December 7, 2016

May we allow ourselves to Break Open—a Blessing for Uncertain Times.

fork in the road decisions anxiety ungrounded unstable

“Uncertainty & mystery are energies of life. Don’t let them scare you unduly. For they keep boredom at bay and spark creativity.” ~ R.I. Fitzhenry


Lately I feel like the entire planet has shifted its axis.

Like everything I believed to be true was a mirage.

When I was a kid, I used to hang my head over the side of the couch and look at the ceiling, imagining it was actually the floor. How strange that the familiar could feel so different—I was half delighted and half chilled at the thought of stepping over the foot of wall above the doorways to move between rooms. Of the idea of the hard, flat ceiling on my feet while the squishy carpet loomed above.

When I felt too ungrounded, I could simply sit back up, feel the carpet tickle my feet, and be re-grounded—knowing that this alternate, upside-down reality was humming close by if I wanted it, but easily forgotten the rest of the time.

For many of us, these are uneasy times. It reminds me of that off-kilter upside down world, but devoid of the excitement that I held as a child. Uncertainty can feel so destabilizing that it’s easy to feel paralyzed, helpless, and hopeless.

This is for all of us who are feeling ungrounded by the world around us.

May we find the gifts that hover in uncertainty—the way we are blazed into the present, into the earth that grounds our feet, into the whoosh of our own breath, the eyes shining across the table from us.

May we be nudged by the things we know for sure—the quiet knowing that we are all, in the deepest sense, more alike than not. May we feel a deepening of our faith in what is holy and unseen—the thrumming cords that connect us to one another, the expansive pulse of love, the knowledge that we are made of the ashes of stars.

May this uncertainty drive us deeper in tune with nature, with the breath of trees and the flow of water. This is the true pace of life—not the 24-hour news cycle. Not the frantic clip of wild consumerism. Not the beep of social media alerts. The slow, sure growth of a pine tree. The damp, shining carpet of star moss. The cadence of water.

May we be grateful for the miracle of clean water and warm food. For the steadiness of the sun. May we remember to say thank you, thank you, thank you.

May these uneasy times help us shake off what we don’t need—whether it’s clutter, toxic people, or commitments we keep out of obligation instead of purpose or joy. May we use that extra space to become better at sharing, at giving, at being closer to each other.

May this shriving whittle us down to our fiercest essence and awaken our calling. May it propel us to make the changes now that we’ve been promising to enact someday, when we are better prepared, more ready, when we have more time or money. May we listen to the rising whisper of now instead of falling into the lulling dream of later.

May we allow ourselves to break open so that we then piece ourselves back together—may we be stronger, more scarred and sure, more relentlessly kind, more fierce and free. May we shore up the resilience needed to step over doorways, to feel the smooth ceiling slide beneath our feet, to defy gravity.


Author: Lynn Shattuck

Images: João Silas/Unsplash; Pixabay

Editor: Catherine Monkman

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