I sit on my white sheepskin mat facing my altar. A little wooden bench covered in stones & crystals neatly placed, my brass singing bowls vibrating endlessly, a burning candle, a smoking bundle of sage & a braid of sweetgrass. On the floor lies a piece of brown paper with a love note I wrote only to me – “Honor Oneself.”
Quietly watching the candle flame flicker, dance, illuminate my darkened room. Tears come to my eyes yet again. Now unable to control their flow, hardly even wanting that control anymore. I let it all go here. I let go of the posture I think I need to constantly hold. I let go of repressing my sorrow & my shame. I let go of this idea of who I think I should be & instead choose to be with myself exactly as I am.
So incredibly flawed, so broken open, so vulnerable.
And here I find the words I need. The prayer I have been unable to pray lately.
May I see the unseen
May I believe the unbelievable
May I do the impossible
May I love the unloveable
May I inspire the uninspired
May I shed the layers of shame that hold me back from expressing my truest self
May I laugh in the face of my sorrow
May I not forget my faith
May I grow stronger each day
May I release the weight I carry
May I choose to open each moment
May I live in love & not in fear
May I breathe more steadily with each breath
May I accept myself
May I astonish myself
May I love myself
May I forgive myself
May I come to understand all aspects of myself
I catch a glimpse of myself in the floor lenth mirror. Bloodshot eyes. Bright red, blotchy face. Disheveled hair. Baggy yellow sweater & gray sweatpants to disguise my figure. A girl I forgot to love. A girl I neglected to let shine. A body I took for granted & abused as if it had done something wrong. I see this reflection & it is all at once the hardest thing to look at & the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.
Raw. Real. So incredibly true.
And only broken open so that this truth could finally emerge.
Only hitting another layer of the bottomless pit of rock bottom so that I may find the strength to climb upward & onward.
I then close my eyes & imagine myself on top of a mountain. Forester Pass in the Sierra Nevadas, to be exact. I am brought back to this special place I had forgotten. That morning I climbed for hours through waist-deep snow, over boulders & across streams. A gray storm brewed overhead, but I chose to linger.
I chose to stop & breathe here.
There is no air quite like mountain air at 13,200 feet. This vast scene lied in front of me with a vista of snowy, rugged mountains I had crossed to get exactly there. The storm crept closer behind but the sun shined ahead. With a power & a strength I have never known in myself before, I stood up tall, loaded on my weight to carry, took one more deep breath & began the steep descent without looking back.
Leaving all I was before that climb behind. Bravely heading toward the light of possibility & a truth more beautiful than my wildest imagination.
They say the hardest challenge to overcome reveals itself not on the mountaintop, but on the climb back down.
Climb on, my love.