When you have come to the edge of all light that you know, and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.
~ Patrick Overton
Sometimes life throws stuff at us that feels downright unbearable. How could this happen?
And our mind wants answers. Why? Why me? Why them? Why is this happening?
Part of our spiritual journey in life is to get angry, to grieve, to mourn, to feel the pain, the sadness and the sorrow. And sometimes the only thing that truly does heal is time and faith.
We may never know why things happen or why people do what they do. Although our mind wants to make sense of it all… Why is she like that? How could this be happening? Is my life over? What has the world come to? Will I ever feel safe again?
The heart knows. The heart can surrender, evolve and adapt. The heart can face the fear. The heart can trust again.
Part of the path is to be ok with not knowing why, and that takes a whole lot of faith.
Faith is hopeful.
Life is a series of ups and downs, happy and sad, ebb and flow, celebrations and challenges, inhale and exhale, day and night… Sometimes we have to go through the darkness to see the light. But that doesn’t mean we have to suffer along the way.
Let go of trying to figure it all out. Be here now. Feel the gratitude in your heart. Walk forward in faith. And know that even if it doesn’t make sense to your mind, life is unfolding as it should. You can’t control everything that happens to you in life. You can’t control the actions of others. You can’t change what they do. Yet, you CAN change how you move in the world.
You can feel. You can get angry. You can cry. You can freak out. You can forgive. You can fall down. You can get back up. You can be of service to the world. You can bring goodness and light to where there is darkness. You can choose love. And as Gandhi so beautifully reminds us, YOU can be the change you want to see in the world.
Today is a new day. A fresh, clean slate. Feel the love in your heart, and share that love with the world. This time of year reminds us that we can believe in the things unseen. There’s magic in that. And regardless if you look to God, the Universe, or the all-knowing Source, having faith in life can help.
Your Personal Reflection:
Practice this daily ritual of the sun and moon as a way to open your heart to faith.
Ritual of the Sun:
In the morning, just as you start to wake, keep your eyes closed and stay in bed for a few extra minutes. Ask yourself: What do I need most today? Quietly wait and let a word or phrase come to surface. Try not to edit your thoughts, but simply observe the first word or phrase that comes to your mind easily and effortlessly. (It’s easier to do this when you are still in that blissful sleepy state!) Take a moment to repeat the word or phrase before getting out of bed. Smile and trust that the right word or phrase has found you today. Feel the love in your heart and share that love with all those who cross your path.
This simple ritual helps you bless the day and creates a clearer path between your heart and mind – the connection that helps you open your heart and reconnect to your center. (So when you notice your mind start to race mid-day about your growing “to do” list, or your frustrating family member, or the overwhelming problems of the world, remember your morning blessing, take a few breaths and reflect on that special word or phrase – peace, love, acceptance, gratitude, have faith, be the change…or whatever it may be.)
Ritual of the Moon:
In the evening, when the house is quiet and you lay your head on your pillow, take a few moments to reflect on the day – remembering your word or phrase from the morning blessing. Ask yourself: What did today bring? (Anything that didn’t get done, let it go. If there is something pending that won’t allow you to go to bed peacefully, then get up and wrap it up. You want to give yourself the opportunity to prepare for a new day, and that’s hard to do when you’re holding on to the things you didn’t get to.) Then, take a few deep breaths in and out, softly smile, release your day and let yourself sleep.
The ritual of the sun and moon offers you a chance to slow down and reconnect to what truly matters most this holiday season. Your heart knows. Its job is to guide you towards peace. And it’s your job to listen, observe and become aware enough to follow its lead.
Peace and love to you today, and always.
*Photo by Tom Kelly.
*I shared this post recently with participants in Outside In: A Return to Stillness.