Everyday our souls create opportunities to awaken—to wake from fear, procrastination, anger, conflict, anxiety, loneliness, illness, judgment and regret. If we surrender to spirit in our moments of dread, magic envelops our being and creates space. We experience a quickening of conscious; recognition of truth at shutter-speed. When our humanness yields to the presence of divine spirit, it gives us the courage to change.
I had one of those divine moments many years ago in my walk-in closet, curled up in a fetal position, sobbing. I shivered from fear throughout my body, an unfortunate yet familiar happening. Somehow, on this day a separate part of me let my mind take a quick break from the fright–like a skip in a vinyl record. I started to wonder—there’s no rational reason for this drama. My husband had done this many times before–shouted in rage that he was leaving for good. He always returned. I always took full responsibility. Yet there I was—again–snotty, hiding in shame, and terrified out of my mind.
Experiencing the rush of a new thought in that situation opened up my mind to other ideas. Perhaps my tears are about my dad, not my husband? My dad left the family when I was seven. The oldest of five, I had the heavy responsibility for the wellbeing of my younger siblings. As a child I had the impression that he was the only one who really cared for me. Now, my body responded to this novel thought by stopping its rocking back and forth.
This break in thought created a supernatural opening. As clear as day, I saw a past life image of myself in the center of my mind. It was like a movie playing that conveyed an unmistakable truth about me. I was a man. Tall, tan, with balding blond hair, and far-set green eyes. He/I lived primarily alone. An understanding filled me; basically I walked the desert for a lifetime. I loved nature and all its creatures. Their presence was my living room. However, the overwhelming black loneliness of night was very had to bear. I also realized as my perception quickened that I had a family who loved me. I could go to them for companionship, but for some unclear reason, shame held me back. My 20th-century self wondered ever so slightly, if I was repeating a pattern—was I holding myself back from love and affection again?
Somehow, that day, I was able to leave the closet without my usual heavy shadow of self-blame. Instead, I felt a courageous bent after learning of the old version of me. There were no apologies that day. I had lived alone and was mostly fine. I wondered, if I had to do that again—live as a single person–if I would be OK? In this lifetime l had three constant companions–my children. Aware of the loneliness my desert-dwelling self felt, I made a mental contingency plan. I will need great friends in place when my daughters take flight and invent their own lives.
I had no plans to divorce my husband, but I was fascinated by these new thoughts. They freed me. From what, I didn’t know. A sweeping openness calmed my mind. So much so, that the next time his face puffed out in a fleeting fiery rage, I hoped he wouldn’t come back.
The things that frighten us most aren’t meant to shut the body and heart down. Instead, the presence of fear is truly to alert the mind that something wonderful is very close to revealing itself. Spirit is always near and ready to illuminate all limitations. It can do this by creating a single break in thought. Turning away from fright, sometimes for only a few seconds, will transform your life.
A few years after my last terror in the closet, I ended my marriage. The amount of positive change that has entered my life since my divorce is astronomical. I have experienced real happiness, love, success and freedom. And to some extent many of these positive experiences have multiplied with each passing year.
The magic of spirit is strongest when you are present to darkness. Finding something to distract how fear limits you, just for a few seconds, unveils your magnificence.
Here are a few tips to ease you into wonder when all you feel is grief:
* Try having a nurturing conversation with yourself. Speak to yourself in the second person using words like “I know you’re having a tough day. Regardless of how you’re feeling right now, I know everything will be better than OK.” Many times our being needs care and affection to let go of limiting ideas and feelings.
* Take a moment and look around your environment. Gazing at pleasant objects (furniture, plants, pets, or art work) can shift energy away from the illusion of fear and back to the present moment. Once aware, express gratitude, “Thank you for any helpful information from my higher-self that aligns me to truth.” Asking for answers with thanks, as if it has already happened, speeds up response time.
* Asking key questions that interrogate the persistent unease can connect the mind to new thoughts and feelings. Try asking these simple questions; Are these feelings justified? Am I in any real danger? The mind will quickly analyze any potential real threats. Its ability to use common sense in the moment can free your being of distress. And in a flash real awareness will rush in.