“Draw into, dive into, pour into your self/into the fathomless pool of your soul./Just wait there, gestate there/See what germinates/when you remember to call yourself home.” Song lyrics by Linda Smith Koehler
The winter freeze is upon us now, time for burrowing deep into the blankets and quilts on our beds, deep into Mother Earth under a blanket of snow, deep into our souls to meditate and wait.
On Christmas Day, my friend Stacie gave me a book by Sue Monk Kidd (an author I like) titled, When the Heart Waits. Perfect timing! I have been enjoying snuggling under blankets or by the woodstove, reading and reflecting during this quiet season. Sue Monk Kidd writes about the time of waiting as a necessary step in a process–and especially for spiritual evolution. She uses a cocoon, which she found during a time in her life when things seemed like they were falling apart, as the guiding metaphor in the book. Nature’s model image of waiting and allowing.
She writes about “growing up spiritually,” which for me means embracing the pain, trusting, waiting, gestating, allowing for the process–the cocooning that will birth the butterfly. The process of dying to be reborn. Growing up Catholic, I was exposed to and interested in other religions and faiths and visited different churches. My Christian and Charismatic friends would talk about dying unto self (and into God), a concept I never quite understood back then. But in my own process of recovery–and in Twelve Step programs, letting your old self, old patterns go–dying of self–is so important and necessary to healing and recovery. Because really you are saying, “That is not me. My addiction is not me. I am much greater than my past experiences, behavior, trauma. I am not defined by them.” So, over the course of however many years of recovery and spiritual growth, our old self, our personality, our ego dies so that we may become, as Thomas Merton notes, “a completely new person.” Scary? Yeh…that’s why so many people have a hard time staying clean and sober and in healthy relationships. We seek the “quick fix” and that is counter to growing up spiritually. Growing up means embracing the pain as well as the pleasure. The hard work, the practice, is to go deep into the painful places, to sit with it, experience it, don’t run away from it.
I know about running away. I tell you, you can’t avoid the hard stuff; it will always find you and catch up with you until you deal with it. Best to open your heart and face it with grace and compassion and love and forgiveness and acceptance. Gratitude! You are so much more than you think you are. You are more than your thoughts, feelings, experiences. Beyond your Ego small “s” self is your Higher Self. Your True Self. Your Infinite Possibilities Self! We are expansive and radiant beings of light! We are the stuff of stars, after all.
This winter if it feels like things are falling apart, or if sadness and grief and despair are getting the best of you, allow yourself to go deeply and quietly into your cocoon. Wait there, gestate there, germinate. Breathe. LISTEN. Surrender your old self to Spirit and ask the Divine to make you become who the Divine–God–wants you to be. Dying to the old to give birth to the new. Free your mind into the stillness and let the Divine call you home to who you are meant to be.
Be transformed into a beautiful butterfly…a New You…and ride the winds of change into a bountiful New Age.
Bright blessings on your journey!