So many images of the mandorla come to mind when I wander around in the almond shape. One image presents a mandorla with a ladder reaching up through the in between space and into the sky.
In my mind, I often climb into the bright daytime sky. There I sit on a ladder, finding objectivity in the overlapping place of my either/or-ness.
Up above and looking down, I see the absurdity of lost energy in mental competitions or emotions gone awry. There I relinquish argumentative biases and the temptation of getting caught up in the many dramas of life, letting sounder intuition and discernment slowly rise.
I remember begging God, long ago, to show me all of the things, in my life, that were not pleasing to Him. And She answered my cry with a painful gift through community.
What I had ignored in myself, others began stirring up, even mirroring to me. They introduced me to myself as somewhat of a microcosm of community.
Denial and blame are skillful deflectors. They were close companions, working hard for me, until I chose to cease denying my own inadequacies, to stop blaming others for theirs and to begin choosing life while facing all of the lost parts within.
Since that first general introduction, I have met many lost parts of myself. At first, I was surprised to meet the other faces of particular characteristics.
The overly sensitive trait, in me, had other expressions, discernment and compassion. Wisdom, in the shadows, looked like know-it-all. And then peeling through the layers of attitude to uncover Soul, revealed how often I had traded one either/or for another and that sometimes it was not the good or bad in a person or thing, but the lofty or cynical attitude that I was harboring.
So, I asked the questions, “Where was Soul in all of this? Not intellect, will, skillfulness, or personality, but where was the heart of me?” And then Spirit breathed, whatever you have hidden or pushed aside, Soul will bring to light, redeem and transform, as Soul.
I had worked so hard to be holy and to extend loving-kindness, but ah, at key intervals, my dear Soul cried out, inviting me to open up to simply being complete and whole.
Oddly, dying to self, by recognizing my own otherness, opened my heart to others. By admitting commonality and differences within myself, I realized more wholeness and serendipitously, life colorfully appeared.
Sometimes I wonder if the need for conversion will ever end. As sobering as it is, I hope not. It has become this wonderful, unending reminder of God’s love for me. And as Spirit continues to interact with and through me, doing Her transforming work, I know, I am Soul.