This morning I find myself at the beginning of a road, one that I must walk down so that I might return to my center. My logical mind has embraced this idea of every experience living on its own continuum, and it has been a helpful tool, but my fearful mind can't process it that way right now. So, today there is the image of a road. A road to walk down to find my spirit and to bring it front and center to my awareness. I welcome you on this journey with me as I to attempt bring it back.
Peace feels far away at the moment.
I take my first steps down the road. I feel the absence of my littlest daughter, who at her preschool door this morning, grabbed me tight and wouldn't let me leave, which was completely unlike her. She was fine, just until I was going to leave, then an irrational fear seized her little body--a body too little to contain it. I was caught off guard. After hugging her and comforting her the best I could, I left her sobbing and abandoned in the arms of her preschool teacher.
It is her little suffering heart that has intensified the pangs in my own heart this morning. Yet, it is also what brings me to the beginnings of this road, with renewed faith and courage to walk down it.
Sweetheart, I walk down this road for both of us.
There need be no more suffering in our minds. Your mind is my mind. Your fears that got the best of you at the preschool door, are no different from mine, except that I have more life experience to create more intricately painful scenarios.
I remember this weekend, when you saw the giant Halloween man, the life-like statue with his slashed face, holding disembodied limbs. How you cried, how you held me. Your big sister laughed to cover her fear, and I held you.
"What if he wanted to be your friend?" I said, not really knowing what would help you. "What if he couldn't help looking like that and he is lonely?" Oops, what am I saying to you? Override your guidance system that is telling you that this man is dangerous? Can I really tell you to do that? What kind of a mother would I be? Aren't I really instilling guilt in you, subtly telling you to save everyone, even the dangerous ones, but not yourself?
I tried again, "What if you didn't have these thoughts that he was scary? How would you feel?" She doesn't respond.
I ask myself, why are we scared of these images? Our attachment to our body, and our fear of what is outside of our conditioned idea of what is normal--our inability to see beyond the form, to what it can show us.
What is this statue showing us? He is showing us that we are afraid.
"Sweetie, he is showing us that we are afraid, so that we can learn to be brave." I finally said to you. It sort of helped. And this softened you a tiny bit, but mostly you felt afraid, and you let me hold you tight. I wanted to hold you, even though your little 4-year-old body is getting hard to carry.
Sweet little girl, you remind me that this journey is so important. This journey is about helping all of us, who just want to feel safe and loved, to know that we are, no matter what dangers we think are out there. Only we can't depend on finding lasting peace in the arms of another, or in the fleeting escapes we've become so accustomed to.
I understand you. I have always been afraid. I have always been cautious. I have always been afraid of what looks different, but I also have come to know that different can be strangely wonderful.
I begin my walk today looking at where the boogie man is hiding in my thoughts, telling me that I should be very afraid. I should be very afraid to live my life authentically, expecting the universe to support me. I should be very afraid to honor my heart because it might be trying to pull the wool over my eyes--life seen through rose-colored-glasses is not really seeing, it says. I should listen to all of the practical advice I've ever been given. I should recognize the predicament I am in as a soon to be divorced, single mom of two. I should play it safe. I should always have a backup plan. I should spend my time making it happen for myself, because ain't anyone going to do it for me.
So, I recognize that my mind is like my little one at her preschool door. I don't want to go in. Who cares about the magical time I might have in there. It might not be safe. There might be the unknown come out to get me, and it might be horrible and scary.
I let my little-girl mind gravitate toward all the unknowns circling around her, until I can see her before me. She is small and weak, with dish-water-blond piggy-tails. Her dress is dirty and torn, her eyes are dark and sad. She has known too much fear and for too long. She looks at me. Her energy is heavy. She wants to surrender to it, but she is too little to know that she can, let alone how. All she seeks is relief, and yet the energy storm around her prevents her from seeing anything but pain and fear. I take her to me and I hold her tight, just like I did my own little one this morning--close to my heart. I let it beat in its full, sustaining rhythm into the heart of her, and I let her experience as much as she will allow herself, the sureness of my embrace. And when I think she is ready, I whisper to her, What if you didn't have these thoughts? How would you feel? This fear is teaching you to be brave. This fear is your friend.
I let this sink deep within as much as it can. Knowing that the repetition of this question to her, over time, will bring the sweet awareness of the beating of her own heart, of the strength of her own spirit, and of the rainbow that is always there, even if only visible when there are earth tears.
And I carry her with me down our road, and I point to things along the way. And I feel the resolve of a woman, standing strong in her power,to notice what is around me, which I could so easily miss carrying my own little girl and the one that lives within me, both overtaken by fear.
I will notice the rain outside that makes me want to curl up with a steaming cup of tea. I will notice the beautiful trees outside my window standing rooted in allowing, as their leaves burn red and gold, as they let go and fall deep into the heart of the earth. Today I will notice the possibility that comes from viewing the world from outside of what I think I know and understand.
And when I pick up my little one at school, I will tell her of her power. I will congratulate her for facing her fear, and ask her if she feels how brave she was. I will ask her how she helped herself. And even if she doesn't hear me, or feel like talking, I will hold this space open for us.
I will remember something that comes from the knowing of my heart; that in time we will all know, that behind our greatest fears was always the greatest power that we will ever know; that in time it will make itself known to all of us, like a ray of sun bursting through an overcast sky--and we will understand in a twinkling of an eye how all of it around us, everything and everyone, big and small, was there to show us that our power had been there all along.