The further along I venture on my sacred journey I am being challenged and invited into integrating and being with the paradoxes and waves of life. This invitation from the Divine to be informed by and even allow my inner and outer contradictions to move through me and transform me into a new creation has been a struggle.
In the season of Lent many will take time to dive deeper into their inner lives and struggles. I pulled a book off my shelf that was beckoning me by Joan Chittister called: "Between the Dark and the Daylight." Wow, what a deep reflective read, I am practically highlighting every line, she beautifully illustrates the spiritual path.
The chapter I just finished is titled, "The Place of Tsunamis in the Ocean of Life." It begins by explaining the benefit of the movement of waves to the shore scientifically, then proceeds to transition to life's lessons of waves shaping our beings. Even though I highlighted much of the chapter, I am going to share some sections that were especially thought provoking. I invite you to read them reflectively several times, noticing any words or phrases that speak to you in this season, then perhaps have a sacred conversation with God/the Divine about what you noticed.
"It is storms, we see, that change and freshen and reshape the nature of the land...We spend our time intent on living constantly settled lives and call that peace. We are forever seeking peace and calm....Peace is what comes to us after we negotiate the roiling, pounding waves of life lived one surge at a time....We grasp for false calm at every turning of the day and call ourselves damned or cursed or burdened or beaten without it. And yet, if we were forced to live in the peace that is listlessness, we would die from the tedium of it all....The strange thing is that we seldom stop to consider the value of the waves themselves....It's important to remember in times of upheaval that high winds and great waves freshen life as well as threaten to swamp it....We struggle to maintain a dead past in the name of peace and refuse the new life that running water brings to everything....We miss the power of the paradox that peace is not passivity and that a living death is neither death nor life.
It is staying alive while we are alive that is the challenge. And it is only the ability to negotiate the waves of life that can possibly save us from choosing brackish water over a few tumbles in the churning - but renewing - whitecaps of time."
What waves and paradoxes are you experiencing in your life?
Have past waves in your life reshaped you and brought you growth?
Do you sense an invitation to integrate more fully the paradoxes of your life?
Practice: Imagine holding a calming image or experience in one hand and a challenging or disturbing image or experience in the other. Sit with both of them and breath deeply. Now slowly bring your hands together and bring them to your heart. Hold them with care then release them slowly.
This paradoxical life will continue to be a challenge for me as a contemplative person. My daughter has even named me the "No Drama Llama Mama" and has given me several cute Llama gifts. LOL
May you find peace in the paradoxes of life, calm in the waves.