Sunday, January 24, 2016

Our Inner Journey . . .

The River Birch in winter.
“There is no pain or sorrow
which comes to us that has
not first passed through the
heart of God.”   -Meister Eckhart

The river birch with its salmon-colored shaggy bark is very hardy – able to withstand frost and wind, and to thrive well in damp riverside soil. About the only thing it cannot tolerate is shade. Shedding its bark is a natural developmental characteristic – the peeling of paper-thin layers makes room for new growth to happen. If the peeling is premature, the tree will become “wounded” and fail to grow.

Sometimes along our journey of life, we come to an awareness that we need to be healed from our inner wounding that resides deep in our soul space. This healing is always a challenge, a process, and a sacred adventure! Much like the river birch trees, we, too, have layers of old wounds that need to be peeled away, each in its own time.

To set out on this inner quest, we (unlike the river birch) learn to befriend the shade – our shadow self, who truly is our teacher – inviting us to name our fears, doubts, pains, and illusions. In so doing, we gently peel off layers placing all into God’s loving embrace.

With each inner “pilgrimage”, we gather courage and integrity to go ever deeper to enter our wounding with grace and faith. We then let grief have its way with us, allowing our tears to bless us as they carry away our hurts.

The River Birch in autumn.

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