A walk through the fire ...
You see, no one ever told me that as snakes shed skin, as trees snap bark, the human heart peels, crying when forced open, singing when loved open. Now I understand that whatever keeps us from burning truth as food, whatever tricks the heart into thinking we can hide in the open, whatever makes us look everywhere but in the core, this is the smoke that drives us from what is living. And whatever keeps us coming back, coming up, whatever makes us build a home out of straw, out of heartache, out of nothing, whatever ignites us again to see again for the very first time, this is the bluish flame that keeps the Earth grinding to the sun. ~Mark Nepo
On a mountain in India one I felt my body so completely full of light I thought that I was going to burst open and leak this brightness onto anything I came in contact with. Sounds nice right but I was terrified of it. For many months after this moment I felt like I was literally on fire, walking through and avoiding many fires, starting fires, and discover who I am as a woman radically alone and according to anyone else's eyes.
Fear consumed me completely for days and weeks sometimes, unable to sleep or even speak to anyone who really loved me. I would flip back to my consciousness from 10 years ago which felt invariable small and addicted, painful grief erupted inside my body and life. I was scared of how tender it all somehow made me feel in moments. Until sometimes I would get tuned in to the fierceness that came along with it. That feeling brought a new courage and ability to choose my life and share my voice.
A moment when light entered me, I couldn't stop it or start it if I tried. It just was. We just were. There together, nothing to say, nothing to even pray about. Uncontrollable longing and passion and the heart wanting what the heart wanted. There was absorption into a love that can destroy everything. It does that because it only knows what we signed up, for not necessarily what we want or think we want.
Nowadays I'm remembering often that I can trust my body. That I am here to learn and to experience. I can't go wrong when I am deciding to be who I am right now.
Right now I am discovering patience and more trust. This year began with the purification of all my belongings getting stolen with my car- the only thing to be returned was the car and one photo of an Indian saint that I feel connected to and love so much.
The face I felt in that moment brought me to a cry that was more comforting than the tears that were being shed the days before through blind eyes of self doubt and shaming. It was a relief to feel that although all my "things" were gone, Grace was still there with me.
Along with material possessions, on my journey of feminine freedom, many things and people I had used to get clean, to experience deep devotion, friendship, family and love also disappeared from my life. I kicked and screamed and held on dragging with everything I had. It wasn't pretty but I sure did learn a lot.
Maybe that burning was to help me get past what was keeping me from being free. One can only hope and pray I suppose. I found the courage to explore new desires that feel like they've always been there. I got to stop thinking that someone else will bring the magnificence or the passion or the sex or the kindness or the showing up and a taste of letting go that my mind could have never agreed to.
It takes awareness, discipline and strength it takes to honor and care for but not believe your mind and feelings. The coming into a life every day that sometimes look the same but choose to be the bringer of light even when you've got barely a flicker going. Even as you keep bumping your head against that same door as your hands frustratingly fumble for the door knob.
When the door opens and you realize there is no floor to step on how do you take the step anyway? Perhaps in your enthusiasm you take a quick leap only to find that you still have to do the work, say what's hard to say, and show up even as your flying.
When your wings are still wet form this newness you find out that flying ain't so easy. Or you are blind like a snake. Only a snake doesn't have to choose to shed it's skin. I'm not sure we do either.
We want to be free. We want to know peace. We all want to be loved deeply and purely. Sometimes it's a walk in the park, other times a walk through the fire.
We are not improving we are ever unfolding. May we be that at peace with the natural rebirths that we experience many times in one lifetime. May we move through our difficulties with a remembrance of Grace and the purpose to be of great service in this world and beyond.