Feeling the Presence of Spirit in Times of Loss

river - change heron_dance

“There is a river flowing now very fast.

It is so great and swift that there are those

who will be afraid.

They will try to hold on to the shore.

They will feel they are torn apart, and will suffer greatly.”

~An unnamed Hopi elder

“With all your science can you tell how it is,

and whence it is,

that light comes into the soul?”

~ Henry David Thoreau

At the Interfaith Center we receive many wisdom teachings to help us through the inevitable losses in life. But sometimes, the river of change feels like a torrent. Then, despite all we have known in steadier times, we can be hard pressed to let go and allow the river to carry us.

We may want to, but not know how. So we cling to the familiar shore, exhausted by the futility of the effort.

We know intellectually that change is a constant in life.

But knowing this brings no solace when we feel battered by the intensity that loss can bring. It doesn’t help us find our bearings again.

Then, it’s wise to reach out for help.

At the end of this post, you’ll find a simple practice

that you can do at home

to think about, name, and release

a hurt, thought, injury, or issue in your life.

Even a little shift can leave you breathing easier,

and remembering how it feels to stand on solid ground.

Our friends and leaders at the Interfaith Center can also help us remember the truth about ourselves and our lives, and find freedom again.

They can help us open to the Sacred when we have contracted into a small belief about ourselves, another, or about life in general.

They can pray with us. They can listen. They can love us.

Sometimes all we need is a friend or guide, standing in Truth, to help us relax into the sweet, expansive love of Spirit, inside and all around us.

In sacred company, we remember we are deeply beloved, and never alone.

Then, we can apply all of the wisdom teachings we know about aligning with Spirit. Encouraged and strengthened, we can literally write the life script of our choosing. We know this.

But sometimes, we have to release fears, regret, anger, blame, or some other burden first. We may need support for this part.
northern harrier flight_heron-dance

Are you experiencing a loss now?

The loss of a loved one or end of an important relationship?

The end of a familiar way of life?

Financial insecurity?


The end of a cherished dream?

Or something else?

There is something precious about inviting Spirit into our grief. Whatever kind of loss you’re experiencing, try the exercise at the end of this post. Or invite a spiritual friend or one of our ministers to pray with you.

With help, you can touch the center of your grief, and begin to let go.

“Know that the river has its destination.

The elders say we must let go of the shore,

push off into the middle of the river,

keep our eyes open,

and our heads above water.

And I say,

see who is in there with you

and celebrate.”

Whether you invite the company of a spiritual friend or minister, or just need gentle support for your personal spiritual practice, be compassionate with yourself by reaching out for help. Here are a couple of options:

Blessings on your journey.

All watercolors in this post are by Rod MacIver. Click the image above to visit his website.

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