Your joyful inner burning
I was shocked at how cold it was, as the shadow of the moon fell across the sun today. My whole body started to contract and collapse, as the solar energy dimmed. I found myself, without even thinking, offering a prayer from my heart to the sun. I told the sun I was sorry for not fully recognizing its immense generosity, the gift of life it continuously pours down on every molecule of our planet, without holding back.
I was down by the ocean, sitting there with my family, opening myself to the energy of the solar eclipse. Just after I made my prayer to the sun, a woman I had never met came up to where we were sitting and said, “I'm so surprised! I feel I should pray. I never knew what the sun was giving me, until now.” My heart opened as I felt the life-giving movement of this deep prayer that was moving across the land, keeping pace with the shadow of the moon.
Fire is life. It nourishes our cells, our hearts, and our minds. It awakens certain capacities and gifts in us that are essential to our human existence. Our inner fire gives us soul qualities connected with the will force. Our will force is not what we believe it to be--it is not an energy that pushes, strains and forces. It is not coercive. Our true will is connected with the core of who we are, with the fire of what we love and care about most deeply. When we know what this is, when that fire stays bright, we live with dedication and persistence. We can stay the course. We may encounter serious constraints and obstacles on our path, but we do not collapse in disappointment and defeat. Or if we do collapse, its temporary. We find our way back up to standing and then walking.
This inner joyful burning changes the way that I function: it transforms the vibration of the energy I bring to my life. My efforts become graceful, because they are continuous and persistent, rather than sporadic and half-hearted. And this inner fire is generous--It bows to the necessity for friction and resistance before full manifestation can occur. This inner flame grows us up! Without it I remain young inside, ready to be defeated or terribly disappointed when life gets difficult. This fire gives me courage, boldness, it doesn't let me huddle in a safe place and take no real risks.
Many of us do not know how to walk through life like this. In my coaching and healing work I often encounter a hidden place in people where they gave up on themselves a long time ago. They decided to just get along, to not hope for too much, to pour a heap of white ash on their inner flame whenever it rose up with a deep vision, a longing, a desire that inflamed the heart. I have felt these same places in myself, where I encounter the bitter taste of defeat and collapse. Often it is trauma that has left this kind of imprint on us. Stumbling upon these dark places in ourselves can be frightening and overwhelming. We feel ashamed, we want to avoid them, find some kind of work around. But just like Frodo, we have to find our way through our own Mordor, not without help. We need companions to help us enter these desolate areas in the soul. Our frozen places call out to us all the time, asking us to find a way to re-ignite the inner fire. That's what our darkness needs.
That flame could show itself as it did in the thirty thousand people who marched in the streets of Boston last week, to say a huge No to what happened in Charlottesville. Or it could simply burn bright when you finally dare to break a family convention, or have a very uncomfortable conversation with a friend. Or decide to dance for one night like there's no tomorrow.
I believe most of us are deeply reluctant to ignite this inner burning. We fear the power of this flame, the clarity—we don't want it to take over. Somewhere deep inside we know our inner fire is being fed from a source much greater than we are. We are not ready for this much passion, or this much love.
~Teilhard de Chardin