As we draw closer to the longest night of the year, this precious time of preparing for and surrendering to what is waiting to be birthed, I have been reflecting on this question:
What does it mean to be a light in the darkness?
Often in the Pathwork we speak of exploring our darkness….our negativity, defenses, misconceptions, and cruelty. We learn that when we expose our darkness to the light, healing happens and unknown gifts and talents are revealed. Through the gateway of experiencing whatever we most want to hide, we find transformation, fulfillment, and joy.
And yet, there is another kind of darkness that we must walk through if we are to bring the fullness of who we are to this world.
The darkness of the unknown.
When you hear the call of Spirit to embody a new aspect of your light, it can be a bewildering, vulnerable experience. It often isn’t understood or welcomed by the ego-self. It may come as a whisper, an urging, or a half-delivered message. A road map that has the origin and destination clearly marked, but the route and mode of transportation is not so easy to discern. Sometimes we are called when even the destination is unclear.
And so we are invited to carry our light in the dark, to take that next right step without knowing where the staircase leads. It takes courage and perseverance, but along the way we grow in faith, trust, and integrity. There may be some stumbling, a few wrong turns, and various obstacles along the way, but it is the willingness to say “yes” to this mysterious journey that brings meaning to life.
This past Saturday evening the Richmond Pathwork Community celebrated the Holiday Season as we contemplated what it means to be a light in the darkness, and how our lights shine so much brighter when we come together in spiritual community. After a delicious potluck dinner, we enjoyed a sacred walk to the Medicine Wheel at night along a path lit by luminaries, and sat in silence as the darkness spoke to us. It was a beautiful, soulful gathering hosted by Julia Jensen and myself — an annual event we offer as a gift to the community each year.
In my own life recently, I have been listening to that call. It was leading me to travel to Standing Rock to support the Native Americans protecting the sacred water against construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. My heart was so clear that this was the place to go now. Inspired by prayerful, peaceful, non-violent action, I was fully immersed in my “yes,” despite concerns for my safety and the cold North Dakota winter temperatures. Many of you wonderfully supported me with donations for Standing Rock and with prayers and well wishes. I feel so grateful to have been held in this way by my spiritual community.
The day after our sacred candlelit walk in the darkness at the Holiday Celebration, the Army Corps of Engineers denied the permit to drill under the Missouri River — a huge victory for the water protectors at Standing Rock — and the Sioux Tribal Chairman asked all non-Sioux people not to travel to Standing Rock, or to go home if they were already there.
My non-refundable airline tickets were bought and paid for. Hotel booked. Insulated clothing purchased. My heart had already been in North Dakota for some time. And it became clear I had to cancel my trip.
Umm…I’m really glad they won this important victory, but what about that call I heard?
Was that real? Was it my ego tricking me? What am I supposed to do now — blow out the candle?
Actually, while I was quite disappointed and a bit surprised at this turn of events, I already knew the answer to that question.
I just need to keep walking, keep carrying my light in the darkness.
I need to let go of where I think I need to bring that light, how I need to bring that light, and who is supposed to receive it. I just need to be willing to keep showing up as that light, and trust the peace that lives amidst the darkness. Sitting at the Medicine Wheel during our Holiday Celebration, that peace was screaming in the silence.
As I reflect on the light I long to bring to the world, Pathwork Lecture 138 reminds me to meditate on these words:
“Whatever I already am, I want to devote to life. I deliberately want life to make use of the best of what I have and who I am. I may not be sure at this moment in what way this could happen, and even if I have ideas, I will allow for the greater intelligence and wisdom deep within me to guide me. I will let life itself decide how a fruitful interchange can take place between it and me. For whatever I give to life, I have received from it, and I wish to return it to the great cosmic pool to bring more benefit to others. This, in turn, must inevitably enrich my own life to the exact measure that I willingly give to life: for truly life and I are one.”
So I will keep walking. Keep trusting. Keep carrying that light. It’s a beautiful thing really, to have the honor to participate in this thing called Life, even if I can’t always figure it out.
How about you….how have you been called to bring your Light to this world? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
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