North of the 55th parallel the days are getting noticeably darker, earlier. I feel tired more than not. Or at least it seems that way. Up here we don't count days to Christmas, but rather days until the Winter Solstice, after which, hopes grows with every minute of increasing daylight. Yes, we count by minutes. Or at least I do.
Advent will soon be here. Nearly four years ago I went on an Advent Retreat and wrote the prayer below. The shame of sexual addiction was so huge for me that day. I didn't write about what was underlying that prayer until this post. The scariest, most vulnerable post I have ever written.
Recovery is about choosing, on a daily basis, to turn towards the Light. I am grateful for the grace to do that. I rarely write about my recovery from sexual addiction anymore. It no longer seems to be the ravenous wolf, trying to eat my very soul, that it once was. I know though, that it can be just as cunning, baffling and powerful, as alcoholism. I stay aware, I stay accountable. I depend on God's grace. Every day.
I thought I'd repost this prayer today.
"Oh God, you know the darkness within. As my compulsions become less and less satisfying and more and more frantic I sense you calling me to give them up to the Light. It is hard to trust that you are enough. My head knows it but my heart feels scared to receive the truth of it. My body wants to be kept in a cocoon, safe from what scares me. Yet you beckon to me with whispers of freedom, to learn what it truly means to live, yes, truly live, in my body, connected to both mind and heart.
A symphony of movement that carries no burdens, is hampered by no fears. "Be light," I hear you say.
I want to trust that this light will satisfy me on every level. But I am scared. And I am tired of being scared. Being scared feels heavy and rough and hard. And alone.
I am scared that the voice of perfection will drown out your voice of love. So I do not try. I long to but turn my body away from you, scared to expose my naked soul to the light of your love. I am turned more towards the dark than the light yet there is a glowing red ember of your love within me. You are waiting to breathe your life into it. The darkness does not own me. It is not stuck to me but I to it. It is I who must move away.
As I enter into the Advent season I choose to turn towards the light, naked of soul before you. My cupped hands offer you the darkness within. It does not want to have the breath of light upon it but I cannot carry the burden of it with me on the journey. You want me to kow what it is to fly free.
My head knows you are the great comforter but these dark places have been my comfort for so long. They have become dry in their nourishment. I must suckle at them no more.
Bread of life feed me. Be my nourishment for the journey. Be the light for my path.