When you are sorrowful look again in your heart,
and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

~ Kahlil Gibran, from"The Prophet"

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Healing and Light

Earlier today, my blog friend Karen posted the poem "Allow" from Go In and In and shared how its words touched her personally. Please click here to read her thought-filled reflection.

I actually own a copy of this book, which is a beautiful collection of works by Danna Faulds, a yoga practitioner and instructor who integrates her spirituality and exquisite gift of writing into her practice.

I went to a yoga class today for the first time since Erin passed away. I had been a regular before she got sick and also during parts of those three years, reaping many benefits from the discipline. I fell away from the practice as life became more challenging. Big mistake. The instructor today was wonderful. I should have started doing this again months ago.
I was challenged, I was focused, I was in heaven and I will be incredibly sore tomorrow!

When I returned home I read Karen's blog which caused me to pull out my book. I'd marked the passage below, along with several others to which I'd related at various times. I remember doing so with this particular poem very soon after Erin died, crawling onto the sofa of familiarity with the part about being "pulled out at the roots, thrashed on the ground... chaff" - a shell of my former self.

As I read through the poem several times, I realized how accurately these words sum up so much of what I've experienced and written about while progressing through different stages over the past year since Erin's death, just beginning on this new path. It's personally affirming to see the acknowledgement of the many facets of healing, the right to be present with pain and the recognition of the shift that occurs which allows the opening for grace to enter. I could easily comment about each of her thoughts ~ the laying on of hands, asking for help, openness to the unknown...

I was especially struck today by the last several lines about choice and light, for it supports what I just wrote about in my previous post in relation to the decision concerning at which part of the print to begin one's focus.

There is healing in the laying on of hands;
in the letting go of fear, in asking for help,
in silence, celebration, prayer.
There is healing in speaking the truth and in keeping still,
in seeking sunlight and not shunning struggle.
Laughter and the affirmation of wholeness hold their own healing.

When the soul dances, when the day begins in delight,
when love grows and cannot be contained,
when life flows from moment to moment,
healing happens in the space between thoughts,
and the breath before the first sung note.
Healing is a birthright and a grace.
When we dare to be open to the unknown,
when we extend ourselves in caring,
when we welcome in the vast expanse of life,
healing comes from the heart, and blossoms from the inside out.

Something in me is being pulled out at the roots,
thrashed on the ground, the tender parts bared, beaten,
left to dry and blow away like so much chaff.
Something is dying.
The clear sky of mind is obscured by cloud and illusion,
the moon neither rises nor sets now,
and the debts of a lifetime demand payment.
This is when faith is tested.
The choice to discredit what I know and crawl into a hole of my own making
will leave me bereft of any consolation.
To be present with pain is the only path worth taking.

To acknowledge light is not denying darkness,
but oh, how hard it is to recall there is a choice,
a chance to ask for strength and grace.
And in the asking, there is the subtlest of shifts, an opening to receive.
There is one ray of light, then more.
I open the door, take one deep breath and begin another day.


  1. Oh, Mary. Yes. This is the path, isn't it? She is an illumined thinker and writer. She KNOWS. Thank you for this - until yesterday, I'd never heard of her. My spiritual director gave me the poem, and it was from a book that (I think) came from a founder of Spirit Rock Center. By the grace of God, I was exposed to Jack Kornfeld and Thich Nhat Hanh before Katie got sick; I love the Buddhists' way of seeing, and do not find it a problem for a Christian. Au contraire, it has helped me immensely.
    Much love to you. I appreciate your voice, so much.
    I'd love to know what kind of yoga you do. A neighbor has invited me to go to her class, but I've been a bit shy about it & haven't gone, so far.

  2. dear mary,
    karen has sent me here...and gladly i have arrived.

    your beautiful erin shares the birth year of my beautiful son. and although he is strong and vital, i, the mother, am the one who is not.
    we all are tied together....bound in love. may we all extend compassion, love fiercely, and kiss the joy as it flies. may we....bravely love and love some more.

    thanks for being you, here, now.

  3. That book has had a special place on my poetry shelf for years, and I go there for comfort and affirmation. The power of words often astounds me.


  4. "Healing comes from the heart and blossoms from the insdie out." Love the visual on this one. You feel it inside first~ blossom my friend! That is good stuff!