The Goddess of never not broken.
"You know that feeling when everything is terrible and terrifying and you don’t know what to do, and you find yourself crying in a pile on your bedroom floor, barely able to remember how to use the phone, desperately looking for some sign of God in old letters, or your Facebook newsfeed or on old TV shows, finding nothing there to comfort you?
Come on, yes you do. We all do.
And there is a goddess from Hindu mythology that teaches us that, in this moment, in this pile on the floor, you are more powerful than you’ve ever been."
This came into my inbox today and I was floored by the perfection of timing.
I was in that place again yesterday and today. Lulu, my six year old Corgi, started coughing up blood Sunday night. Always on a Sunday isn't it? I took her to the all hours vet clinic where they kept her overnight trying to find the cause. She bled even more, losing an alarming amount of blood, but they could not find out why. The next morning I took her to Greensville, SC to a vet hospital so that they could do CT scans, scope her stomach and run a million different kinds of tests. Still no source, they kept her last night and are keeping her again tonight. No one has ever seen anything like it and I am back where I was this time last year....
Sitting in hospital rooms, expensive tests being run and re-run, knowing there was something wrong but not able to pinpoint or treat it. Realizing I was going to lose David and having to make decisions about hard things without enough information and from a place of utter exhaustion.
Broken and broken again. And the Hindu's have a Goddess for this. I love that about them. Also very Catholic, having a saint for everything. Someone to walk with you through your troubles. Akhilandeshvari is the Goddess of Never Not Broken. She rides on the back of a crocodile. But the point is that living in the broken places allows the light through, allows us to recreate and rebuild who we are, what our story is, and in that brokenness we have the chance to shine with an incredible light and beauty. But we can only do it broken.
This is not a new idea, every religion and spiritual path has this imagery.
Christians have Jesus and the cross. At least, that has always been my image of Jesus. Broken, dreams lost, the bright and shining future gone, alone and dying. But he is reborn into new life. A new life not imagined before his brokenness and only possible through that brokenness.
We are never not broken and all we can do is dance on the back of that crocodile, riding the waves, allowing the light to shine through and creating something new and beautiful. The trick is to not become too attached to the beauty because life will break us open again, over and over. And that is Akhilandeshvari's gift, teaching us to live Never Not Broken.
It's all I've got. Living broken open, trying to believe there is beauty in that, and a kind of wild joy if I can find it.