As I began to awaken to the spirit within me, I also began to awaken to the world. During most of my life, I had difficulties with the world and in the world. I believed that only after this life would things begin to make sense. I saw this world filled with massive contradictions, barely inhabitable – in many areas and for many people, uninhabitable.
That has changed remarkably.
I look out my back window as I write this and I can see elm branches rustling in the wind, heavy with April seed pods. I hear a basketball thumping on cement next door. I hear the cooing of a mourning dove. I hear the chirping of our pet parakeets in the room behind me. I see a stone rabbit in the backyard garden that has yet to bloom – and all of it is beautiful.
I didn’t realize spirit was on the outside too.
I am still aware of the pain and fear that dampened my world for so many years – the constant gnawing inside – sometimes a low hiss other times a bone-crunching intensity. This is the pain and fear we all experience.
That pain and fear forces our growth. It insists we find a way to solve it, to move beyond. Leaving it behind takes work, daily effort. That effort takes practice, experiments in grace, and the risk of entertaining the stupid belief that life can be welcoming, healthy, and beautiful.
Once the spirit begins to grow inside, the outside reflects the glow.
I see that beauty on the outside now, in the dazzling world of wood and leaves, on the streets that used to seem so vicious, in everyone’s eyes. And the rushing vitality outside reflects again back through me.
I am not Pollyanna. I know there is much work to do in this world. But there is so much more that I can do now that I see the world as worthy and pain and fear no longer cloud my vision.