Monday, June 26, 2017

Losing and Finding Our Way

Years ago- in the final years of my marriage- spiraling down into physical illness and despair, I went to a healer and described my symptoms. But it took me a long time to admit to the biggest symptom. It stuck in my throat and constricted my chest. Finally, barely able to breathe, it came out in a wail of anguish: "I cannot pray!"

Just saying the words crushed me. I had survived a brutal childhood held in the arms of the divine, in the sense of a loving presence bigger than it all. And now. . . . I could barely reach out, and when I did. . . . I could not feel that Presence, that Love. I was bereft.

To marry this man, I had abandoned myself, and in abandoning myself, in cutting myself off from that which was real and whole (which would have had me leaving that relationship long before the marriage,) I could not make myself available to that which sustained me. God/the Mystery/that Love which had always held me may have still been there- but I could not experience it, could not feel that Presence..

When we abandon ourselves (and in this as in so many things, that which creates us in every moment gives us free will) we separate ourselves from the deepest truth of our experience.

All of this- the darkness, the desperation, and the homecoming- flashed through me today as I read this piece from poet Leonard Cohen:

"I lost my way. I forgot to call on your name. The raw heart beat against the world, and the tears were for my lost victory. But you are here. You have always been here. The world is all forgetting, and the heart is a rage of directions, but your name unifies the heart, and the world is lifted into its place. Blessed is the one who waits in the traveller's heart for his turning."

In some ways, it is such a small turning, this coming home to our deepest selves, to our own heart, to this moment. . . .this breath. . . . to the Love that sustains us.But in other ways, it is a shift in worlds.

I am filled with gratitude for this day- with all of its beauty and its challenges, for the Presence of Love that creates and holds me, and - if I let it-  teaches and encourages me to never abandon myself or our shared humanness.

~Oriah "Mountain Dreamer" House (c) 2017

Deep gratitude to Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming for this spectacular image of the light that comes at dawn.


  1. Dear Oriah
    I am so grateful for you. Turning to you this morning with my cuppa, i read of your plight and hence homecoming with a soul touching familiarity. Unbelievable. I have finally let go of a relationship that didn't reflect me at all on a spiritual level, (it had been on and off countless times over the last 3 years) and through it's final stages i abandoned that truth. That very essence of life waited patiently for me to see it's light and come home, where today i relish myself and that gentle unspoken Mystery.
    Wow, wow, thank you for your eloquence and brave heart.
    Love and light,

    1. Poppy, thank you- so glad you too found your way home. Oriah

  2. Blessings Oriah for your heartfelt words, a reminder to come home to our true Self and internal homeland...Diane, UK

  3. Beautiful post, thank you! I echo the sentiments of those before me....I am finding home right now and the peace it brings is absolutely light-filled bliss. As heart breaking and terrifying as it has been, it still brings much peace.