What I thought was an end turned out to be middle.
What I thought was a brick wall turned out to be a tunnel. What I thought was an injustice turned out to be a color of the sky.- T. Hoagland
I was supposed to be writing, that means working on my book– except I was busy wiping the tears that had been streaming down my face since 2 AM, when I bolted straight up from a vivid dream in my dark bedroom–an omen I told myself, as I waited to see if my gut was right.
I got up and drank some tea as thoughts about how unfair life was moved from room to room in my brain. “Suck it up sister” I told myself between sobs, you aren’t the ringmaster of this circus.
Hours later….a message with the news, something my soul already knew.
So I spent most of the week in a full on knock down drag out with my God begging for the life of someone dear. My heart ached. I yelled, swore and cried at the ceiling of my sauna, the perfect place for a meltdown by the way. I threw around some f-bombs and some other feel good swear words to get my point across, because my God gets that about me.
I cried and screamed until my lungs hurt and I ran out of tears. I had the urge to throw things and punch walls until I could no longer feel my hands. I wanted to throw myself onto the floor until my body stopped trembling.
During my tantrum I dared God to throw me down a hard sign that I was actually getting some air time. According to my review, there had not been a response to one of my prayers about this situation, not one request, not one thank you [my daily prayer] had been acknowledged, just a continuation of the universe fucking up royally, the things that I knew to be true.
I suddenly found my 10 year-old self on my knees.
There is something undescribable about finding yourself on your knees. Everything down there becomes exquisitely exposed and comforting. Every piece of dust made itself known to me. The smell of the wood floor rose up in to meet me. The weight of my body pressed down in a gentle reassuring pat, as the sun reflected on my hands. It all became an unintended sacred journey. I talked to God quietly now about the fuck ups on that end, and how I was keeping score.
Not much gets missed while on ones knees. Sometimes we don’t recognize ourselves in the dark times until we radiate through the soles of our feet like a tender lover with a reassuring embrace.
My God isn’t perfect and while I’m not expected to be perfect, I expected it from the “divine all mighty” and that holy divine place where the universe prevails.
I don’t know when during my childhood the idea that God needed to be reliable took root, or when my trust began to slip away, probably sometime in my late 30’s. Neither is something I easily own up to, unless someone brings it up because it never feels like a safe subject– definitely not something I blurt out during a casual lunch.
“I have learned things in the dark that I could never have learned in the light, things that have saved my life over and over again, so that there is really only one logical conclusion. I need darkness as much as I need light.” – B. Taylor Brown
So here’s the deal.
I think our fear of the dark places in life is an epidemic. We are so fixated with keeping the light on in our lives that we dismiss the value of the dark times at all cost. We fall asleep in the prison of our own ideas about what life is supposed to be like- according to our plan. We bypass reverence. We dismiss the importance of presence going straight for something to soothe us. We all have our demons of choice. We forget we are human. We stay busy and distracted as our default. We get caught in our expectations that refuse to accept life as it is. We want life to be a constant serving of the [unrealistic] love, light and bliss bullshit, another benign way we have gotten lost.
I knew better than to get caught up in that dangerous mindset.
There are many things greater than us and our perpetual happiness, something we couldn’t nail down if we tried. It’s all beyond our human control and transcends our understanding. And it’s not perfect. I think reverence is fitting. My prayers aren’t always perfect or reverent, even as I mark the unlikely places that I talk with my God. We have gritty arguments, and call each other on our shit. There is no perfect place or way to pray. My God has taught me to stand tall among the earthly “holy of holies” and watch my angels reach down and shut their mouths; my version of sacred activism. I believe reverence stands in awe of every life, there are no favorites. It towers over us in encouragement to test our spiritual limits. Presence and reverence showed up and knocked me on my ass– both reminding me of my true size in this universe.
We are all worthy of our own altar in this world.
Life is amazing, and amazing things cast shadows too.