Last night during my trying-to-be-more-consistent yoga practice, I had this moment of sudden wisdom. Occasionally, a thought comes into my head that feels too weighted to just be a thought. They are thoughts that can't be shook off or easily replaced by a new thought. They are thoughts that linger, steep, find their way into every bit of my body. These are thoughts not to be ignored. These are more than thoughts, they are truth.
So last night, as I was moving from one pose to the next, it hit me: I chose to be spiritually alone. I don't think I really know the full truth of that statement, but there is something so right and almost comforting about this realization.
Without recounting the entirety of my spiritual life, I will state simply that I've felt alone through the journey. Maybe everyone does. Maybe that is the essence of the spiritual life. Maybe that is the fate of many of us living in a secular world without a secure and solid spiritual community around us. I don't know. But what I do know is that I've always felt out-of-place in some way. I've always longed for the spiritual community that I see others have, but I am unable to commit myself fully to any particular tradition. Usually, I say I am unaffiliated, which is a more neutral way of saying, "I'm spiritual, but just not religious."
In that flash that formed in my mind last night, I saw that so much of my life has been governed by this "
" and I felt in that moment that it was not by chance or because of some wrongness with the world, but because there was a sacred choice I made when I come into this life that I would find my own path. It is amazing the power in recognizing one's choices.
Immediately after having that thought, I felt so thankful for my choice. I feel like I am free to find the divine in my own way, make up my own rituals, my own rites of passage, my own practices. I feel free instead of stranded.
I write this post in the aftermath of our second
event. In all this aloneness, in cultivating the space within me, in my own way, I've found the profound connections this can create. Because I don't have a distinct community, all are my community. Tonight, nine of us shared a pot of tea and a moment together. All in our own space, yet we all affected the space for us all. I found myself saying, "You have a place, and that place is important." Then I hear the grandmother voice of wisdom within me whisper to the curious child beside her, "That means you too."
If I wasn't holding this space for others, those words wouldn't have emerged. They think I am leading the meditation, but I am being led too.