I have a gentle peace inside and am radiating with hope. In looking back over the last year, there have been multiple challenges that opened the door to deep inner reflection and growth. I am thankful for the season of transformation. At this moment, I am awakening again to myself.
In reflection, I realize that I allowed a part of myself to die last summer, an important aspect of me. I suppressed an emerging connection to the spirit (my higher power) out of fear of people’s rejection and judgment. In denying an essential part of myself, I became suffocated in fear and worry. My body ultimately shut down in response to me repressing my inner voice and true essence. Today I emerge a butterfly, having been wrapped in a cocoon of darkness. Though I was nourished, safe, and undergoing a state of transformation, I rejoice in the light of day. I celebrate the season of the caterpillar while I spread my wings and fly.
Last year I wrote approximately 70 pages of spiritual writing over a course of a few months. I established a successful and beneficial spiritual practice, and surrounded myself with healthy relationships and environments. I lost track of this path, took a turn down another avenue, when I analyzed the significance and purpose of my personhood through the assumed perception of others. In response to my fear-based thoughts, I applied self-created expectations, goals, and needs to my journey. Through this process of analysis and fear response, I forgot the road I was traveling on. Actually, I think I forgot I was traveling. I stopped in my tracks, pitched up tent somewhere, and camped out in hopes of gaining love and acceptance, all the while forgetting my own authenticity and life’s calling.
Today, I have packed up camp and am returning to the path. As I walk onward, I am strengthened in spirit and hope and thankful for how spirit has worked through me. I continue onward, knowing I was exactly where I needed to be on my life’s journey, and am always exactly where I need to be.
Below I have shared a spiritual piece I wrote in response to a question in prayer. The words are what I received in response. I’ve also posted one of my favorite poems and am reflecting on the powerful creative fortress within each of us. Thank you for being part of this journey.
What of Illness?
By Samantha Craft Spring 2011
It is rather simple. Let us find an example. Take a boxer in the ring with two gloves, one red glove and one white glove in color; he hasn’t a reason for having one red and one white glove, and isn’t confused or interested; he just sees he has one of each. His focus is on the man in front of him about to punch him in the face. If he took time to think about his gloves in that instant he would be knocked out. So he doesn’t.
This is the physical body: the boxer.
The physical body (mind) can sense and see things are not exactly as the world would make the body believe. The body can sense one glove is red and one white, that something is off, but it doesn’t have the time to process this or it will be knocked out. The body is too busy rebuilding cells, carrying oxygen and communicating to vital working systems. The gloves are secondary. Perhaps after the fight—after life—the body will sit down long enough in stillness and wonder about the gloves—but until then, as long as life continues, wondering isn’t a choice.
Continuing with the boxer. He is standing in the ring and sweating, circling, and guessing his opponents next move. He punches out, swings forward and the glove falls off, red or white no matter. What matters is the glove is gone, and the hand is exposed. Now, and only now does the boxer take time to notice the glove, because here he has lost the fight, and the initial challenge is over.
Now sitting in the corner, still breathing, and very much alive, the fighter will have a chance to examine the gloves and wonder why they are different colors. Who did this? Why did they do this? Who can I blame? What happened? Why me?
If you haven’t guessed by now, this is a parable for how sickness affects the physical body.
So let us explain: It is only when you lose what you once considered your primary importance to living that you stop long enough to analyze where the gloves came from in the first place.
In other words, you stop fighting long enough to sit still and question how you got the gloves in the first place, and how in the world they are mismatched. This is the sickly person, the ill taken, the previously formidable turned apparently weak. But in actuality they are no less weak than when they had two gloves, they only think they are because they have become so dependent on the gloves—so dependent on ignoring what is right in front of them in order to win.
So as you appear sick at the moment, remember this is only you stopping long enough to examine your missing glove, and to recognize they were mismatched. You knew before, you surely knew one was red and one was white, but you kept fighting, because that is all you thought you could do. Now surely when your timeout is over, and you return to the ring with two matching gloves, having have solved any mystery you attempted to solve, you will notice your gloves with a higher degree. You might even treat them a bit differently—treat them with respect. This is the best we can explain it.
When you are sick, it is your spirits way of saying we need to stop fighting for a while and notice what is directly in front of us before we get back in the ring. It is our spirit saying we are tired of fighting. It is our body’s way of saying there is something amiss that requires attention—what ever level you are comfortable giving me that attention is completely fine, but please take care of the issue at hand.
Grumpiness over illness is what you call normal—grumpiness about being out of the game for a bit. But gratitude is more appropriate, because all around you people are swinging punches with two mismatched gloves and not even noticing.
Take this time to figure out how your gloves became mismatched. Figure out how to match them again. Figure out if you want to keep fighting, or perhaps leave the ring for a bit, even forever. This is your ultimate choice. We keep mismatching your gloves, you keep ignoring, until one falls off, and then, my precious child, it’s time to sit out some.
The Voice in Love’s Garden
by Samantha Craft 2011
The voice in love’s garden
Though withered, though frail
Triumphant in calling
Flows forth, bold the sail
Ship sprung from deep valley
Of bitter, of cold
Seeks ease from wind’s blowing
Through rivers that hold
To canker not sorely
To parch not again
To rise not the urchin
Less thee drown in thy sin
Come; march in like troopers
Whence faith seeds from bone
Light ever the forest
Where tramp shadowed alone
For nil eyes to fathom
The coursing of chance
The grace twice endowed
With life’s circumstance
Call forth idle trumpets
Thyself and thy truth
Bestowed as blind starships
Sweet daughters of Ruth
Tiptoe, touch the clovers
Tender green of begin
Retreat in placid pastures
The solid fortress within
More of my spiritual writings: