“Here begin the terrors,
Here begin the miracles.”
-The Grail Legend
When the federal agents appeared at my door that morning, I was stunned. Barely awake, I had to muster the strength and courage to open the front doors of my house. In the living room, my two daughters stirred awake, their friends nervously peaking over the covers. They were having a sleepover.
“Ma’am, you have to come with us,” they barked. In that moment, everything changed.
Here begin the terrors…When I was walked to the police car, my heart lodged itself securely into my throat. I could not believe this was happening to me. I had done nothing, nothing at all, to deserve this. I glanced back at my daughters, their frightened faces begging for reassurance. In that moment, I could offer only a faint smile as I bowed my head and slid into the back seat. Had I failed them? I bowed my head further still.
Over the next few weeks, my life took a course I had never expected, not even in my darkest dreams. Everything I had built and worked for had come to a violent halt. All of my accomplishments and joys were ripped from my grasp until I was left completely alone. My family was suffering, my business was suffering, my friendships were suffering – all around me there was suffering. This pain seeped into my bones and left me weary, afraid, and broken.
Here begin the miracles…It took months, but soon I began to realize I should not dwell on whether or not this should be happening to me. In the process of grappling with the injustice of my incarceration, I realized that my only hope was to give up the life that had been, in order to make room for the life that is. Making that choice, over and over and over again, to accept what is and to release what was, has become foundational to my spiritual work. My spiritual practice deepened because my life depended on it. And by spiritual I mean only this: learning to acknowledge the powers of the universe that are far greater than, and all inclusive of, my journey on this planet.
And so I surrendered my situation and all of my losses and fear and blame to the flames of what is. Out with the old, in with the new. And in the ashes of what had been, I began to dig up my soul. I realized that the soul requires a lot more work and attention than we usually dedicate it in our jam-packed schedules. Today I value every ounce of despair and every stirring of joy as I was never able to before. I have already met some of the worst fears I could imagine, and am a wiser, kinder, more giving woman as a result.
I am learning to love the human condition – the life and death, the good and bad – and to openly working with it, to choose it, just as it is, every day.