“So on this meaningful morn, we mourn and we mend.
Like light, we can’t be broken, even when we bend.”
You have been in my heart this week. You, me, all of us – souls on our planet Earth. We are witnessing a time of transformation. Perhaps you, like me, are reading essays, praying or deepening your meditation, or walking in nature to support this inescapable process of change. Perhaps you, like me, have moments of uncertainty or sadness around the great unknown that is before us.
I followed my instincts, recently, and purchased a grow-your-own-caterpillars kit. I watched them travel around the plastic cup, down into their food source then up the walls to the top. Over and over, shedding their skin as their bodies changed and grew. Their final days, at this stage, were filled with jerks and spasms as they return to the underside of the lid, attached themselves and moved into a “J” shape. Slowly, their bodies transformed, once again, and a chrysalis encapsuled each of them. The next three days were important, explained the instructions, no movement, no disruption to their time of total surrender to their destiny.
These soon-to-be Painted Ladies accompany me, as I too, wait in stillness. They have now been transferred to a habitat for their next stage of transformation. I welcome them each morning, as I too, await mine.
While I wait, I am grateful for the words of our Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman. I am grateful that her message of hope acknowledges the mourning that is all around us. (I hope you’ll take the time to hear her message to us.) The fullness of life is found through embracing all of life, not just the sweetness but the bittersweet, sour and distasteful. On those days when I allow myself to feel the enormity of these times, I take little sips of such flavors. I grieve the lost lusciousness of an unfettered life. Something happens when I honor my feelings, as I wait inside my Covid Chrysalis. Something shifts with a timing all of its own. I, like the caterpillar, have no control over the next stage of my life. But I can choose to participate in the process, I can align myself with that-which-is-greater-than-myself….Mother Nature, Higher Power, the Sacred Mystery, God.
I listened to John Phillip Newell’s recent offering: Wisdom in the Pandemic. He affirms the call that I have been hearing, “Deepen your integration of grief and hope, Lisa, step into the fullness of My love for you.” I allow myself to grieve the losses in my life, with faith in my heart. Newell puts it this way,
“Keep our hearts open to allow ourselves to feel the pain, in order to access a deep strength of soul within us, to act for one another.”
This is where I land, dear friends. I am learning compassion from the inside out. As I hold the space of your pain in my prayer, I touch my own. As I trust the healing path with grief by my side, I open my hidden wounds and ask that they be bathed by the light of Christ. Today, as just one more sojourner in the Land of Loss, I embrace the gift of self-compassion and find my compassion for you, more grounded and clear. If the instructions are correct, my guides in the art of transformation will soon be emerging from their time of darkness. I will watch them with a deep respect as each limb, wing, antenna comes into this world. With deep gratitude, I will trust the flow of my own emergence into who I was created to be. May it be so, for all of us, brothers and sisters, this time demands no less.
Your sister on the journey, Lisa
This coming Saturday, May 23, 1-4p EDT, I will be facilitating an important conversation and time of reflection about grief. Our online program, $40, hosted by Mercy by the Sea Retreat and Conference Center, is titled “Conscious grieving: Cultivating Hope in the Land of Loss.” Registration closes at noon on Friday, May 22. If this interests you, I hope you’ll join us. Perhaps you might share this time of community with the people in your world. I’d be grateful.