I have a lot of fears. Most of them centering around physical safety. For much of life, I’ve tried to inoculate myself from danger by either not engaging, or by believing terrible things wouldn’t happen to me because I’m protected by my higher power. A few years ago, I was hit by a car as a pedestrian and that viewpoint shattered. It was a horrible time that shook me to my core. I realized being a woman of faith doesn’t mean I’ll escape all harm. Rather, it means regardless of what happens there is always a loving force with me.
I’m also reminded of a scene from the movie Rogue One. If you haven’t seen it and are planning to, stop reading right now. The scene I’m thinking of is where blind warrior Chirrut chants, “I am one with the Force; the Force is with me,” as he strides into battle. He accomplishes what he sets out to, but he dies anyway. Being “one with the force” doesn’t make us immortal or keep us from getting hurt; instead it offers us the reassurance, the comfort, of knowing we are not alone in any thing at any point.
In my yoga and meditation group, my spiritual teacher says our relationship with source or the divine is like the relationship of a fish with water – ever present, inseparable. Higher power, or whatever name you want to use, is our one true friend, the being who loved us in the past, who will love us in the future, and who will be with us always.
This feeling was cemented for me over New Year’s. After the midnight meditation during my yoga and meditation retreat, I was struck with a strong feeling that we are deeply loved; through thick and thin there is a divine presence with us. We will never be abandoned.
In these troubling times, when the future is uncertain and I don’t know what will happen next, it’s a balm to my soul to realize I’m not alone. That even if something terrible happens, I’m not handling it by myself – not only because I have friends, community, and me, but also because there is a loving presence with me always. It’s a comfort to me knowing I have a true friend.
I personally wanted faith to act as a force field shielding me from harm, but that’s not realistic. To be alive means to experience joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain. The more I accept that, the better off I’ll be. But the lovely thing is I’m not alone with any of it -- none of us are.
I dream of a world where we feel into the presence of a loving, nurturing higher power with us at all times. A world where we recognize in good times and bad there is something else with us. A world where we know no matter what, we’re not alone.
Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.