I’ve been reading a lot of Richard Rohr lately. In one of his recent reflections, he says “to grow toward love, union, salvation or enlightenment, we must be moved from Order to Disorder and finally to Reorder.” Order is when everything feels safe and certain. We have an unshakable, satisfying explanation of how things work and tend to see our status quo as appropriate for everyone. Then something happens; we lose a job, a loved one dies, your child comes out of the closet – something shatters your safe, secure world view. This tension feels very uncomfortable as many of the things we hold as truth are called into question. Certitudes and belief systems break down and nothing feels safe or right. There is a natural tendency to run away from this inner turmoil, to get back to our safe, secure world so we tend to grab control and build walls for protection. Yet there is another option; we can hold the tension long enough for it to reveal what must be let go of, what must be reframed, what must be Reordered and in that Reordering, we grow toward love and union with God, our true selves and each other.
I feel like the world is in a state of Disorder. Duh, right? We have lost our sense of safety and security, we no longer have a sense of what is true and right, our belief systems have broken down and we are left shaken and confused. Everywhere we look, it seems, there is chaos – crazy storms wreaking havoc, traditional religious institutions closing in or breaking down, socio-economic gap ever widening, and in our government… need I say more? This sense of uncertainty and chaos is certainly felt on the personal level. Individuals and groups feeling the rejection by our institutions with nowhere to go with the hurt and pain, anger leading to unbelievable violence and destruction, families crumbing because of abuse or divorce, and an increase in addiction and substance abuse as we seem to have lost our identity.
I have seen this pattern in my own life. As I reflect on my spiritual journey and begin to share more and more of my story, the pattern emerges. It seems whenever I have obtained a sense of Order with all its safe, secure, warm and fuzzy feelings, the rug gets pulled out and my life is thrown into Disorder. So often I have run away, not understanding how important holding the Disorder was. It wasn’t until I was given a safe container to hold the Disorder that I realized how much it had to teach me. Little by little, I gave myself permission (with the support of a marvelous Spiritual Companion) to hold the Disorder and listen, to let go and forgive, to allow my true self to emerge, and to Reorder my life. As Leonard Cohen (1934 – 2016) put it, “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” This cycle has happened over and over again and each time I sink deeper into God.
So I believe that is the invitation before us today – to allow, as best we can, the Order to break down enough to let God’s light in. There is no way around it if we want to grow – we must go through the Disorder, not under, over or around, in order to transcend it. Often, we need help to do this. A Place To Be has wonderful Spiritual Companions ready to journey with you through the chaos. You do not have to walk that path alone.
Kelly is the Director of A Place To Be Spirituality Center. Here she shares her thoughts and reflections about life, family, God, spirituality and whatever strikes her in the moment. We hope something here resonates within your own spirit and that you will share. Enter into the conversation, share your story, join the family of A Place To Be, a spiritual home for seekers wherever they are on their journey. We look forward to getting to know you!