The nights are growing longer. The winds are picking up. This is the time of the year when hearts turn inward, when inner demons, the little gremlins who have been hiding in the shadows whispering their sweet nothings show themselves, when the things that go bump in the night get extra noisy.
I am always surprised and rather amazed at the fact that no matter how much I grow, no matter how much I breathe, no matter how many minutes I stay present, I keep coming back to the same lessons over and over, challenged again and again. No matter how much I think I have mastered, there is so much more I don’t know, so much to learn over and over again. That no sooner do I think I have grown out of an old way of being, do I find myself being tested in big and small ways yet again.
In these moments of vulnerability I realize that for all my learning it simply boils down to this: I am scared to death, that I don’t know the way, and that I never really did. And when I can let myself stew in that reality long enough I find myself knowing this one true thing: courage is really simply about feeling the fear and wading through anyway, one step, one breath at a time.
I love these late autumn holidays. They allow us to recognize our fears and call us to sink into them or at least to stop using them as an excuse. They challenge us to see what we can learn from walking with them, to light up a lantern and boldly face-down those gremlins, the ones who go bump in the night to realize that the only way forward is to breathe and take another step.
Happy Halloween. May your journeys through the dark be illuminating!