“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.” Psalm 23
Is the world burning or bright and full of color? I cannot decide. And so it must be both. I just had a vision of myself staring out my living room window and the sky was full of black smoke and flames and then it switched and the sky was full of vibrant, rainbow colored clouds. I feel like recently I have walked through fire.
Whether I wanted to or not it happened and I’m changed by it. I have faced fears, made choices I never thought imaginable for me and let a strength or perseverance kick in at moments that I wasn’t sure I even had.
Then I look back and see that is why it all had to happen and why more must be coming because I had to learn that about myself again. I had to learn how strong I am at my core, that I can accomplish anything, that no feat or challenge will knock me down. Well it may knock me off my feet but I will get up and I will keep fighting. I won’t let anything keep me down for very long.
My recent tests also had to happen so that I could trust in the universe again, trust in the magic and beauty of this world and remember the sound of the song life sings. I remember walking the streets of Boulder in December over a decade ago at dusk and the sky was pink and beautiful and I felt love, pure love hanging in the sky, hanging over me, drifting down into my heart and soul. This morning I was driving at dawn and the sky was pink, such a beautiful, warm glow rushing across the mountains, the front range standing tall with god smiling down upon them and on all of us who hustle about our lives with the mountains forever in the background.
“Look up,” the angels whisper from above, “look up sweet child, may you never forget you are so loved and protected.” The sky is calling you whether it be the bright light of day providing you with strength or the mysterious call of the twinkling stars and the moon hanging heavy reminding you of your depths and feelings. Look up and you shall find support. The ground is meant for your feet not your eyes.
Of course staying down to the ground is a must too and while I will always be looking up, I know that “here” is where I must be, here is where my story is playing out just like yours. And as I write “my story” I realize it is all a “mystery”. I tell and live my story each day and yet it is a mystery, tomorrow never carries any guarantees. I love my story and I love the mystery of it, the highs and lows, the misfortunes and the moments where maybe everything felt ok for a second, the coming and going, the souls that love us and drift away. You never really know what might happen next. While that can be incredibly challenging that is what makes life so amazing, so exciting and enticing, that’s what makes life worth living.
The truth has always been my ally, my tool to get through challenging times and this year I have learned you can’t always tell everyone, everything. There are moments when it’s ok to protect the secrets in your heart. Because the secrets in your heart are your truth but the world may not always understand and they may judge you harshly making you question what you know you feel. And so it is better to keep it to yourself. Our greatest quandaries in life are confusing enough, let alone with 10 other people’s feelings and opinions playing into your decision making process.
When you come to a crossroads, a fork in the road, a big one, no one can tell you which way to go. You may want them to because one of the hardest things is making a big decision and not knowing if it’s the right one. There is no way to know for sure. It is a mystery. You just have to trust what you feel. No one may ever understand how you feel or why you feel the way you feel and that’s ok because it’s your job to understand how you feel and know why you feel the way you feel and that’s all that matters. Know thyself and let everything else fall into place.
Recognize that no matter how boring life may feel at times, how complacent you’ve gotten in this great mystery, your story can change in an instant, it’s like a flash of lightening. Someone may walk into your life on a random January day and something changes, maybe you didn’t even realize it that first day, you didn’t realize that this stranger came to change your life but as the great mystery unfolds you realize that is exactly what they came for. And now someone you passed on the street a year ago is deeply intertwined in your fabric, in your ether, your aura, they are now a part of your story and you look up to the sky and say “oh yes now I remember and thank you for this gift for I believe again.”
And weren’t they meant to be a part of your story the whole time? Wasn’t your story a tale written long ago? It was written before the moment occurred and so it was always meant to be, you always knew it was coming, you sensed it along the way, it was written in the stars, written in the sky. Then when it finally happened you woke up. You woke up and you said “hello 33 I think I’m ready now.”
I will be 33 next week and I’m reminded of 11 years ago when I turned 22 and that was the last birthday and Christmas I spent with my mother. So it seems I’ve come to the river of life and death again and I suspect 33 will present me with many challenges and great surprises. I sense a year of profound transformation is awaiting me. While I know it is dangerous to say this, I dare say…I am not afraid anymore.
I have my Michele at my back throughout this journey and I hear her say “I was a rebel Chanel but you’re a warrior and you’re going to go way farther than I ever did.” But the truth is that we are going to go farther together because I know I have her support on the other side, the only plus when it comes to losing a loved one. While we may prefer their love and support by our side, they can help us in ways we can’t even imagine from their new vantage point.
The last Christmas present I gave my mom was a piece I wrote for my whole family that I called, “Words from Wonderland.” Sometimes when I read it I wonder how I knew all that back then and how much of it I have forgotten over the last 11 years. It was like I grasped all these spiritual truths at that time, I had this glimpse of it, of the future, of heaven and I was able to give that to my mom before she passed but it’s almost like it was meant to be a gift to myself to help me get through the last decade without her. Because while I had this clarity when I wrote “Words from Wonderland” I was about to go through such trauma, such sadness and pain and I was about to lose sight of everything I had just begun to understand. I reached this mountain top and I was about to make a major descent into the depths of the ocean. At the time I didn’t really know what was coming.
That’s the scary thing about life, you never know what’s coming next, your worst nightmare may be around the corner or your dreams maybe realized tomorrow. The great mystery continues to unfold and it will haunt you every step of the way. The best thing to do is hold it’s hand and walk into the darkness, walk through the fires willingly, walk into the great unknown, with pride, with strength, with joy and anticipation.
Walk into the shadows protected by the light with warrior strength because you are warrior strong, you were built that way, you were meant to withstand the scorching fires, the tremendous waves crashing upon you and the frigid, cold moments when you are completely alone. You were created to survive it all, to survive anything and everything. So fear not, fear nothing, I promise you will survive to see another day, a better day because I have. There is no moment of completion though, we don’t just have to survive once we have to survive over and over and over again.
When you look out your living room window, there may really be fire in the sky but it can’t burn forever, at some point it has to stop burning and when it does the black smoke will clear and the light will reveal itself, it will shine again, it will rain down warm, pink rays, the clouds will glow with faces and waves of rainbow light and you’ll trust again that no matter how long or how bright the fires burn form time to time, the light and the pink clouds will always exist behind them. Darkness and pain are a hugely important part of this life but love and light will alway have the last word.
And I will have the last word too. At 33 as a woman on this planet, my voice will no longer be quieted not by others and not by myself. Speaking is something I am no longer afraid of and I hope every woman out there no matter what age realizes how important it is that you speak your truth. You must be heard. Whatever your story is, tell it. Women can heal the world if they would just let us do our work. But they like to push us down, shush us because they are afraid of the change we will create. They are afraid of our great power to heal. They can stifle it but they can’t stop it, not forever. The time has come for us to take back our power and it starts with our voice. It begins with our word. In the beginning was the word, and in the end it is our word that will create life, create change.
So as I approach my birthday this year I expect nothing maybe for the first time ever because you can only suffer so many disappointments before you realize you need a shift in perspective. That’s what 2018 has been about for me. I started this year disappointed by a lot of things and by the end what I got were some major shifts in my perspective. And now after being in the trenches I realize it’s time to direct my gaze upwards again and have a little faith that everything is on track, everything is just as it should be, everything is occurring with seamless flow, in utter perfection, complete balance, such synchronicity, this life we live, I love.
“My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” Psalm 23
*Read “Words from Wonderland” there is a link to an attachment in the menu above.