Last week I dreamt that my grandfather’s spirit was housed in a body that was basket-woven out of branches. We were walking in the woods together when the area over his heart split open. I knelt over him, trying to stitch it up, thoroughly distraught. As I worked he assured me that it was ok to let him go. He showed me visions of my life, of my happiness, and told me that it will all come whether or not he was with me in this form.
Dreams tell us things. The dream about my grandfather was a visit and a reassurance that his support (all my ancestral support) is with me in whatever my new normal will be, that letting go does not mean that nothing good will ever come again. I think that’s the fear most of us have, though. We worry about not having when we let go. We worry about what’s on the other side, terrified it could never be enough, could never be what we actually need, terrified about receiving the exact thing for which we have earnestly asked and wished, even though letting go is the prerequisite for receiving. We can’t receive with closed fists.
We worry about what a new normal means. We forget that we have a hand in creating it. We so easily give up the power we have to shape our lives with this all or nothing way of thinking. A chaotic time is the most important time to remember what you do control. There’s a time for railing against the loss, and there’s a time for acceptance and empowerment. If we don’t get to the place of acceptance and empowerment, then we are willfully giving up too much. Life will continue to happen, and not one of us is immune to difficulties and loss no matter how much magick we practice or how spiritual we think we are. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use what’s at our disposal to make things better, though.
There are all kinds of ways to practice spiritually, to live spiritually, but what matters is what actually works. There are myriad trappings to get caught up in along the way whether it’s tools or ideologies. It’s common to see spiritual practice or belief as separate from “regular” life (which makes it hard to determine if it’s useless or not), when what’s needed is integration. I personally haven’t found dogma or specific theology to be especially helpful in difficult times, but prayer can be, mindful meditation can be. Identifying the problem, figuring out the mundane solutions and enchanting the hell out of the process can be. Remaining connected to what you value can be, too.
In fact, sometimes you won’t have the energy for prayer or magick. I know that sometimes, I don’t. I muster up some gratitude every day, but on some days I’ve got nothing beyond that. Thankfully it doesn’t take much to pause, connect with yourself, and consider what love, kindness, trust or faith looks like right now, and what the next right thing to do is. Maybe that looks like a good cry or a hot bath, a word of encouragement, drinking some water, or binge watching a show to give your mind a break. I don’t know, but I do know that the little moments of responding according to what we value are the small steps that can move us forward and sustain us when anything more is too much, and that this is a deeply spiritual practice that serves.
featured image via pixabay