Generally we associate the feeling of being lost as “leaving us in the dark.” Perhaps that is because it is more difficult to see in the night, when no moonshine lights the way and we just have stars in a black heaven above. But the feeling of being lost knows no boundaries. It occurs in the dead of night and in broad daylight.
Thank goodness it is all an illusion of perception. Whether we are confused, feel lost, betrayed, fearful or anxious, there are always seeds of light in the dark. Nothing is ever static. The symbol of yin and yang has the seed of white in the black crescent, and the seed of black in the white. Even in the darkest night the cycle is progressing toward dawn and the full light.
If we are to feel comforted by the shepherds of the Psalms, we know that Spirit is with us wherever we are, and “Lo, I am with you always.” Whether we are in the middle of a busy city or sitting on a remote mountain top, we are never without the Light.
One of the greatest puzzles is discerning which road to take. In moments of confusion, do I take action, or sit quietly and consciously until a clear path unfolds?
In Frost’s amazing poem and in life, the road taken or not taken makes all the difference. But what used to terrify me — taking the wrong road — no longer looms so large. There is a divine order to my own growth and to the universe, and acting from the heart clarifies my way.
In darkness and confusion, I can sit and ponder, or take a small step that feels right from the heart. Either way, I gain clarity when I have acted from my soul’s deepest desire. There are no wrong steps. By taking action, I see whether it feels right and in alignment with my spirit. If not, I have gained knowledge about correcting my course.
The paradox is always daunting. Whatever feels right deep within, do that. Sometimes that is action; sometimes that is non-action. If I trust the unfolding of my Self from the heart, there can be no wrong path.
Each road, chosen from the heart, leads to a blessed journey. In the end, all roads lead to God.
On those days when the summer sun is shining brightly on the waves and the soul remembers childhood joy, all is well. It is also time to create reserves of trust and belief which elude us in the dark.
This day is sunny and sweet. A previous night I was struggling and could remember the promise of life cycles themselves, that the sun will come up as surely as night will fall again.
Dawn and twilight are both poetic times, as the sacred and the secular seem to thread together through the self. For morning people, the dawn is a welcome to the promise of the new day. For nightowls, twilight offfers a respite from the bustle of the day and gives endless hours of time to savor.
For this morning person, sky at dawn is one of the most joyous blessings of life. The light lifts me once again to explore the promise of the new day.
This morning was a dramatic example of almost drowning in a wave of darkness. Then, inexplicably, exploring the darkness led to coming out in the sun and riding the wave back onto the beach.
Awakening with terrible dread and foreboding, I felt judgment, fear, shame. Then the old Biblical phrase from my childhood spoke up: What does the Lord require of you but to seek justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God?
I went to look up the right words on the Internet, as it has been years since I kept a Bible next to my bed. After finding the reference in Micah, I found wonderful spiritual seekers exploring faith and doubts and paths in their blogs and websites.
I found Quakers, everyday mystics, and people like me who feel that their entire life is about seeking Spirit and exploring place and purpose.
I also received an e-mail from someone whom I thought I had offended, and instead she was joyous and supportive and my projected fears evaporated in an instant.
Suddenly the entire burden was lifted. I have no better clue than two hours ago about how things will work out financially and otherwise. But just as I felt one day seven years ago about coming home (poem link in blogroll), so I feel this morning about being supported in the waves by unseen forces. Where I saw only turmoil and drowning, I was suddenly lifted out of the turmoil and shown the sun and sky once more.
What more could one ask?
This morning I look out the window and see a beautiful summer scene. Mount Tamalpais is wreathed with wisps of fog, against blue sky, bright sun and green trees and foliage.
As a child, I was often melancholy and my mother would say “Look out the window, not in the mirror.” When someone on the outside advises you, it often feels like judgment or like something impossible to do. Or, like yesterday morning when looking out the window brought only a view of total gray, everything hidden in the vast morning fog.
But when the truth of our own vision comes from the divine within, we know it is a gift of grace to look beyond, to have a window on the world. We are lifted above the preoccupations of a single life to see the beauty, power and wonder of an outside universe.
On days when we awaken still in darkness of dreams, or confusion or worry, we can look out the window to the universes of insects, birds, flowers, sun. By being in the silence and listening to the heart, we are moved out of ourselves to see beauty, hope, new possibility.
This morning I am reminded of the power of two things: deep breaths, and gratitude.
It is ironic that our bodies breathe in and out for us without any conscious thought. Yet it is a powerful practice to purposefully take in a deep breath of all life and energy and to then let it all go. Just the cycle of conscious breathing can remind us of the gift of life and being alive in the present moment.
And when we are mindful of that gift of gratitude, we can more easily acknowledge all the other blessings in our lives. The food we are given each day. Our clothes. Physical shelter of a home or apartment. Friends and family. Trees, greenery, open sky, birds.
In an instant conscious breathing or gratitude can transform the landscape of our lives from yearning, fear or worry to the gift of life itself. Thank you, God.
We all search for purpose and place in the universe. This morning I let go of perfect business metaphors and creating slogans for bringing in clients or prosperity. I yield to my lifelong seeking of light and joy even during the long nights of confusion in the dark.
Mixed metaphors are the best! Well, they come easily, and it is important to let go of judgment and just ride the waves of our lives. I grew up near the ocean in Southern California, and the ocean and its beautiful, powerful waves are ever present in my imagination. I, for one, would prefer only smooth surfing, but alas, the rough rides will always come.
What I did read this morning in the Unity Daily Word magazine reminded me that we can elevate our thoughts beyond the small world in which we are currently enmeshed. So beyond my preoccupation this morning with challenges and fear, lifting my eyes above the chaos reminds me of open sky, endless possibilities, surprise, joy.
In my own book of morning poems, SunCatcher: Walking Lightly in the Dark, I remind myself of what I have already forgotten:
Harvest the gifts of the day.
Honor the gifts of the night.
Walk quietly and lightly in the dark.
Thank goodness for looking beyond the small confines of our lives in times of unexplained melancholy or confusion!