February 2022: Soul Connection
Heading into year three of unrelenting, indiscernible chaos I’m exhausted, depleted, and my former self and life appear before me as a mirage. No one imagined this. No one signed up for this. No one wants this. And no one is comfortable.
I recently shared with a friend that I had the benefit of healing my inner turmoil at a time when the outer world felt stable. I may have been shattered but my pieces broke onto solid ground holding the shards as I collected my past and assembled a mosaic that blended old and new together in a unique way. Nothing missing. All beautiful.
Now, the people I walk alongside on their healing paths know no such luxury. The outer turbulence exacerbates their inner turmoil making healing harder. Their personal flood of emotion mixes with the undertow of societal woes, washing away the path underfoot and dragging them out to sea. The current abyss necessitates navigating healing differently for them and for me. I still set my compass to the north star, but I am used to trekking on land moving my own two feet rather than a drifting at sea shifting with the tides.
Once upon a former decade, an evolving water image guided my healing. At first, I saw myself in a canoe paddling upriver against the current as I resisted new ways of being. Me against the waves was all I had ever known to survive, and it seemed fatal to give up the struggle, though I was spent from this adaptive mechanism and no longer coping. Fine! With much resentment I headed downstream, still frantically paddling, because anywhere looked better than here and I just wanted to get through this healing torrent of rapids as soon as possible. Once I figured out that my paddling accomplished nothing within the given flow, I decided to sit and let the river carry my canoe. Further along the waves calmed and I ditched the canoe and jumped into the soothing water allowing myself to back float, feet first, as if I were the boat yet no longer needing it. Eventually, the current spilled me into a vast, still pond. I rested and refreshed for quite some time, suspended on my back, looking toward the sky, supported by the water. What happened next is what I extend to you to assist the present moment.
From my back-float repose, I gently and calmly sank, fully submerged, and sat cross-legged on the sandy bottom of the pond. Despite the water I breathed with ease in my otherworldly surround and could glimpse the sunlight sparkling on the surface above. This was a depth of inner peace beyond my previous experience. I was thoroughly saturated in stillness, merged with stillness, became stillness. I believe I was resting in the core of my soul.
Fast forward to today’s reality. Where is the calm when one societal storm surge rises after another in continuous crashing waves? Where is the communal boat that can weather an undulating sea of constant swells without capsizing? Who will rescue us, throw us a life preserver, save us from drowning? When we are all being tossed about, unmoored, flailing to keep afloat, even the lifeguards need lifeguards.
And so, I am called inward, into my deeper self, the me seated on the sandy ocean floor. Yes, my physical reality resides in the same threatening riptides, but my consciousness experience knows that there is more to existence than the undulating surface of the sea. My head may be panicking, my heart may be grieving, but my soul holds this entirety in stillness. How can this be?
Picture yourself cradling an infant. Your enfolding embrace gently rocks the babe whether they are crying or giggling, colicky or snoozy, wriggling or chillaxing. Your love for this child does not depend on their present mood or changing state—you simply love this child because they exist, and you are blessed enough to be holding them. In this image, the arms are my soul. My head and my heart can fret or not (like the babe), but the arms of my soul support me, carrying me unconditionally with love no matter what.
In a chaotic world, I am called to my soul. A soul within me. A soul that expands to envelop me. A soul that loves me simply for existing and is ever present. Herein, even when nothing on world’s surface changes, I am changed.
I can withstand the inevitable everyday sorrows and see their source—a lack of connection to our inner sacredness and thus an inability to see others as sacred. And I can glean the potential of creating a better future—a self-awareness that expands to interconnectedness with each other and the planet. Delving into my soul is not a way to escape reality, rather it is an essential action to get us back on course. What better way to navigate to calmer waters than by setting my compass to the north star from the bottom of the sea?
I invite you to go inward and see what awaits you, be it a peaceful seabed, a cradle of loving arms, or something more beautifully suited to you. We are being called to a depth of understanding for ourselves and others beyond our former knowing. Perhaps the calm to the world’s storms lies therein. Within you. Within me. Within us all.