As a young girl I eagerly read Madeleine L’Engle’s award-winning book, “A Wrinkle in Time“. I forget now whether it was assigned as school work or a book I discovered with the help of the school librarian at Park Elementary School in Dover, Ohio. I do remember the story line, the imagery I conjured as I read it and the feelings I carried with me into adulthood from reading it.
I have seen the movie and like it, too but it does differ somewhat in its imagery and I found myself desiring to revisit the original experience from reading it, so I borrowed the audio book version from our local library.
With a 30 to 45-minute commute each way to work, I am able to listen each day to about an hour of the book and with a mixture of sadness that it was over and delight that I had the whole experience once again, I finished the audio book on my way home from work on Thursday, February 14, 2019.
It was apropos, I realized, that I finished this book on Valentine’s Day as the core message of the story was something taught in metaphysical studies and some religions across the world: that LOVE is the only answer to the challenges in life – no matter what they are; no matter how big and scary they appear.
As I wallowed in the sheer delight of revisiting this old friend and pondered the enlightened lesson I felt emerging from its core, my thoughts turned to the challenges of using LOVE as the answer the to problems we encounter in life: personal, professional or larger.
When we look at a person (or persons) who is ruining something that we hold dear, it can be harder than hard to love them. We may be able to get to the point of neutrality, where we wish them no ill, and stop fantasizing about their demise; but can we ever truly LOVE them and wish them well as they destroy what we cherish? That’s a tall order on the human scale – even for spiritual warriors.
In revisiting the plot and character evolution from the story, I saw the ending in a new light. Meg did not have to love IT to rescue her little brother; she simply had to reconnect with her love of Charles Wallace to break the hold that IT had on him.
When Meg focused on IT, she was angry, frustrated, frightened; to have asked her to consider loving IT would have been a wholly different story – likely with a very different ending.
I began to think about situations and circumstances in my life where a malevolent force emerged and took over something that I cherished and loved. As evolved as I believe myself to be, I can say that it would be hard even now for me to feel LOVE for the ITs that embedded their tentacles into workplaces, neighborhoods, churches/centers, communities and other situations and changed them negatively. But is that truly what is needed?
While we can move into the space where we leave retribution to the Universe, I wonder if the next step is less about forcing ourselves to love the ITs and more about loving what it is that was there before the “…most horrible, the most repellent thing…more nauseating then anything…ever imagined…” showed up?
When a new CEO or VP turns our once-wonderful workplace into a hellhole, we can love the camaraderie we once shared; we can love the good times we remember; we can love the feelings we had about going to work when it was a wonderful place. We may not be able to rekindle that in the same environment, but that doesn’t mean it is lost forever (there are many other places to work!). When a new neighbor breaks up the old gang, and sews discord and dissent, we can love the memories of our community and experiences and we can assemble a new gang in a different community that shares the good and has learned the lessons from the negative experiences.
We don’t have to embrace the IT – and it is instructive to know that some ITs will never transform with our love but will subsume us into their darkness. But we must not despair! This does not mean that have to relinquish our Charles Wallaces either.
We all have the power to leave Camazotz and step away from the power of IT and take with us the good, the love and the beautiful things that we once had and start again; surrounded by the Good but now aware of the ITs in the world – a little older, with some bruises but with wisdom this time.
In our country right now there is an IT at the center of a beautiful dream that was once heralded across the globe as the shining light on the hill for humanity. Unfortunately, many of us are focused on how horrible IT is, when perhaps we should shift our energy, love and focus onto the democratic ideals that are represented by that light – to the republican tenets that inspired men and women over 2 centuries ago to seek a more perfect union.
And if we, like Meg, turn our attention away from IT and laser focus our hearts toward the child that we hold dear – that still-young concept of democracy – I know that we, too will wake up in the garden, a little bruised, and a lot wiser to the dangers in the world – but back in the bosom of the hope, dreams, and love that is America as our forefathers and foremothers imagined it to be.
(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path