Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

Scared of the Sacred?

The words “scared” and “sacred” morph into each other with a simple switch of two adjacent letters. This connection became more meaningful to me recently as I found myself shifting back and forth between a transcendent experience of the sacred and a scary feeling of being overwhelmed and faced with the unknown. Curious about the relationship of these very different experiences represented by almost identical words (at least in English), I looked little deeper.

I felt scared when I was trying control circumstances to bring about or to avoid certain outcomes that I was imagining in the future, outcomes that I was judging as good or bad. As if I know, right? And all that effort was of course futile, and also exhausting.

But when I could relax and release that need to control, when I could accept things as they are and rest in trust without second guessing the wisdom of the universe, then I entered the vast expanse of sacred mystery, marveling at the wonder of it all, showered with grace, humbly grateful, and infinitely blessed. The fear subsided and became awe.

A small switch of two letters, a subtle shift of perspective, like closing one eye and then the other, led to such distinctly different experiences. And when I opened both eyes, so to speak, I found that the different perspectives could coexist rather than being mutually exclusive. The sphere of experience can expand to hold both. And in that tender embrace, feeling a little scared just doesn’t seem so scary. In fact, it becomes sacred too. Nothing is rejected in the arms of love.

Everywhere is the center of the world. Everything is sacred. ~Black Elk

8 thoughts on “Scared of the Sacred?”

  1. Mona McGinnis

    I believe I experienced this when my son was involved in a sporting accident. He was being removed from the track by EMS. I remember a moment of surrender to the powers that be, not knowing what the outcome would be. I was filled with such calm & awe at the moment. It’s a feeling that I haven’t experienced since. Trust me, there have been many moments when I need to let go & let the deities be in control.

    1. Thank you for sharing this perfect example, Mona. I hope your son was all right!

  2. I love the intricacies of the English language and have thought about exactly this juxtaposition of letters before. I wish I could be in a sacred space rather than a scared space more often, and I know it’s within my power to do so. Thanks for the reminder, Galen.

    1. Like you, DJan, I enjoy playing with words and finding interesting connections. And I agree that we have the power to choose the space we inhabit. Like Marianne Williamson said, our deepest fear is not that we are powerless; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

  3. “Nothing is rejected in the arms of love.” I am coming to believe that with each passing year and experience. It’s learning to trust it in the moment that seems to be my ongoing challenge. Thank you for this insightful reminder.

    1. Trust in the moment — that’s the key, as you said, Brian. This moment … and this one …. Each moment gives us the opportunity to trust. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Lovely transition of perspective-from anxious to curious. All it takes is a shift in what on how one interprets what one “c’s”!

    1. Thanks, David. Yes, a little shift can yield a big change in what one “c’s”!

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