“I think on some level, you do your best things when you’re a little off-balance, a little scared. You’ve got to work from mystery, from wonder, from not knowing.” Daniel Dafoe
How do you feel about a mystery in your life? Does it frighten you? Does it ever reveal a new way to see your life?
Fall is always a reminder that times are changing. For a while it is lovely with the colorful flowers and multicolored leaves on the trees. The intense heat of summer has subsided and the air is cool and perfect for outdoor hikes with just a sweater or light coat. For a while the mountains startle us with vivid colors like a Van Gogh painting.
And then – things drop away. The flowers and leaves turn brown and fall. The squirrels stuff themselves with acorns and pack more up for winter. All of nature prepares for rest during the winter in order to return in the spring renewed.
Not only is nature in transition, humans are as well. We are living through a mysterious time, daily discovering that our country is not what we thought it was, that our government may no longer be “for the people.” Our health is threatened by a mysterious illness that infects equally and we have no cure.
A Time of Letting Go
Creation Spirituality, a spiritual community created by Matthew Fox, divides the year into four areas. This time of year is known as the Via Negativa, a time of mystery, of letting go, of emptying, of sitting in the shadow, and experiencing the dark night of the soul.
Like the trees and flowers, it is a time to rest and renew our lives for the coming of spring and new life. It is a time to explore who we really are in this time of change. We may take the time to let the mysteries of our lives open to us.
What do we need to let go of? Many people are cleaning out their closets and garages, letting go of things they no longer need: books they’ll never read again, clothes they’ve outgrown, furniture that is broken, or tools they never use. In my community there is a website where people post the free things they want to give away and the list is endless and surprising at times.
But letting go of physical things is the easy part. Looking at our inner mysteries is more challenging. Who are we really? Even before the pandemic, were we living the life we really wanted? Are we uncomfortable having to stay home most of the time because our family relationships are difficult?
When we experience a dark night of the soul, we often feel we are trapped in a shadow and have no idea how to find the light. But this is the time when we must look inside and ask, “Who am I?” Are we living who we really are? While that may feel terribly uncomfortable at times, it may also lead us to discover parts of ourselves that are shut down and what we need to do to become more complete.
When I had to move from New Orleans, away from the rest of my family, it was not a choice I really wanted to make. If I wanted to heal my Chronic Fatique Syndrome, I had to go to a dry climate, so I chose Albuquerque where I did have one New Orleans friend who had moved there.
We Are One With Spirit
During my time there, I discovered Religious Science church that became my spiritual home. It was based on the science of mind philosophy, the belief that God is one with us and all that is. The energy we create and express affects others, and what we express comes back to us. Being part of a loving community and practicing this spiritual belief helped heal more than my body.
There have been many moments in my life when I felt depressed or confined by my circumstances. As a single woman, making enough money to pay the bills was also a challenge. Not being in a relationship for many years was a challenge. Dealing with continuing health challenges that limited what I could eat was a challenge.
Lighting the Dark Within
Learning to adjust my thinking and meditate taught me that closing my eyes, moving into the darkness, could open me to the light within. In that place, I could find peace and let the negative thinking and feelings drop away. Clearing space within for the light to appear often brought solutions to problems I would never have “thought” of.
Many times, as I sit quietly, lie in bed dozing off, or just as I wake, a new thought presents itself. What it means may be a total mystery. Thinking about it may or may not reveal its meaning. When I’m mystified, I write the thought down just as I do if I wake remembering a dream, knowing that if it is important, its relevance will be revealed later.
While we learn who we are by being with other people, by working or playing, it is our alone time when the deepest mysteries can open us to the deepest solutions. Spirit is with us in those moments if we are willing to sit with the mystery.
© 2020 Georganne Spruce