what if we don’t have to resist destruction?

It is October 29, 2020. What a year it has been.

I headed into 2020 with a deeply unsettling feeling. I did not know what this unsettling was all about, but it compelled me to pray because I was finding myself deeply disturbed and terrified by it. And by pray, I mean pacing around my home, not sleeping (much), talking out loud to God, this Mystery I have longed for connection with deep in my soul for all of my brief years living as an earthly inhabitant. I have not prayed like this in over a decade. It felt quite…powerful. This would be called “intercession” among the people of my childhood church community. Interceding like this is not a regular thing for me. It happens when I feel compelled, pulled into it, which is not every day. But something was happening in the unseen realm as I was experiencing this and feeling into the intensity of my emotions. Upon reflection of this experience, I realized that not only were we turning the collective page of the human experience story, entering into a new year, but we were also entering into the start of a new decade of life. And I had personally come through the wild of 2019, a year that a lot of “stuff” unfolded. I had cut off connection to a close friend, my marriage was unraveling and on the brink of divorce, and we had a family emergency. Since the summer of 2019, my tiny corner of the world had already been experiencing massive change and inner shifting. I have a story to tell about this, but not right now. Let’s suffice it to say that the events of 2019 propelled me into my second spiritual awakening experience.


Fear is no stranger to this soul. What I’ve learned about myself is that this is the one dark energy I am most sensitive to. So when Billy showed up on my doorstep last fall, I rolled my eyes and welcomed him into my home to visit. He stayed for a little while, and then just as surprised as I was to see him show up at my door, so also was I surprised when I realized he had vanished without a trace. This energy, this presence, is something I have fought against and resisted for a long time. I have tried all of the tricks I learned about rebuking and casting out and demanding that it leave, but I’ve moved away from all of that, it seems. Fear is a dark energy, a low vibrational energy. But it is still energy, which means it contains information…messages that I hear with a spiritual ear. What fear was speaking in that invisible realm…what I was sensing and feeling in the air at that time was a message of destruction, which is why I have chosen to name fear Billy. Destruction feels a bit masculine to me. Now that doesn’t mean that fear isn’t also feminine, because I think fear can take on the feminine energy as well. But this time, the message was “I’m coming for you.”

This terrified me.

Fear is talking to us all the time. And for a long, long time, I believed its messages. I believed in all of the negative, destructive narratives it whispered, those whispers lingering in the air. I heard the messages and felt them. I feel them whenever I feel frisson. Sometimes frisson is a magical feeling; other times, it is a dreadful feeling. You know what it’s like to have goosebumps all over your body…from the very top of your head to the soles of your feet. I have heard others speaking of this collective existential dread we have all felt this year. I continue to sense uncertainty and existential dread. I guess my question is: what is this all saying to help us uncover what lies hidden underneath the surface? The only things I continue to hear are: fear manifesting as panic, anxiety and depression. I have experienced it along with you, dear friend. This year is triggering all sorts of uncomfortable things within us. We bear witness to this, seen in how our loved ones are suffering, tangled up in fear’s invisible, energetic cords.


But what if destruction isn’t to be resisted? What if there are moments when destruction is meant for our good? I’ve been contemplating this. The masculine energy of destruction exists within all of us. It is something we learn how to balance as we live out our life’s purpose, banding together to collectively feel into the changes we are being called to create. And I think destruction is good for us. This is the kind of destruction we fight against, because what it demands of us is that we change. Remember when Jesus spoke of the temple being destroyed, but being built again in three days time? And the people were flabbergasted. What does he mean that he will tear it down and rebuild it in three days? How preposterous! That temple took years to build, and it wasn’t cheap! But he wasn’t at all speaking of a material temple. He was speaking about himself– how he would be destroyed by death and how he would be raised in resurrection life after three days. He wasn’t speaking about a building, but about all that he embodied. He was the ultimate archetype, exemplifying for us openness to death and destruction. Death is terrifying, but Jesus himself showed us that it is safe for us to experience. And not only is it safe, but it is for our good. And right now I see this happening– death of a paradigm. But death of a paradigm isn’t bad. It is scary as hell, but death is safe and good and the invitation is right here for all of us to open ourselves to, trusting that there will be resurrection life to be experienced on the other side.

Right now we are in the midst of the death of the patriarchy. This death is being felt by all of us right now, whether we are aware of it or not. And this death, the paradigm of domination, is for our good as a collective. If only we would understand that and stop resisting it. Resisting death only prolongs the experience when we could be opening up to it and allowing it to teach us something about the good in dying. Don’t get me wrong. I have resisted death as much as anyone else. I have feared it and allowed the fear to guide my decision-making process. But fear is also teaching me something, too. It’s like Elsa trying to destroy the “Fire Spirit” only to realize that all she needed was to listen to what it was saying and then as she opened up to it, she relaxed and let it exist with her. She realized it wasn’t working against her, but with her. It sounds like I’m saying that fear can be trusted. But I think what I am trying to say is that fear has messages for us that can lead us into wider, more open spaces, if we but listen and allow them to be transformed by Love. Because it’s true that fear is terrifying. But opening to fear is something else entirely. When we learn that we don’t have to resist this energy, but allow to exist, we learn that we can trust Love even more. Because Love will always transform us. Love will always move us from paralyzing fear and into trust, a much wider and more open field of existence, making room for all energy, even the dark, destructive energies. Because I believe more than ever before that Love is here to transform and heal, and to not completely obliterate all of creation. After all, “everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels– everything got started [in Christ] and finds its purpose [in Christ]” (Colossians 1:16).

the same is true for you

I’ve discovered that the way I express my creativity is a lot of the time simply the way I move about in this world, a body housing a soul…that soul merging with Love.

I make it so hard in my mind sometimes, analyzing, overanalyzing, when Love is like, “come, let’s play!” I’ve had this weird relationship with play as an adult. I catch myself when I go down into the deep end of my mind, treading water. And it is there that Love speaks: “you can swim to the shore and take a break, you know”, winking at me. I am embarrassed as awareness shines its healing light on this part of me that is deeply and unconditionally loved. I begin to notice what Love is noticing, and I accept this invitation to take a breather, to sunbathe on the shore while the tide comes in. I dip my toes into the cool, shallow end of the ocean of my mind and find relief for a little while. It is here that I am seeing that I really can enjoy life and embrace the idea that even in monotony and ordinary things, God is there showing herself to me, inviting me to reach down and dig out the joy she has planted deeply in my soul.

I relax again and rest in her embrace. She loves me so much. She is healing my mother wound while this is happening. While I am resting, she heals all of my wounds in that mysterious, secret place. She takes up the negative space and surges through my auric field, making her way into my physical body. It is like magic that my mind is tempted to figure out, but knows it can’t. So I let go of that and float outside of myself, exploring new concepts and ideas that Penelope finds fascinating.

I notice this is a pattern for us. I stop and pause to rest. And Love gathers up all of those big T traumas and little t traumas, and clears them away, mending my broken heart, and nudging me to open up again, to let joy be my guide, navigating us as we embark on this new adventure, this new stage of life. I realize that this is all for my good. For my freedom. And I rest in that, knowing that I can trust that Love is good and goodness, soaked in love is in every nook and cranny of creation. My spiritual sight is activated and I know that if Love is here with me, healing me, that the same is true for you.

I wonder sometimes about the prophets

I wonder sometimes about the prophets,

Do you?

I wonder if the prophets are speaking,

And If the people are listening.

Or if the people would rather ignore

Anyone who challenges the institution.

I wonder where the prophets are

And if we would even recognize

The voice of God in their message.

Or if they would be pushed aside

And labeled as ‘mentally ill’,

Or exiled to Patmos.

But would exiling the prophets silence

The voice of God?

Or would they still prophesy

From the wilderness.

I wonder if the prophets are speaking.

Something about lighting a candle

There’s just something about lighting a candle

That makes me smile

The flicker of the flame on the wick

Sparks a momentary indulgence in thought

About nothing in particular

So I sit back in my chair

Listening to silence

Something that has become a nightly practice

A time of prayer

A divine invitation into stillness + trust

Nothing to say or do

But these are the moments I discover

True rest

And beauty

And so I am once again able to see

that God is indeed everywhere all around me

And when the world proclaims darkness

I see Light

That shines brighter than the sun

june musings

The thought occurred to me yesterday that I hadn’t yet written for the month of June. Life for us has been unfolding steadily, slowly. I’m in a season where I am being directed to learn new things.

I’ve spent some time this year reading and encouraging my inner child to heal.

I’m no psychologist or psychoanalyst, but I am drawn to those who are.

I am curious and fascinated by what makes humans do and say and behave the way they do. I became aware of this fascination when I turned 24 and experienced a spiritual awakening– what I would now call, twelve years later, my first awakening.

I now wonder if these awakening experiences are simply my own soul experiencing and observing what it is like to be human, open to transformation, collaborating with Spirit, working together to create this human anew. In stages and over the span of a lifetime, perhaps.

I once heard a story about a man married to a woman, who underwent several transformations in her lifetime. By the time their relationship had come to a close the husband said it felt for him like he had married 8 different women!

I love this story because somehow I relate to that woman. She emerged from her cocoon 7 times in her lifetime! I have only begun to emerge a second time. I wonder if I will experience this five more times. It is a fascinating thought full of wonder.

For now, I will be here. And I will continue to slowly emerge from my cocoon. I might have grown attached to the chrysalis this time. It is so beautiful, I don’t want it to break open yet.

what calls to me?

I opened the door again and walked into the room

Noise.

Loud.

And clamoring.

The sea of voices longing to be heard.

I am pulled in every direction–

How can I really listen when all of the voices are yelling,

All at once.

Confusion and anxiety are now being felt in my body.

I am overwhelmed after being in the room only a few minutes

I walk out the door and catch my breath.

I wonder, what is it that calls to my soul?

I can’t figure it out.

I want to say something… to add to the noise.

Somehow I know I can contribute, that my voice would like to be heard too.

But my voice is a mere whisper,

that my own soul can’t hear.

So I quiet my anxious heart and grow still,

and hold the tension I feel.

And I pray, God, can you hear over all this noise?

tell me, what calls to my soul?

the spiritual path, a poem

This season.

It’s so hard to find the words to describe transformation.

All I know is I’m not the same as I was before.

Not who I was yesterday or even an hour ago.

My soul is dynamic and changing.

Flowing through the great endless river of Love,

That flows within this bodily expression somehow, energetically.

The divine seed planted inside me is growing roots that cannot be seen.

And my soul is going down with them into places it has never lurked before.

Penelope was unsettled before but now I am intrigued and curious, and I know my soul can be trusted.

Rumi’s wisdom guides me now in this moment to quickly go in the direction of my soul’s leading.

And so that’s where I will go.

Letting go of fear and walking steadily on the spiritual path.

a lovely spring walk

She opens her front door and steps outside. Pausing, she breathes in the fresh spring air around her. She started taking regular walks through her neighborhood, leaving her phone unused in her pocket most days. She walks with the intention to connect with nature and the present moment. Today, she notices how much her perspective has shifted since the start of the year and she pauses inwardly to give thanks for growth. Walking has turned into a spiritual practice for her, a time of deep reflection and communion with God. Today, she feels grounded and at peace and she gives thanks for being present to her emotions. She remembers that today is the Full Moon Supermoon and remembers the spiritual practice she learned recently from a book she has been reading. So she presses in to the moment, asking herself to reflect on the past two weeks.

She has been releasing a lot of fear. Love invites her to let go of fear, but it hasn’t been easy. Her heart knows to trust in Love and this trust has somehow begun to take root and grow within her. This time of reflection has been healing for her soul and she closes out her spiritual practice by opening her heart, making room for the mysterious unfolding of life.

a reflection for lent

One of my favorite daily rituals is opening my email inbox to find a daily meditation from The Center for Action and Contemplation. Last week, I happened to receive not one, but TWO emails and the second one was a brief note on Lent, the season that is now upon us.

I come from a Pentecostal-Charismatic Christian upbringing and one thing I never learned about in church was the Christian calendar. We celebrated Easter and Christmas, but there was not much mention of Advent or Lent. In fact, as I write and reflect, my perception was that Lent was a purely Catholic practice. And I once believed that Catholicism was “bad” and “wrong”. I’ve grown a good bit since then, thank God! Anyway, I have come to appreciate spiritual practice as I age and Advent and Lent are two that although they seem to creep up on me before I’m ready, always tend to find me anyway. Ash Wednesday came and went and I did not spend much time reflecting. And now here we are, what – two weeks in already? Oy vey. I’m grateful for the emails I get from the CAC that help me remember to pause and reflect during these seasons. Each email I get from them seems to hit me on a profoundly deep spiritual level, sometimes one that I am not ready for in the moment but will spend time with in the days, weeks, sometimes months following. I’m still contemplating an email that was written for Advent and it’s been three months. But that is the beauty of contemplation, isn’t it? We come across something so deep and meaningful, something that our soul is fascinated with and finds terrifyingly true, yet it takes time to settle in to a psyche that is conditioned a certain way.

What I wanted to share with you is something I continue to learn. From the email last week: “the word Lent comes from the Old English lencten, time of spring and new life. Of course, in the contemplative tradition there’s an awareness that in order to allow new life to come forth, we have to go about the inner work of recognition and letting go – of ‘dying before we die’ (a quote attributed to the Sufi poet, Rumi, as an invitation to live fully – the way we would if we knew we only had a few more breaths to take.” These words spoken by that wise Sufi poet call to me, beckon me to make this choice to live this way for the rest of my life. Interestingly, I have been drawn to the Scriptures a lot recently and happened upon Psalm 90:12, a verse my brain is connecting with Rumi’s philosophy: Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. Wisdom teaches us that life is short and not a lesson we learn via the intellect alone. It is a lesson we learn with our whole being, a lesson of mind, body, and heart. This lesson has presented itself to me yet again in this more recent season of my life. It has presented itself before, and I think it slipped out of my awareness for a little while, but it is returning again and I am paying attention now.

A meditative prayer for your soul today:

Teach me to realize the brevity of life so that I may grow in wisdom.
May I be open and not afraid.
Help me to trust so that I may be free.
Open my eyes, help me to see.
Help me to die before I die,
To let go of what I cannot control.
If I’m honest I am afraid,
But I will trust anyway.
Oh great Love, carry me today.

Penelope & Billy

Penelope and Billy have been friends from the time she was 3. They love to spend time together, and invite her to join them all the time. She joined in for many years until she started to realize what was really going on and began to discern some things about these two that she never realized before. So yesterday, she started to call them out. Penelope and Billy didn’t like it at all. Not one bit. But because of that reaction, she knew she was on track and is now using her voice to call them out when they show up telling her stories that scare her. She is using her voice to challenge them and they don’t like it, but the stronger the reaction of the dynamic duo, the more powerful her voice becomes. She is realizing that she can reach down into herself to draw from the Truth that lives in her already.


Story Explanation:

Andy and I went to a show the other night called Say Yes – A Liturgy of Not Giving Up On Yourself, by artist Scott Erickson. At the beginning of the show, Scott defines the word liturgy to mean story of the people. His show was created around this definition and in collaboration with others, he tells a story through visual effects, poetry, art, and the lived experiences of others both good and bad. It was a lovely show, packed full of healing messages for my soul. One thing he said that stayed with me was how he personifies his fear, calling it a name, and therefore decreasing its power significantly. So I decided to put this idea into practice for my own life and that is how Billy and Penelope came to exist. Penelope has existed for me for a little while, but she has evolved from being the voice of the critic in my head to simply being the voice of the false self, varying with degrees of intensity in the energetic stories she tells me about who I am, what I am now seeing as false stories. This story is about how I am learning that Penelope and Billy are codependent and can’t live without each other. So when they show up, I can name them for who they are and see what is really going on in me.