My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.
You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement.
I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind.
Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.
In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency, too, to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails.
We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear. Didn't you say you were a believer? Didn't you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn't you ask for grace? Don't you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater?
Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.
What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.
One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these - to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.
Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.
There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate.
The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours. They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.
Excerpted from here. Dr. Clarissa Pinkola is an American poet, Jungian psychoanalyst, post-trauma recovery specialist, author and spoken word artist. Estés grew up in the now vanished oral tradition of her immigrant, refugee families who could not read nor write, or did so haltingly, and for whom English was their third language overlying their ancient natal languages.
SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How do you relate to the metaphor of great ships and service? Can you share a personal story that illustrates "soul on deck" that shines like gold in dark times? What helps you get on the deck and shine, instead of giving in to despair?
Thank you, there is such strength in this.
No, that is not what geat ships are built for - we are built to sail and be tossed and torn on the wild ocean, but one fine day we shall sail again into safe havens.
mahalo to you for these magical words that are a restorative to my soul! I read them back when you first wrote them and passed them on. Now someone has passed them on to me, today, and they resonate even more! "Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times." This will forever inspire me.
Thank you for these words of wisdom, love & grace. I am blessed to have read this today.
gracias Clarissa me encantan tus mensajes...para mi "Mujeres que corren con lobos" es la biblia femenina
Thank you for your powerful, inspiring reflection—what a safe harbor we have in the midst of daily turmoil and what great comfort it is to know that we are not alone, and we most assuredly have a higher purpose in this world. I will take these words and wrap them around me like a blanket as I move through my days.
I will reach out and mend the part of the world that is within my reach. I will not let despair eat from my plate and I will remember why I came to this earth. Thank you!
We as human beings experience the dark night of the soul, individually and collectively. The ancient world epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata, Odessa and Iliad depict the dark and the bright side of us as human beings.Lots of destruction and damage to nature and to human beings have been done by us. We witness such acts of violence done to nature and to us as humans by the advanced countries in the world. There are also living examples of people who are devoted to doing the greater good, even at the cost of their lives. This is what Jesus did, what Mahatma Gandhi did, what Martin Luther did what Nelson Mandela did.
I introspect and examine my inner landscape. I do find myself hurting some one, blaming someone for my misery and not being truthful. It is a journey of life with twists and turns, with dark clouds and sunshine. peaks and valleys and thorns and flowers. I have accepted myself as a human being and I have been learning to be kind to myself and learn from my fall downs. There is that Human in me and there is that Being in me. The Being in me enlightens me and helps me walk on the right path. I am very grateful to my spiritual teachers who have shone me the path of living right, held my hand when I fell down and helped me with compassion to rise up and continue my journey.
So, let us not our consciousness be filled with the dark clouds of gloom and doom, but enkindle the light within to walk with hope, courage, and compassion.
May we join our hands, heads and hearts as we travel together with hope, courage and compassion!
Rage is rage. There is no righteous rage, like there is no just war. I don't think we have been learning, practicing, training for and waiting for this plain of engagement. We have been living and learning and have whatever skills and wisdom we have to deal with what's happening. I agree there are a lot of awakened souls that are sea worthy and may hold their own. I appreciate the author's optimism -- I hope she's right. Submitting to a voice greater doesn't mean necessarily that we'll mend anything or reach an enduring good or bring justice and peace. I fully believe that we are to get out into the open sea, and I'm all for standing up on deck and showing one's soul and shining like gold, and doing what is within our reach, all of which is our right and responsibility and may be an act of immense bravery and greatest necessity, and may inspire other souls. Maybe we will hit critical mass and tip toward enduring good. I also full believe there is no guaranteed outcome. We may withstand storms and flourish -- I hope we do. I also know the ship may sink. That's not at all reason to despair -- it's simply being realistic.[Hide Full Comment]
So grateful for this. Daily I question what I am doing in what looks like the middle of nowhere in rural, cold N. Idaho where I want to grow food. I am overwhelmed by the amount of wildlife, cold weather and dark days combating efforts to grow more than weeds. This article underlined the reminder that the future is none of my business. My only job is to prepare and show up, whether to build a deer fence, weed or assist a neighbor.
Tolkien had such a succinct summary of this article, via Gandalf to overwhelmed Frodo (which I can only paraphrase): We cannot decide what time we are born into. We can only decide what to do with the time given us. The operative word is "do." Action, as in sailing or steaming ahead against the waves, like a great ship, is life, not staying inactive, thinking about life. And, the great news is the fleet I join, in action, on the majestic sea.
We are each a great ship, or perhaps a smaller vessel, but together we become that ship and we are able to serve, to float, to lift others from the waves. My own journey is to continue sharing stories of hope, light, love,compassion and understanding: whether that is one person at a time in conversation, through the posts I choose to write and share on social media or like today when I have the blessed opportunity to present in front of 1200 high school students to remind them 1. They are enough just as they are made. 2. They are the author of their own story. 3. We become the stories we consume, share and tell, and we have a Choice in those stories. <3 here's to holding onto hope and light, even if only a glimmer. Hugs from my heart to all of yours.
The beautiful metaphors in this passage warm my heart and transport me to the oceans! Among the many I like, this one is most striking - "When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for." The call to go beyond our boundaries of safety is inspiring.