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).