Spiritual dawning

by tamarjacobson

This morning was business as usual: coffee, computer, Internet Scrabble with friends and family, watering house plants and feeding the cats. And then I picked up a Jewish prayer book, and read the first early morning prayer of the day, and I remembered spirituality. Yoga days, lighting candles and incense, and quiet meditation before the day began. I realized that lately I had given all that up. In fact it feels like for almost a year. I wonder why I had pushed it all aside. Perhaps it is because I have been focusing on my feelings, and that has been all consuming, at times even excruciatingly painful. Indeed, for the past year or so I constantly allow myself to feel what it must have felt like for me when I was a child. When flashbacks and memories rise up nowadays I sit with them solidly facing them all squarely and vividly. This has been a challenging year for me emotionally, but as I reflect on all the facets of each day, I realize that life feels fuller and more authentic than ever before as I enhance and deepen relationships as well as clear the way for my new transition: retirement. 

Allowing myself to experience emotions has been time consuming, for when a feeling presents itself it takes moments to hold still with discomfort, anxiety or pain, and explore where it is coming from – the past or present – and to sift through and make connections. I have been taking care of children – others – since I was very young, for the first child I ever started to care for was my mother. And even as I became proficient in listening to and observing her, and able to put myself aside in order to be there for her emotionally, I realize now how much I must have always longed for someone to care for me. 

Spirituality has always been a way for me to privately take care of me, especially my inner life. It was a place I could turn to when loneliness or hunger for love became overwhelming for me to bear. And so, this morning I light candles and a stick of Nag Champa, and breathe deeply. And I reread the the early morning prayer again:

Morning I will seek you,

   my fortress rock, each day.

My song of dawn and dusk

   before you I shall lay.

I stand before your greatness,

   with trembling I’m fraught,

because your eyes can enter

   my heart’s most secret way.

What can be done, by heart

   or tongue, what can one do or say?

And how much strength lies deep

   within my body as I pray?

And yet you find it good

   – mere human song – and so,

I thank you for as long as shall

   Your lifebreath in me play

April, a year ago at Mining Nuggets: One month later; Releasing the shackles