We can release things into the dark. This is what I’m learning.
A month or so ago I took part in a Soul Deep art experience led by my fantastically creative friend, Leanne Shawler. A very fortunate small group of us were led by Leanne into a deep dive of one of her paintings titled Beyond (click here to see the painting).
The great thing about a deep dive with Leanne is that her paintings evoke different things in different people. Here’s what I saw:
I saw a woman standing on the shoreline, keeping watch as lanterns of light floated away from her, over the waters, and into the night sky.
It was at the end of our time together that the words came to me:
“I can release things into the dark.”
A needed mantra.
I was so struck by the way the figure in Leanne’s painting stood there under the night sky. There was a quality about her I couldn’t put my finger on, but yearned for just the same.
It came to me later: serene. This woman was serene.
Serene means calm, peaceful, untroubled, tranquil.
I was surprised to learn this word was originally used in both English and Latin to describe calm weather. It meant clear and unclouded. Perhaps not unlike that night sky.
I’m drawn to this word. One dictionary defined it as utter calm.
Often, when I release things (especially into the dark or the great unknown) I do so with fear, with anxiety or angst. I may be tempted to chase after them, row, row, rowing my boat to ensure their safe arrival to somewhere, or at the very least send them off with a tracking device so I can monitor their every movement (so much wasted energy, my friend!).
I feel this way when my words leave me through writing or speaking. I want to know where they land, what they do, how they are, what life they’ve taken on out there on their own. I may be on the shoreline, but I’m likely to be pacing or peering after them, yelling instructions or warnings into the night sky, sometimes wishing I could take them back, keep them safe.
More chaos than calm.
Will this get easier? Maybe. Maybe not. But one thing I know is that it is a season to release. So I pick up the precious gathered on the shoreline of my life. Hold each one close. Speak a blessing. Give a kiss. Lift them high. Let them go.
We can release things into the dark. Thanks Leanne, for helping me see this.
May we be planted in the soil of serenity, friend. Trusting all is held by One much greater than we. May we be able to say with the Psalmist,
“My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast” (Psalm 57:7).
We Can Release: Our Little Life Words of the week.
- What or who are you releasing into the great unknown? How can you send them off with a blessing and deep trust?
- Serene is used to describe calm weather – how might you describe your internal weather right now?
- While Leanne’s not currently leading live ‘Deep Dives,’ you can take your own guided journey into this painting right here. I encourage you to do so!
- Is there something or someone you need to release? Use these lanterns in a symbolic ceremony.
- Follow my friend, Leanne, so you can take part in future (free) live deep dives.
- Our song of the week is a deeply beautiful one, please don’t miss it: Drawn to You by Audrey Assad.
- When I am afraid I will trust in You.