I am on Iona. It feels like the end of the known world. The beginning of the unknown. What is the risk we take when we take those first tentative steps from the known into the unknown? What does it take for us to remove the masks which we believe to be whom we are and reveal the vulnerable wilderness inside ourselves? For we each have continents inside us just waiting to be discovered, oceans of peace and love that perhaps we believe lie beyond us, beyond the distant horizon. But first we must learn to stop and be still. To stop and be still. To stop and be still. I repeat this like a mantra until the thoughts whirling around the rooftops of my mind fly off, like the seagulls out to sea. Here is the edge. Here is the place where I can choose to journey within, to remove the layers of self that I believe to be my identity. To breathe in and out, in and out, until I inhabit my body once again. When I do my body becomes like a tuning fork. It vibrates with the energy of this magical island. It KNOWS. What I want, what I need; in this moment, in any moment. Can I live this way when I return to my normal life? When I return to school and work and home? Might my body be a compass that guides me not to think of a solution but to feel one in my bones, in the very essence of my being? What might that look like? An early start perhaps, a walk in nature before work, moments to re-tune throughout the day. Most of all it looks like gentleness, kindness and compassion towards myself. To give myself the love I so freely give others. Can I give myself the permission to live like this daily? I would like to try. I would like to walk the edge between the known and the unknown. I would like to walk with God, the god of the skies and the sea; of the land and the unchartered terrain of the heart. To do this I must risk my significance, I must risk being seen – truly seen – naked of the masks I wear.
And what masks they are, old friends borne of childhood struggles, the hustle for love: Perfectionism, Control, Responsibility, Helping (but not asking for help) Giving (but not receiving). They have kept me safe all these years so I must handle them with the utmost care and attention. These parts of me need to bask in my love until they are safe enough to rest and allow myself to be seen. This is not a quick fix, it is an ongoing process, one that I revisit over and over as I move closer to a full authentic expression of who I am. I cannot do this work alone, I need to lean on those who love and accept me and to accept the divine love that surrounds me all the time but that I so rarely allow in. It’s time to step off the edge and dive into the unknown. Who would like to join me?