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© 2019 by Kaleigh Atkinson

Church

October 28, 2018

 

 

Church.

 

It’s Sunday morning and I’m driving to Church. The only time I go to church since being a real adult is to attend funerals. 

 

The day is bright, bursting with autumn colors and truly stunning. The sun rays pour through the trees as I tangle myself and car through the windy mountain roads. 

 

Church.

 

I think of D. I think of the minister, preacher, reverend, speaker… what’s their proper title? This person didn’t know him. He told beautiful stories from the Bible relating to death in order to cultivate peace amongst the living, living in pain. 

 

The beauty in my reality is dusted with these memories of church, of D’s suicide. A tear falls from a place that has yet to be released. I’m not ready.

 

Church.

 

A place I definitely have never felt a longing, a belonging or an understanding. So why am I heading to church with my new friends on this gorgeous day?

 

I’m putting myself out there. Literally. I’m stepping outside of comfort and jumping at opportunities to feel connection, community, direction. I sit in a space of desert vastness, beauty and free time in my new routine here in Santa Fe. Doing my best to keep my constant judgy attitude to myself and let it pass by as ‘the old me’. 

 

There are people and places fitting together that make me feel at home in my bones, on this earth. I look up to the sky to be sure I’m still alive, I’m still breathing. This experience of true connection and things ‘working out’ is so new. People simply get me.

 

So — naturally — I’m terrified. Why should things work out for me? Do I want to leave my comfort of cynicism and darkness to join these happy people in the light? Can I trust the ones who smile without longing or neediness behind their eyes? 

 

I tell myself I don’t know yet. Yet, I do know, I know.

 

The answer within tells me I am safe, I am meant to be here, I am being presented a future of fulfillment and happiness because I’ve put my entire life’s work into every moment that is unfolding in front of me. Right now.

 

Church.

 

Every beautiful old soul who steps up to the podium (dripped in colorful clothing and turquoise jewelry) speaks of love, of hope, of how the garbage of the earth is coming out right now. That does not mean there isn’t a reason to celebrate the good and the beauty that we have at our fingertips. So we sing, we share, we pray, we meditate, we learn, we hold hands. We do not praise Jesus or God, but we celebrate oneness of existence - whatever that means to you.

 

A child sings the most beautiful song I’ve ever heard. We all cried. I wanted to pay her for the song and download it and share it with the world. Then she told me it’s not online for purchase. I decided to be grateful for this true experience in presence and keep this song’s meaning sacred.

 

As a congregation we have the option to light a candle as a reminder of whatever needs attention in our life. I simply want to celebrate D. I want to forgive my stigmas connected to his suicide and the drama that has unfolded in the living realm because of the pain we all collectively felt from his passing. I want to think of him with light and not continue to speak with him in the darkness. Something I do often.

 

How do I step into my light without forgetting my past?

How do I heal the wounded and not become the wounded?

How do I dare call myself a healer when I am a mere mortal, literally a tiny speck on a mountain?

 

I see my life simply like a yellow leaf slowly trailing back and forth through space until it settles on the floor. Are we falling or are we flowing?

 

How do I choose direction towards my future by listening to my soul’s calling and not be influenced by what other’s need / want / expect of me and my talents.

 

I shall sit with my dreams, my pain, my sadness, my peace, my contentment. I constantly ask for my friends, colleagues and humans in general to meet in the middle of this thing called living life. Yet, why can’t I seem to meet myself in the middle of my healing journey with compassion?

 

To understand my mistakes and misfortunes, but not beat myself up about them. 

 

To smile silently to the good times I’ve had with old friends and past lovers, but remember they live in my past for a reason.

 

To own the fact that I’ve moved across the country to turn 30 and use this time of homecoming in my body and soul to be patient.

 

Things are falling/flowing into place. I have many options and paths to follow. I am very lucky. I will not take these experiences for granted.

 

Church.

 

As I lit my tiny red candle from the tall white candlestick the red wax dripped onto my finger with a painful sting. A reminder that my wounds, the death I’ve experienced, the shit that will not stop coming up in my being — it’s all here for a reason. I can choose to ignore the symbols, the people, the synchronistic events — or I can explore, get curious and dive headfirst into a future worth living on this earth.

 

Diving in deep is where you’ll find me. And maybe at church.

 

 

 

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