Transformation cannot occur without suffering. This has been a difficult one for me. I am an eternal optimist, which means I also hide from dark, negative feelings for fear of what they might do to me.
Over the past several months, my physical body has forced me to dive into that fear. Illness. Diagnosis. Treatment in various forms which will take up the next year or so of my life. These are things I desperately tried to avoid, but somehow they caught up to me. I eat well, I exercise, I think I manage stress well…and still, my body said time to stop. Time to dive into your spirit.
There have been very dark days. And, to my surprise, days bursting with energy and love and gratitude for everything I do have. The darkness made the light so much brighter. Every single day since this started, I have meditated and prayed. I grew up Catholic, and still am, but my faith has always been a source of struggle for me. I find it very difficult sitting in a Church, run by an institution that is cloaked in mystery, that leaves me out, that for all the good it offers, there are so many shadows…
And, so, I have been challenged to find my own way to the Divine. It has been an incredible path which I will follow for the rest of my life.
This path has shown me that I don’t need to be afraid of suffering or darkness. Light, support, love are always there to catch us, to heal us, to transform us. Every. Single. Time.
I invite you to embrace your suffering – in whatever form that is taking at the present moment. See what it is trying teach you, learn from it and let it go. Sounds easy, right? It is. But, it won’t magically happen overnight…it hasn’t for me. Every day I pray for strength to endure what I must over the next year, and every day I receive the grace I need to carry on with love and joy. It is a daily practice and one that will hopefully transform your life for the better, too.
Like a lotus flower, we can bloom despite (or, maybe because of) the muddy waters. No mud, no lotus.