For the past several weeks, I have been accompanied on my day to day travels with a profound feeling of grief. This grief hung upon me like a dark cloud over my head and a heavy weight sitting on my chest. The frustration of journeying with this grief is that is was mostly unnamed. As I have discovered in my personal and professional work, an unnamed grief simply hangs around – for until it is named, it cannot be processed and given to release. So, while the grief hung around, I went about my daily life, I meditated, I prayed, I journalled and I (sometimes impatiently) waited for the grief to show its face.
Well, this weekend, the grief finally decided to show itself. As the face of this grief began to reveal itself, I found myself falling into the pit of despair, depression and angst. It is a terrible feeling as one becomes possessed of an energy over which we seemingly have no control. I imagine it like tentacles rising up from the earth, wrapping themselves around me and pulling me into the netherworlds. I felt myself dragged down into the world of my inner martyr, donning black and putting on the heavy dark makeup of my soul’s inner agony. These are the times I need to retreat into my inner darkness and simply be in the pain while I wait for the full revelation of what is asking to be healed. So in the midst of a busy weekend, I did my best to find that retreat. Fortunately, the universe has provided me with an understanding husband who knows the rhythm of this need and the space on Sunday morning for inner retreat, reflection and contemplation. The face of the grief finally revealed itself and this is her name:
The grief that has been following me around these past weeks was revealed to be the grief of unfulfilled desires. ARRRGGGHHHH….of all the things to show their ugly face…..what am I supposed to do with the army of unfulfilled desires that plague my live? My temptation is to wallow in self-pity, but I know that I am not alone in facing this scourge. Each and everyone of us carry around the burden of unfulfilled desires – the happily ever after that never materializes, the perfect job, fame, money, position, status, etc. We all carry within us dreams and hopes that may never come to fruition. And…the question is, what are we supposed to do with that?
The question of what to do about unfulfilled desires is what I am forced to ponder today and it seems to present one of those examples of Divine Paradox. On one hand, I recognize the role of acceptance and surrender in the face of unfulfilled desires. At the same time, I am compelled to wonder if there is an invitation to something more. When the demons of unfulfilled desire show their face, are they inviting us to grieve and move on or are they reminding us of a Divine call that is urging us to work toward the fulfillment of these desires? At what point to we give up on our dreams and accept what is? How do we distinguish between the invitation to acceptance and the call to pursue our dreams? What dreams are Divinely inspired and which are the function of our egos?
These are the questions I bring to meditation and prayer as I hack my way through the thorny overgrowth of my own inner dungeon. If you have any thoughts on this topic, I welcome them with open arms. Perhaps together was can find the solution to this strange Divine paradox.