Crossing the Desert in the Soul

by Debra Mae White on August 11, 2016

25th Anniversary Sept 2013 642

“Whenever new life grows and emerges, darkness is crucial to the process.  Whether it’s the caterpillar or the chrysalis, the seed in the ground, the child in the womb, or the True Self in the soul, there’s always a time of waiting in the dark.” –  Sue Monk Kidd

Ever since we returned from our extended overseas travel, I haven’t felt like I fit in my life.  Some have told me it’s not unusual to have trouble re-entering the everyday world after being immersed in the mystical energy of ancient lands. Even so, I was feeling empty inside and sank into a funk, sans meaning or motivation. Before long, a malaise settled upon me like a sorcerer’s spell. I came to dwell in a dry patch of life that plunged me down into the dark desert of my soul.

This morning I read the parable of the stream in “An Ordinary Life Transformed,” by Rev. Stephanie Rutt. The little stream sometimes struggled when it flowed past rocks and roots along the way. Such obstacles might pose a delay, yet in time could be conquered. When the water came upon the desert, no amount of effort would overcome the sinking of the stream into the sand. Soon the water became nothing but a trickle unable to flow across the parched land.  Only when the stream became still did it rise up into the air, transformed through evaporation into cumulous clouds filled with rain. When the rain fell, the stream once again became fluid and reached the other side of the desert.

We are conditioned to use effort to stay on our path in life, to power through the rocks that land on our road. Even those of us walking the road less traveled hope our spiritual practice will soldier us on through whatever comes our way. To sit still and wait in the dark when we start to sink, trusting that in time we will be transformed takes courage indeed. For me, it feels like losing myself in the uncertainty of what I cannot possibly know. Here I stand humbled to the process of stillness, reminded that true rest is a total surrender. Only when we give ourselves over completely, will we emerge anew.

What do you do when you come upon a desert?

Savor the moment…

Debra Mae

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