Trevor loves to play with rocks, and one day he showed me how to crack one open. He had to pound the stone with a larger rock and it took some work, but he broke it open into several pieces. He was so excited to show me how the minerals inside were bright and sparkling. I’d never guess that glimmering light was inside a dull gray rock.
I’m thinking about that stone today as I sit down to reflect on the past couple of years. I see now that 2020 was a turning point for me. Like most of the world, I was confused and overwhelmed and I lost my faith in so many things.
But I had this Light in the darkness. It started years ago when I joined a yoga class to get into shape. I grew to love those classes because they brought me such a sense of peace. And then I became more interested in the meditations at the end of class. And then more interested in the meaning behind yoga practices. I eventually found myself in classes learning about different mystical traditions and spiritual practices from many cultures.
In 2020, I sent my little boy to preschool in a mask and watched so much around me spiral into isolation and division. Meanwhile my spiritual classes were giving me a message of unity, empowerment, hope. They were one of the few shining Lights in the darkness.
Like Trevor’s stone, the experience changed me into something new. I can’t morph back to my old self. I’ve thought this spiritual side was too weird, too embarrassing, too unlike my old personality. I’ve tried to twist myself back into my old ways, but I’ve found that’s impossible and also painful. I don’t really have any other options other than to try to live in this new way. I guess I like to think of spirituality like that stone. The ‘getting cracked open’ part might be really painful, to say the least. But then you do find a Light.
Trevor started kindergarten this fall and so I’ve been trying to figure out if I should return to the corporate work I did before Trevor. And it doesn’t seem right anymore. And I’ve asked myself if I should write recipe and travel blog posts like I did before 2020. And it doesn’t seem right anymore.
So I’ll at least try writing about this spirituality that has been my secret love. I’m already writing about it anyway; I just don’t share it. It’s starting to feel uncomfortable, not sharing it. Sort of like receiving the most beautiful piece of artwork and hiding it under the bed instead of putting it out on display.
What’s hard for me is that it seems like the person to write about spirituality should be someone saintly and pious and all of that. Or someone who has it all perfectly together. And I’m just an ordinary stay-at-home mom with a bundle of anxieties, faults, flaws, and daily mistakes. I’ve been superficial, clueless about the struggles around me, self-absorbed.
But a major practice on the spiritual path is to release judgment. Which means it isn’t my place to judge where I am in this season of life or how I found myself here or why. My job is just to try to be authentic and honest about where I am now…
“I want to unfold. I don’t want to stay folded anywhere, because where I am folded, there I am a lie.” – Rainer Maria Rilke