for your own highest spiritual growth.
I hesitated to write that last part. Some of you might get mad. But honesty is part of the package here .
Should I instead have given you clichés, soothed you by telling you it will all get better soon? That you’ll certainly come out smelling like a rose? That might not be true, I’m afraid. It might even get worse. I am no prophetess, and I cannot see the future.
Besides, most commercially-grown roses have had the scent bred right out of them. They smell like the plastic in which they’re wrapped, with a lingering whiff of the fungicide in which they’ve been dipped to pass through a Customs inspection.
Hey, we’re being straight with each other here; right?
That is why you need access to that place in your heart. It doesn’t do plastic or fake, ever. And it won’t ever lie. It will carry you through the darkest days. It is on intimate terms with “the astonishing light of your being.”
And if you cannot get there lately (or for a while now), if that place seems closed off, the doors padlocked, the lights shut off, as if everybody has gone home for the off-season, or as if maybe it’s been abandoned for good, then that is the magic I have for you tonight.
I am your placeholder.
I am holding the door open, as someone once did for me when it all got so very lopsided and confusing, so terrifying and sad. I am the one holding a candle there inside, showing you that all is safe, and that you can trust in the process of your own unfolding, no matter what.
If you look very closely, you will see that my “candle” is actually a mirror, reflecting your very own light.
*Someday I may tell my own harrowing “story” on the blog. I am not quite able to be that vulnerable in a public space yet. However, I can assure you it was not a pretty, easy, gentle path… and I’m now so grateful for every gut-wrenching step.
Want more magical moments?