Friday, October 8, 2010

In the Shadows

"All the shadows step in with every step forward."

--JM, Verity Credit Union Member

I have recently started a meditation practice whereby I get up twenty, thirty, sometimes even sixty minutes early, most mornings to sit quietly and still for whatever time I have available. 

I love this time and find that I look forward to it like I look forward to a hot cup of tea or a long nap on a Sunday afternoon. 

However, it isn't all light and love once I get up from my little meditation pillow. I am finding that my "stuff" is coming up fast and furious since starting this practice. My anger, my frustration, my insecurities, my issues with people, etc., etc., etc. 

The other morning after an hour on my meditation cushion I had to get ready for work and in the midst of getting ready my husband and sons woke up and started rambling around the house. 

The kids needed breakfast, my husband needed attention, and I just needed to be left alone. Words were spoken, a misunderstanding ensued, and I left the house feeling bad, bad, bad. 

On the way to work I felt as if my heart was going to implode from sadness at how our morning had gone. Normally I would have taken a deep breath, steeled myself for the day ahead and tried to forget about it, but this time, I went the other way. 

I took a deep breath and inhaled my sadness fully and completely. I felt it deep in my heart and the tears started to flow. As I walked and cried, the sadness increased exponentially and I knew now that it wasn't just my sadness I was feeling, it was the sadness of the whole world. It was all the sadness. And it hurt my heart, but I stayed with it - walking, breathing, feeling. I felt like it was never going to lift. 

Then, about ten minutes into my walk, it did. The sky of my heart opened up and the sun started to shine, ever so slightly, inside of me. By the time I got to work three minutes later it was as if it had never happened. I felt light and happy inside and had a fabulous day. 

In this modern Western life of ours we learn to avoid the shadows - the sadness, the anger, the grief - but only by walking through the shadows can we once again find the light.

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