It’s almost 3 am. I’ve been up since midnight. I awoke after having fallen asleep early. As I lay in bed contemplating what to do, trying “not” to wake myself up, I heard the howling of an animal. I thought it might be a squirrel. It sounded like it was having a fight. If you’ve ever heard squirrels fighting the noise is quite shrill. This went on for quite a while. It went on so long that I got up and looked out the window to see what I could see but no animals were in sight. I watched as two people strolled side by side. The looked in the direction of the noise but did not stop. I listened, suspended between a desire to run out and save the poor creature and scared of what I might find. I listened as the howling turned to a whimper and then to silence. It was a fight after all, a fight to the death. In the silence I tried to feel something. I knew, or at least I thought I knew, that I was supposed to feel something. But I felt nothing. So I lay there for the next three hours, reading posts on Facebook, checking emails and making pictures on my phone. Then I remembered that it was Solstice, the celebration of the cycles of life. I remembered that this is the time that we are preparing to go within. The lesson that is a gift was almost lost to me. But in the wee hours of the darkness I saw the light.
The gift was the knowing that like the animal, fighting for its life by God knows what that was attacking it, we to must go through the fight between our ego and our Soul Self. The struggle is an old paradigm. The old paradigm of the way we were to the new becoming that we will see when the first frost begins to thaw and spring nears. The fight is the ego trying to keep us in the light. Trying to keep us from facing the shadows that come up when we go within. It is a fruitless fight. For as surely as the animal gasped its last breath, we too shall gasp and finally succumb to dealing with our shadow self. It can be a gentle process when there is no fight when we go willingly into the dark. And just as suspended between the desire to help the poor creature and afraid of what I might find, we sit suspended at Solstice between the lessening of the day into the night afraid of what we might find. Like the quote from Marianne Williamson says:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
We wield the power to break every chain that has kept us playing small and frightened of our Magnificence when we go into the dark. We realize that we are the light we’ve been waiting for.
So as I find myself being drawn to the night, enjoying the beauty that the darkness brings and enjoying the stillness and silence that can only be found in the darkness, My Soul lights up. I AM illuminated. I go into my prayer closet. I go into the shadows that I have with a flashlight filled with Faith, a Candle of Hope and an abundance of Courage to light the way. I Go in Peace to piece together all of who I AM so that I remember I AM WHOLE.
This Solstice I invite you to go willingly into your quiet place. Take full advantage of the shorter days and begin to get in rhythm with the season. Wind down early. Sit quietly in the dark and contemplate your life. Bring illumination to your behaviors by being willing to see yourself. Really see yourself. See what motivates you. What brings you joy and what breaks your heart. What behaviors are default behaviors cultivated in childhood? Are you passive because you’re afraid of conflict or have a need to be liked? Are you aggressive because you’re afraid of intimacy? Are you bitter because you created a defense against having a good time because it was always followed by something bad? Get to know who you are this winter, then the need to want to be someone else will be released. A sweet opening in your heart emerges and you will find the love you’ve been looking for in all the wrong places. You will find the approval you’ve been seeking outside yourself. You will find the permission you’ve been waiting for to Live the Life of Your Dreams!