I see there is a fine line between sacred disillusionment~ (that which gives way to awakening, mature clarity and sobriety)~ and jadedness, which in my heart feels like a sort of numb resistance, a tired, heartbroken breath of futility.
Like most of us, as I’ve grown into my adulthood I have been humbled by the crumbling of dreams, the disillusionment of a certain level of spiritual innocence. In the wake of divorce, single parenting, financial strain, fears for our planet, wishes for my children and for my own womanhood have been lost in the inherent tides of a real life unfolding.
Last Summer, when my dear friend’s 3 ½ year old son died in her arms after a sudden, tragic accident, an immense wave of disillusionment washed through our community; this fierce, undeniable truth that children die. Children like yours and mine are plucked from the earth by God like a newly blossomed flower on a Summer Day; mysteriously claimed, without a moment’s notice, for the other side.
Children like yours and mine who are prayed over from the moment of conception, who are adored and held close and nursed and fed organic avocados and abundant heart, with vigilance and responsibility, who are cherished and mentored by an extended tribe of village. Children~ who are seemingly protected~ die.
And so I think my heart was irrevocably pierced to notice: no matter how deeply this mother had prayed for her little son’s protection, and for her own protection from having to know such loss, to taste such grief and despair, still, her life came to include this unbearable pain. And protection for her precious little boy had mysteriously unfolded to include his death.
Protection does not always look the way we want it to. Look at our oceans. Our forests. Our skies. Our agriculture. Disease and war, poverty and corporate corruption. Is this what a protected planet looks like?
And so the other night, as I sat in a sacred prayer circle, surrounded by spiritual peers and elders, I was startled to notice a deep feeling of jadedness, in relation to prayers for protection. I noticed that since the death of my friend’s son, I have been not bothering to pray for safety, for sustenance, for well-being, for protection for myself and my beloveds, in the deep way I have for most of my life. I could not authentically lean into such prayers without feeling them to be sourced by a kind of desperation and fear, rather than faith.
As I inquired within, I saw that what feels true to me, is that as long as that protection is seen to include that which we least want to happen, that which we don’t want to come, then yes, we can trust in that. But can we trust that our request for the protection of our health, of our lives and the lives of those we love~ this diseased planet we are one with, will be honored?
What does God want? The Great Mystery holds all, right?~ Health, wealth, abundance and scarcity, disease, death, fortune and misfortune. When we ask to be protected from the dark hand of life, who are we asking? And what are we asking for, really? Aren’t we actually asking God to protect us from God?
As I sat with this immensely sober truth, I became aware of how broken my heart was feeling. Broken by the stark reality of life, of all we are asked to meet and open to in this human life. And as I felt my tired, jaded, broken, human heart, I began to grieve. Sweet grief. There is so much of it. And as the grief released, tears pouring, my heart was washed, moved, clarified by the purity of what needed to pass through me. Grand gestures of loss from the heart. Oh to let it all out! And the revelation came: when we feel jaded it is simply a sign that there is more grief to be felt. There is simply more grief.
When we are disillusioned, (as we are if we simply open our eyes to the truth of pain inside our world,) we cannot help but become intimate with this human seat of terror. As we sit at the table of our lives we see how afraid we are to lose control, to lose our minds, to lose one another, to lose the health of our seas, our bees, our food and water, to lose our breath back to that from which it comes.
And we have a choice: we can either let our broken hearts and bodies and lives become frozen, jaded in this fear, or we can grieve. We can pray with our grief.
We can pray for help, for protection, for relief from this pain of fear. We can pray to discover trust in this grand, mysterious design of life and all it must include. We can pray for the courage to keep opening our hearts to life in the presence of this immense fear, grief and longing. We can humbly pray for faith, and surrender to love.
We open to the truth. We grieve. And we pray. Our grief is our prayer. And then suddenly there is a tiny bit of space. Space to forgive. Forgiving life and all the pain it brings. Forgiving Life and loving life, as it is.
And just like this our grief-illuminated prayers can serve to open us to all that we love, all that we are grateful for, all that we cherish in this world. If for nothing else, we can be grateful simply for Love. Simply that we love. We love!
I was compelled to share this with you. And I love you.