Today’s reflection in my inbox was about how people act in desperation times, and how they cling to false gods in the hopes that they will make it better. And I thought of how realistic this is, not only in times of desperation in the world, but desperation in ourselves.
We walk in a haze of desperation sometimes…with our own tragedies so overwhelming that we can’t see what’s around us and we don’t listen to the voices of our hearts. As I was doing my yoga workout today (an advent goal for myself) there were constant reminders to “listen to your body” and do what felt right for yourself. How much better off would we all be if we not only listened to our bodies (when we overeat, overdrink, undersleep) but also listened to our hearts and souls (when we are in pain, unhappy, desperate).
Every time I read my work email at home, my heartbeat accelerates and I get tense and angry. I’ve always accepted this side effect as something that just is. But what if I listened to what my heart and my body are telling me. What if I just said no to the voice that says, “just check it to see if there’s anything urgent” because I know that my body and spirit will be distressed if I do. What if I dig deeper into this response, look at my body’s responses to this job in general…what would I find? I love my kids, but do I love my job? My mind and my body might give different answers.
When we don’t listen, we start to shut down. Moritz sings “I Don’t Do Sadness” just before he shoots himself in Spring Awakening. What if he let himself be sad, if society let him be who he was? Wouldn’t the result have been better? We can’t shut off our sadness and expect to come out okay. We can’t ignore our own desperation, or worse, bury ourselves so deeply IN our desperation that we don’t see that the answers are inside of us, if we listen for them. And God is in us, in everyone, everywhere, if we open our eyes and look.
The light is coming…will you see it through your own darkness?
On the horizon,
Is that not the rising of the sun?
Watch for its coming,
The Light of the world.
Advent is about waiting. Today, on Renegade Conversations, Ronna posted “I Wait. Awake.” This struck a chord with me. It’s not just about waiting. It’s about actively engaging in the waiting, and being awake to what the waiting means.
I subscribed to a few advent devotionals, because I know from blogging during Lent that some days I need the inspiration, and the prayer in one of them was “Wake us from sleep, O God, for the night is far gone, and the day is near. Amen.” Pretty resonant with Ronna’s words about waiting awake. On the other, the reading for the day was Ruth and Naomi…always a favorite for me. While many use the story for weddings and romantic relationships, the power in it for me is that it is neither…it’s one woman’s devotion to another. It’s chosen family.
While I wait during this season of anticipation and awakeness, I am thankful for my chosen family; the people who will support me through this journey of words and meditations. Big Yellow has been a great blessing to me this year, and the people who have come into my life through our retreats together have been nothing short of a miracle.
For the next four weeks, I will wait, and pray and work toward lasting change. For centuries, we have waited each year for the coming of Christmas – Christ’s birth, and the reminder that there is something, someone, bigger than us, to bring the light back in this dark and cold time. For millenia, we have waited for the coming of the longest day, the solstice, where the sun begins to return to us. Sun or Son, the celebration is the same. We rejoice that we are not trapped forever alone in the darkness. With light, and life, and family, and chosen family, we make our way into each new year.
Will you wait with me?