… we’ve ALL felt disconnected from the connections/relationships that are most sacred to us: our friends and family, our peers, our practices, our beliefs, our virtues and principles. Please, don’t fret, though; it happens to everyone, all the time.
So much so, in fact, that it’s my belief that one needs this “away from” feeling, this “being in the dark” to, ultimately, strengthen those relationships and connections. We have to be in the dark to appreciate the light, etc., etc., etc.
But then what? Once we’re in the dark, what comes next?
To paraphrase Marcus Aurelius, he says that unless WE extinguish the thoughts that feed them, our principles/relationships/connections cannot be snuffed out. Why? Because it’s always within our power to reignite new thought-feeding “Fire”. We rekindle the energy of that bond, and consequently the energy that gives our lives deeper meaning. (Meditations, 7.2)
Essentially, it’s up to us to get that Fire going again. But, we see, in the more ancient stories about Fire, how it was kept alive because it was difficult to get a completely NEW Fire going. How it was passed through coals from one house to another, or kept alive throughout the nights, or how last night’s embers make the Fire of the next morning. To get a Fire going from, literally, nothing… well, that’s a different challenge, and thus, requires a different story.
When there isn’t even an ember or glowing coal left over, what does it take to make Fire, or better yet, that spark? Hard work, that’s what.
Sometimes, it’s difficult to get ourselves out of the funk of darkness. Sometimes, it’s really hard to extricate ourselves from the feeling of despair… hard and difficult, but not impossible.
Rub the sticks together until you get that tiny ember. Nurse that ember into something bigger. Settle in to the work it’ll take to make that Fire… because creating something sacred from nothing is one of the hardest things we can do; however, it can, and must be done.
See, unless we get that Fire going again, unless we can reignite our feelings toward connections most sacred to us, those connections act as hindrances instead of guides and inspiration.
It’s OK to have failed. It’s OK to make mistakes. It’s OK to lose our way. That’s part of the practice.
Whenever we’re ready, we can begin again. The sacred waits for us to make that choice.
(See y’all tomorrow)