Spiritual Advice for Hard Times

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It’s a very fine line between gaslighting ourselves out of our feelings and nudging ourselves, purposefully, toward the light. One involves denial and the other involves thoughtful intentionality.
At a low point over the past few weeks, I felt the old “cut and run” impulse kick in. It’s the feeling of: I’m tired of hauling sandbags while the waves keep crashing overhead, one after another. 
The only model I had growing up was: pretend everything is fine (even though it’s not) until it suddenly explodes and collapses. I didn’t develop the muscle of reckoning with a thing until I was a full blown adult.
I’ve worked very hard over the years to cultivate the self awareness to at least know my stuff well enough to call myself out when my Ego is up to its old tricks. But all of us have our thresholds and our breaking points. When too many things are relentlessly hard at the same time, it’s natural to want to give up.
I wrote a newsletter about this last week but my intuition told me to hold off posting it. I went for a long drive. The sun was bright against the surface of the water, scattering itself around like diamonds. I remembered how the teacher A.H. Almass calls this “living daylight”. The feeling of aliveness for its own sake. Beauty that just IS. Nothing to “do” with it other than take it into your own heart like oxygen and let its life force become your own.
A fox zipped in front of my car. I hit the brakes and watched him under a bush by the side of the road. We made eye contact and the word INSIST came to the forefront of my mind, almost as a transmission from his consciousness to mine.
The directive to “resist” is powerful and important in the political context right now. By the same token, so is the necessity to “insist”. Insist on joy. Insist on freedom. Insist on a vision for a better world. Insist on love. Insist on beauty. Insist on healing. Insist on new ways. Within the collective and also on a personal level.
When we most feel like giving up, that’s when the insistence of our Souls starts to bubble up.
There’s a refusal within each of us to accept the unacceptable. This is the tension that drives us to come up with new solutions for what’s not working in our lives. It’s like the famous Viktor Frankl quote: “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
When we awaken to what feels unacceptable to our Souls, we can finally allow that unacceptableness to just, simply be true. Instead of trying to push ourselves around, swallow the bitter pill, lay in the bed we made, force the glass slipper to fit. From the willingness to embrace our true feelings, radical new ways can be birthed.
What if everything isn’t ok right now and instead of frantically denying that or slamming fists against it, we just allowed it to be true for a moment? What if we could trust the wisdom that lives in that place of allowance and surrender? What if that’s where our assignment is to be found?
We want so much from Life, but Life wants things from us too. We all have our roles to inhabit, our destinies to live out. Maybe we have many incarnations to play with. Maybe our limited understanding of the puzzle pieces and how they fit together and what the big picture is meant to look like is not the whole story.
It’s comforting, sometimes, to be small and not know everything. To gaze up at the night sky and contemplate the vastness and to remember that from our birth to our death, and everything that happens in between and afterwards, we are never not being held. The same way the stars and the planets are being held.
You are part of all that is. Suspended, contained, manifested and deeply loved.
Don’t forget to close your eyes and breathe into this magic from time to time. It’s your sustenance during hard times. It’s here for you.