Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Loneliness of Transformation

I'm not gonna lie. I find the spiritual life excruciatingly lonely sometimes. In my (somewhat limited) experience, God shows up in the quiet. The lessons learned in the dark last longer in the light. And true growth appears in those moments when you know it's God. He's the only one who was there.

Can I just say as spiritual as it sounds to say, "God and God alone!". . . I don't always prefer it?

Lately I find myself at the center of a transformation vortex in so many areas.

Physically I'm spending 7 hours at the gym a week and at least 4 hours at yoga on top of 75-80 hours of work. I'm watching my body and mind transform. I have the best personal trainers and the wisest yoga teacher, but at the end of the day, I have to do it. I'm responsible for the change.

I have to go for the long run. I have to complete a zillion repetitions. I have to not just show up for yoga, but participate in the renewing of my mind. I have to find the link where downward dog, cobra, downward dog, pigeon, downward dog, plank, downward dog, side plank, downward dog, warrior I, etc etc. connects with Breathe in peace and breathe out fear, anxiety and stress. That doesn't just happen because my teacher says so. I can and will downward dog/make a grocery list just as easily.

And maybe most importantly, my spiritual framework is being restructured. What I've known all along has been called into question and left me unsettled and afraid. Untangling "absolutes" is exhausting. I've gotten the best advice from the wisest spiritual people in my scope of reference. I'm eternally gratefully for their help, listening ears, and kind compassion in mass confusion. But, as much as I admire their walks and aspire to be just like them. . . . they can help, but they can't meet my spiritual desires for me. I have to pray the prayers, study the scriptures and seek God largely alone.

I'm settling into the loneliness in this season and finding it to be more friend than foe. I'm trusting that as God calls me away from distractions, he's drawing me closer to his heart. I'm even more grateful for those who come alongside me on this journey. I'm not exaggerating when I say I cherish every one. But, if I have to, I can survive alone with him. His grace is sufficient in the full times and in the lonely ones. When we're surrounded and when we're alone. When transformation is evident and when the process is painfully slow. He's there.


Melinda Lancaster said...

I can relate to this minus the yoga moves. Only because I've never tried yoga. I've been in a long season of transformation. Even in a crowd, I often feel lonely. Yet, I am really never alone. He is beside me and perhaps even often ahead of me waiting for me to do what I need to do to catch up on this path.

Thank you so much for sharing this, B.

You are loved!

Meredith Gould said...

As I am fond of saying when it comes to the spiritual journey, "it's lonely at the center." Sure, God is there but we don't always immediately perceive or derive comfort from that spiritual fact.

Your observations about yoga match what those of us trained in Kripalu yoga call, "yoga off the mat." What feelings (physical and emotional) do certain postures bring up, especially if held for a while? And what do we do with those feelings when they emerge during life "off the mat"?

Roses n Verses said...

I can really relate to what you said about loneliness. I am going through a similar season in my life and find myself struggling to keep KNOWING and believing that the Lord is with me, even though my feelings may not necessarily reflect that knowledge. Check out my new blog, I just posted a similar entry. I am encouraged to know that this too, shall pass. God bless you!