It was the Spring after 9/11, and her inner world was feeling much like the outer world being televised non-stop after the attacks – all twisted rubble and dreams up in smoke.
Losing her religion the prior Fall, little did she know then that she was just entering a Dark Night period would last a year or so. Her marriage was in shambles, her kids (two rebelling teens and one seriously troubled step-tween) were spinning out of control, and she…
Well, she was one of the walking dead.
Suicide flit briefly across her thoughts on and off over the course of that year. Why not? What was left, after the end of everything? She no longer knew herself, her purpose, or God….if there was a God.
Surely, everyone would go on with their lives without her well enough. Feeling too tired and in too much pain to go on any longer, she was also too chicken to actually do the deed. Rather, she would ponder if there was a way for her spirit – what was left of it – to just up and vacate her body, and then finally – FINALLY – she’d be free of the misery that seemed to follow her around, a phantom in the shadows ready to pounce.
Slowly, almost imperceptibly in the beginning, things got better. Much healing happened while walking in those early morning hours when no one could see the tears streaming down her face from behind her dark glasses, or hear the self talk and prayers that babbled over her lips in whispery streams. Some days, all she could manage was to put one foot in front of the other, moment by moment, and keep moving.
While the world recovered, albeit forever changed, she too recovered – forever changed. And she began to care again.
It was enough.
It may be true that some of us have God hardwired into our brains, because over time, she couldn’t seem to grasp life on Earth without some sort of Higher Power involved. One upside to leaving the Church with its dogmatic theology and hypocritical leaders: For the first time in over 40 years, she felt free of any fear, guilt or shame in investigating other faiths and spiritual practices…some that were considered The Devils Work in her old belief system.
As she read and pondered and study everything from Zen Buddhism to Paganism to the rainbow of beliefs in the New Age, she cherry picked what felt right for her from all of them. If a belief system didn’t bring her peace, it wasn’t accepted. If it didn’t generate a feeling of love and acceptance, it was rejected. If it didn’t recognize the inherent Divinity in all living things – be it human, animal or plant – she left it untouched.
Like a cool breeze blowing upon the one tiny spark left at the bottom of the ash pile of her spirituality, a sense of calm and well being fired off in side of her. While life was still full of trouble and hardship, there was peace in her soul and a newfound hope that things could be different.
And THAT was when the magic started.
to be continued….