Ancestral energy lives in the stars above us, the stones beneath us. Their memory gathers in oceans, rivers and seas. It hums its silent wisdom within the body of every tree.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Shape of Spirituality

For me, concrete belief is the death of spiritual growth. We are students from the moment of our first breath until our last. And possibly beyond even that.
My personal spirituality has been a journey of trial and error, of accepting that what I thought I knew before was… not wrong, but not the whole truth. Multiple times, what-I-knew-as-true was altered by new expansive experiences. This was especially true in the wake of my accident last autumn. Our trials test us, not our deities or divinities. The world happens, and we fall victim to it as it unfolds.
Ten months of walking through pain and regenerating skin cells, of sitting and laying and reviving muscle tissue. Ten months of solitude and self-reflection, and the shape of my spirituality has shifted and grown once more. After a decade, I have finally stopped trying to label it.
Language can open our worlds and it can make it small. Spirituality should never be small. Our world isn’t small. And spirituality is larger than the world we see.
I may not know what it is, but I know where I stand in it. Fool. Witch. Shaman. Animist. Naturalist. Spirit Talker. Dream Walker. Word Knitter. Gardener.
In the beginning my work was all about ghost investigating and forest meditating. And still, the first time I heard the language of the trees, I freaked out. I hit a Wall of the Unknown. Yet instead of denying it, I took a breath, exhaled, and opened my world.
And then I understood that everything has life, even if we do not understand its language. And then I discovered the path to loving everyone, even if it’s from afar, and finding the way to a form of forgiveness that brought me healing. And I began to see the spirit in everyone around me. And my everyday became my spirituality. And when my head spun, when I hit a wall, I simply took a breath, exhaled, and stepped into a larger world.
I hit a wall the day I heard the voice of my deceased grandfather speaking to me in the forest. My heart raced and I broke out in a cold sweat. But I didn’t want to lose it. I didn’t want to lose that connection just because I couldn’t understand it. So I accepted it as a truth I had not known before. And suddenly my idea of world was not limited to just the physical one. Every time I grow, the edges of my energy sphere stretch out more and I feel more immersed in the oneness of the world we live on.
That ability to surrender helped me in my recovery at the hospital. Others might have gone mad in the necessary-drug-induced fog of torture. It’s not that I didn’t fight against it. But when I realized I was smothering beneath it, I took a breath and sank in deeper to the horror of it. And then I saw it for what it was. Necessary. I did not give in to madness. I smiled at the spirits standing around my bed. I thanked the housekeepers for cleaning my room. I told the nurses what it was that made them special. We were all one team whose only goal was to get me better, even if the way there is more painful.

My spirituality shifts with every choice I make. The shape of me flows in to fill that space, like water, and I am forever, and momentarily, altered. And I am at peace.
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