Like many others, I believe we are all on our own unique journey. How could we not be? There is no one who will 24-7, 365 share our minute to minute life experience with us but ourselves. We try with social media to draw each other in but ultimately, within each of us lies a universe.
That being said, when I think back over my life and specifically the dimension of my journey that some would label spiritual and some would label religious and I would label “spiritual and religious” Can someone remind me why these two are incompatible again?!?!?! It becomes glaringly clear to me that my faith journey and maybe this is true for you too, is akin to a connect the dot puzzle. I’m not saying I have any idea what the shape is that we’re making here but what I can say is, I see a string of dots and I feel their connection to something bigger. You can’t finish a connect the dot puzzle by standing at one dot, glaring it down demanding to know, “Hey, just what are you up to there bub? What’s your angle? What’s your meaning? What’s your purpose?” It is only within the context of the others dots, that it all makes sense. My faith has thus far been an infinite feedback loop of conversation, conversion, more conversation and more conversion. (I consider myself lucky to have been a part of several faith communities who conduct themselves in this manner.) Faith then is the renewing of mind and spirit, always preceded by a death, of some other way, some other mindset, some other idea, some other person or thing.
As the Buddhists believe it is about shedding attachments to the illusions and embracing the reality, the infinite, intimate connection of all life. As Taoist philosophy teaches, the yin and yang: light, dark, joy, sorrow, the dance of gain and loss, have and have not. Everything allows for the existence of everything.
If I’m totally honest, as of right now, I don’t see the bigger picture but I feel it and like a radio signal strengthening, I feel it becoming clearer and clearer, the more time I spend in prayer, the more time I spend in meditation, the more time I dig into the mud of human experience. So, even in the face of what sometimes seems like contradictory data, I see a pattern emerging and I trust myself, those I love and the universe to confirm this pattern and so far, humanity has been my greatest source of blessing and cursing.
I consider it a privilege to be a human with a mind able to actually be able to see our Sisyphean boulders and to push, push, push, even though we all know it’s inevitable, that boulder is coming down. We are going to die, all of us are going to be subject to what Anne Lamott describes as ‘the big eraser.’ Yet, as Pitbull sings, “Every day above ground is a good day” and for those of us who believe that, we will have to guard our joy, against those who still feel cheated by their boulders, who still feel betrayed by the Gods of their imagination or reality and those who are stuck staring angrily at dots, pissed, because the dot they are seeing is not the cerulean scarlet seashell pearl moon star shine dot but, a dot, a point in time, a time to say, coincidence, luck, fate or something more? And often miracles show up in such a low key way, that we could easily shrug them off or oversimplify what we are actually seeing and experiencing. Very often we do, until, like a dam breaking, the evidence stacks up and you can no longer deny, there is something going on here, some higher order beyond my comprehension and I see it in split second windows of coincidences and I’m grateful.
I’ve found in my own relatively short (chronologically speaking) life, that if we wait long enough, it is inevitable that we will step out and see, that the dots aren’t just dots, they’re connected to something and it’s something much more real, raw, painful even but also something more beautiful than we ever could have imagined, hoped or dreamed for and that is why I trust, in Sophia, Grace, God/dess, the universe, even in the face of sometimes seemingly contradictory data.