Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Dark Edges at Bay

Unchurch has a series of classes one can take in Science of Mind teachings--they teach you methods of centering and unification with spirit, like ways you can pray or meditate, and you do some readings from the founder, Ernest Holmes.  Anyway, after five years of attending unchurch, I decided it was time to take the first class. 

One of the things they encourage you to do in the class is to develop some affirmations, things you might want to develop in your life or about yourself.  Pretty basic positive psychology stuff.  Still, I was having a hard time formulating one.  They were either coming out too wordy, or hifalutin, or just didn't resonate in some way.  I've been meditating, praying, and doing the readings, but the affirmation was eluding me.

Part of it might be just the high static stuff:  the kids have been sick, I've been sick, work's been busy, I've had to deal with some family conflict, etc.  So I was just struggling for clarity (one affirmative prayer was about that--just affirming that I would have clarity on what to affirm.  I know, I know.  Roll your eyes all you like).

Then the gray edges of a little depression started to appear the last few days, and I felt dark and a little surly.  No, not so much dark and surly as self-pitying and victim-y.  Well, probably all of it.  Dark, surly, self-pitying, and  victim-y.  And also attacked and assailed, unfairly.  But I think this is good, maybe even just what I needed, because I woke up this morning with the affirmation, the just-right one, in my head:

I welcome love into my life.

Because while I'd like to affirm some other things--that my family be healthy, that work be easy and productive, that I radiate and feel peace and joy--the only thing that directly addresses the dark edges is love.  And I'd like to have more of it. 

This morning I sat in my cross legs and went through my prayer beads that way.  Exhale/I welcome love/inhale/into my life.  Around the beads.

And today, that's what I got, wouldn't you know it.  There was good news from my brother (great news!); a friend called me twice and gave me the giggles both times; students were extra open and gracious in class; Eric and I had a healing email exchange; I had a chance to check in with coworker friends who have been a little down lately.  There was love and love and love.

Would all those things have happened without the affirmation?  Who knows?  Probably.  Would I have noticed them, appreciated them?  Maybe not.  Maybe I needed some consciousness of these blessings, and to be aware of the way I'm cocooned in love, even on a regular day where it seems nothing particularly notable happens.

The minister who teaches my class told a story of one of the Vision Quests she went on (she practices with a Lakota tribe).  She was in a sacred circle on a mountain the night of the quest, after fasting four days and nights, and a terrible lightning storm hit.  When she awoke in the morning, the sun rising in the East, there were two patches of scorched earth, lightning strikes, right outside the circle.  The wise man had told her she would be safe in the circle, that nothing would touch her there.  And he was right.  She survived the night, unscathed, and received the blessing of a drink of water the next day.

So, that was my circle for today, that circle of love and blessings that protected me from the dark edges.