When Rick and I first moved to the Quad Cities (I moved back) in 1999, I told him, “We’re going to buy a house.” I was sick of crazy landlords and living on land that wasn’t ours. I wanted to have my cats in peace and to garden.
The social service agencies I went to seeking help in first-time home buying all told me it was impossible. I remember one time, I was so mad at what the woman had said I sat in my car and cried and railed and fumed. How dare she tell me no? Who the hell was she to tell me what was impossible? Why I’ve done so much with so little for so long, that I am now qualified to do the impossible with nothing!
I was angry, not so much because she was a stupid bureaucrat unable to think outside the “rules,” as much as I was angry that she was making me doubt that I could do it. My intention was clear: to find a way to buy a home. My inner landscape consisted of optimism, of faith, but the specter of depression and hopelessness still stalked the dark hallways of my mind, and needed but little to raise their ugly little heads. Her refusal to believe in my dream triggered all my own deepest fears.
I am reading a wonderful book right now that is stimulating my higher understanding, my deeper awareness: Goddesses in Older Women: Archetypes in Women over Fifty, by Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD. Its subtitle is “Becoming a Juicy Crone.” This morning I am reading about Hecate—the shadowy magical goddess of intuition from Greek mythology. She stands at the crossroads, the tri-via where three roads meet. While reading Bolen’s description of her archetype, I also saw her as the guide at the juncture where the three worlds meet—the upper world, the lower world and our world. Archetypally she represents our own descent into the underworld and the wisdom gained there. She seeks always the truth. If she does not know an answer, she seeks out those who do, or she discovers it herself.
Bolen offers this meditative suggestion: “Ask yourself: ‘What have I learned about life from my own experience?’
My immediate answer is “What haven’t I learned?” (But that is like an invitation to the Universe to bring more hard lessons, so I steered away from that.) The true answer is that I have learned many things. One of them is that what you can see, what you can believe in, what you can persevere to obtain, CAN be yours.
Less than a month after my meltdown over the social services worker, Rick and I moved into our own home. We found a way, and the Universe provided a way, because we believed it. Faith truly does move mountains.
What else did I learn? That faith doesn’t have to be perfect to work. If your faith outweighs your doubt, it can be made real. I think that is what Jesus might have meant when he talked about having faith the size of a grain of mustard seed (a very small thing, mustard seed). If your faith is even a mustard seed larger than the doubts, it shall be so.