We are not lost
We are in the middle
We are sailing on an unknown sea
To an unknown island
And if we trust in nature
And our instincts
Like the ancient navigators
We will find our way
(inspired by Martha Beck)
More and more the concepts of emergence and letting go are tugging at us.
But we are human. And this is hard.
It is hard to adapt to our smaller, insulated lives.
It is hard to accommodate the imposed stillness. The doing without.
It is hard to have family members (we thought we knew)- right there with us, with their needs and wants, and maybe we don’t like them there all the time – consuming us all day every day.
It was easier to be out “doing” our lives.
It is hard to be alone and without connection to people we miss and love.
It is hard to have nowhere to escape.
It is hard to have defined who we are by business and jobs and careers that are no longer or are very different.
It is hard to know what is next and what to trust and where we are, in the cycle of this swirling, changing time.
And for us- mere humans, this is a terrifying prospect- the unknown.
And we deserve to be angry because we are entitled.
And we deserve to be sad because we have lost loved ones or have faced illness- and we have felt powerless…
But when fear demands certainty and blame to right itself- there is nothing more destructive. In that demand, there is no room for creative energy –
In the land of absolutes- it is not the illness that will kill you –
it is the death of your heart and soul –
Your imagination and inner resources can transport you – they are there in endless supply.
In 1994 during the genocide of Rwanda, in the 100 days of terror over 500,000 people were murdered.
Immaculée Ilibagiza survived 3 months in a 4×4 bathroom in hiding with 7 other women. She was armed only with her rosary beads. Over the course of 100 days the house was searched over and over again, but the women in that tiny bathroom were never found. Why? In her accounting she prayed each day – not only for her life – but for release from the terror and that God would be with them, no matter what.
When she emerged, her family had been killed, her home was destroyed, her clothing was gone, and she had no money. She had been a college student, she was now a changed woman, searching for her identity and trying to make sense of what had happened. Her rosary beads her only possession.
She wrote two books about her experience and became a speaker. Her message of love and forgiveness embodies the seminal message of preserving and protecting humanity and to empower victims of catastrophic events to engage with anger – work through loss, not to give up – and to look for the miracles that are all around us. She asks that we use this way of being to fuel a life of joy and faith. She stands on the belief that no one wins in times of trouble unless we find our way together. We must use love to protect ourselves and each-other.
Last week – our Capitol was under siege.
“But across the Capitol that day, as lawmakers and aides were holed up in offices, closets and conference rooms, a terrifying reality was taking hold — the Capitol police had lost control and no one was coming to save Congress, at least not right away.”
Many of the senators who so eloquently spoke after the session resumed, were remarkably articulate considering the extreme violence that fell on them. They had no time to prepare what they would say- in the wake of their lives being threatened, their individual politics were not the key to their inspiring words. Almost every one of them united as humans in the face of tragedy– their messages resoundingly clear- there are more who want unity than those who seek to destroy it. We must rebuild, we must take care of each other- even if that means starting with shoveling a neighbor’s driveway, reaching out to someone who is alone, feeding a person who is hungry.
The common theme is that no one is in a position of any greater power than the power of love. It is your boundless resource. The intention with which you go forth, when you think you have nothing left to give can be found in your faith in something – anything that guides you. Nature, spiritual soundness, astrology, whatever you believe helps you navigate. But one thing is for sure- you are only in control of how you react. And the letters of react – exist in the word create.
As we embark on a new year – another year of the unknown, of uncertainty, of the endless not knowing and being unsure, of discomfort and sacrifice- what choices will we make? What ways will we navigate?
The ancient wayfarers knew how to sail boats from island to island without technology – they had only the stars, and the sea and their intuition. The wayfarers could sit quietly for hours waiting for a sign- which way to go?
We have been given time. We can sit and embrace the stillness because it is there that we hear the answers. We are all trapped in a 4×4 bathroom with murderers outside our doors, or a Capitol building under siege- And then what?
Find the song to sing- sing with someone you love- don’t worry if you are off key.
Dance, look to a full moon, get up early enough to see a sun rise, reach out without fear of rejection- color outside the lines, share your heart when you are most afraid. Try something that terrifies you. Reach out to somebody with whom you’ve lost contact. How liberating it is – just to know you did.
And set sail – to that unknown island. You are in the middle of the journey– and with love you will find your way…
“We must walk on in the days ahead with audacious faith in the future”