It has been a powerful 10 months–although when does life cease to provide opportunities for growth? My husband and I separated and are in the process of divorcing; due to my spiritual prowess (sarcasm oozing) I thought I was over “it“.
I know grieving is a natural process– I even wrote a post about it! Yet, somehow I hallucinated I had earned spiritual cred and would ascend the proverbial staircase effortlessly. Well, it hasn’t been flawless.
I, a long time aspirant, rebounded, ate too much sugar, slacked on my meditation practice, called into work sick, grumped with my children, and finally acknowledged that I am unhappy to be uncoupling. But, the heartache is also bringing me to a place that is so real and fertile.
About a year ago, when I couldn’t even imagine that we were on the verge of separation, I was hosting a meditation retreat. My group skyped with Ma Tri and she shared a beautiful insight about devotion. To paraphrase, she explained that these practices are not about suppressing emotions; rather, an adept harnesses them to fuel their quest for self-knowledge. Emotions are energy–the energy of desire.
Right now, I have to be with this pain. It is my teacher, it is teaching me about attachment. But, it is also teaching me about gratitude. I have gratitude for the skill of self-inquiry, which I have developed during this spiritual journey. I have gratitude for the ability to shift from my sadness to reflect on what is working in my life.
When I feel that I am beating myself up, I return to my favorite Rumi poem, “…even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come”. Then I know that these practices, my sadhana, is working.