Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. ~Anne Lamott
Are there certain authors who touch your soul, speak to your situation, resonate with something deep within you? For me, Anne Lamott is one such, especially in her series on spirituality. We have traveled different roads but we have searched for the same things. Honesty and authenticity and relevance.
Just show up, try to do the right thing–what I’m attempting to do to navigate out of a soul deep period of darkness. And, indeed, the dawn will be coming. To get out, though, I think I have to acknowledge the darkness and learn from it. I need to not berate myself for “losing” faith, but rather for accepting this a part of my spiritual journey.
…the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns. ~ Anne Lamott
It occurs to me that part of the process is an old nemesis of mine–patience. I didn’t get where I was overnight and I won’t find my way out overnight, no matter how much I wish it were so. I’m not a patient person. I had gotten to a place of paralysis and inaction, and now I should be patient? But I need to do just that. I need to be patient with the process–and patient with myself. Patience, as I understand it, is not inaction or lethargy, but an act of will.
Dictionary.com defines patience as: an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay; a quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care. (Couldn’t they at least left off the even-tempered part?)
Anne Lamott said she once heard a preacher say “hope is a revolutionary patience.” I don’t know that I’m doing anything revolutionary here, but I’m doing my best to seek hope and cling to it tightly. If I must be still, meditate, study, seeking hope and faith to wash over me in refreshing waves, then that is what I shall do, for as long as it takes. For too long I have been so busy being busy, I evidently out-ran the waves. Another favorite author says this:
I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable. ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Always the patience…
I plan to spend much time outside, surrounded by the beauty and serenity of nature, to reconnect with the rhythms of life–to rediscover a rhythm for my life. Too long have I filled my days with meaningless activity, trying to distract myself from the changes that are a natural part of being alive.
Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls. Mother Teresa
Another thought for tonight and then it’s time to get some sleep–“see the stars”–it occurs to me that this is best done when it is quite dark. Hmmmm…