Last week I sat down for morning prayer. Friday is tied with the Planet Venus and I have noticed that it generates easier access to your heart and feelings of gratitude. It is a great day for a little Bhakti ( devotion in sanskrit).
On this morning I felt it particularly relevant to side aside around 30 mins to consider my family, my friends, and my home in Mill Valley. I spent time praying, considering each individual, and feeling gratitude for them. It was around 15 minutes in that I realized I still had a pit in my stomach. I, being somewhat stubborn, ignored it and kept praying for the last 15 minutes. I tried to push through something that my body was signaling to me was not right.
At the end of the meditation I was a distraught to still feel the pit in my stomach even though I had spent time attempting to feel grateful for everything. As I soon realized, the key word that I left out of my meditation was everything. Yes, we can be grateful for the light side of things ( our friends, our family, etc.) but it is the darkness that allows us to be grateful for these things. I.E. the challenges, the hardships, the mud if you will. All the gross stuff that no one wants to talk about. Though, in truth, I have seen through social media a huge influx in people allowing themselves to be vulnerable. I was struck with the insight that it is also the Darkness that we can be grateful for. Because in the end, it is the Darkness that gives our lives meaning and purpose. Challenge helps us appreciate accomplishment and Death helps us appreciate Life. It is all about the experience of being human. We are vulnerable beings. But this is what makes us so unique and beautiful; our appreciation of the Darkness and the Light.
In the middle of writing this piece my dog Max yelped at me and I turned around and snapped at him.
“Not now” I said.
Then it hit me, literally in the middle of the writing. I realized I was doing it again, neglecting a sign! I got up, fed him, and took care of his needs. The Universe can work very, very quickly if you allow it ;).
What past challenges are you struggling with?
How can you practice seeing the ‘fruit’ of the situation?
What does darkness and light mean to you?