We meditate, we pray, we read spiritual literature, we set intentions, we attend retreats, we sit at the feet of teachers, we chant mantras, we aspire, and yet ….
A few months ago, I engaged in a period of self reflection to explore what was blocking my way. I thought the problem was desire. Then I thought it was my struggle with desire. And finally I saw that the problem was doubt. Basically, I saw that if I didn’t trust the natural energy of the universe to flow through me, if I didn’t trust my inner voice of wisdom to guide me, if I didn’t trust my practice to carry me through challenging times, then it wouldn’t matter how much I meditated or aspired or anything else. Doubt would block all the blessings. I didn’t need to figure everything out. I didn’t need to fix anything. I didn’t need to make myself do better or be better. I needed only to stay aligned in the center of what is … and trust.
Three images kept coming to me, speaking to me, teaching me. I thought I might share these one at a time.
The first was Orpheus, who went into the underworld to beg for the return of his beloved wife Eurydice, who had died. Hades granted his wish, but with a condition. Eurydice would follow behind Orpheus on the journey out of the underworld, but he could not look back at her until they both had crossed into the land of the living. All along the way, Orpheus could hear nothing behind him. As Orpheus finally approached the exit, he could stand the uncertainty not a moment longer. He turned, only to see Eurydice, who had been behind him the whole way, fade back into the underworld forever.
The underworld is a place of mystery, unknown and unknowable by our thinking minds. Yet it holds what we most long for – union with the divine, union from which we all emerged and in which we all live, union that we’ve never left, but that we’ve forgotten and we seek to remember.
When we enter the mystery of unknowing, we are promised that what we want is ours, has always been ours. But to experience it, we must trust that it is there, for when we doubt, it fades away.
The good news is that, unlike poor Orpheus who was barred from a second attempt to enter the underworld and bring forth his beloved, we are allowed endless opportunities to sink into the sacred embrace. And each time, we learn to trust a little longer, a little more deeply, before our thoughts sow doubt and we forget once again that we are infinitely and unconditionally loved. We repeat the process until we finally step into the land of the living, trusting that the beloved is with us always, that we are always one with Love, that we are forever blessed.
Your soul will keep its promise to Itself – the promise of return. Trust in the peace of that knowing. ~Emmanuel
to be continued….