Today is the first day of Lent and for the second time in my life I am making a serious effort to use the forty days and nights to undertake a journey into the wilderness to gain greater insight into myself and my life. Last year I emerged with a powerful realisation of the significance the grieving process has to our existence and how important it is to not pathologise it but to simply live it.
This year, I walk into that inner wilderness much more self aware and with a greater understanding of the importance of inner journeying. To undertake it fearlessly and with commitment is the first challenge. My other challenge is to stand and face whatever comes and to look square at it unflinchingly.
During Advent I subscribed to the Church of England’s daily reflections and found them enormously helpful as the approach of Christmas became increasingly difficult to manage. I would describe myself as a devout sceptic, constantly interrogating faith and exploring spiritual matters with an open mind. I’ve subscribed to the church’s Lent reflections and on this the first day, the focus is on the light that always comes out of darkness.
Speaking of light, the one thing I always take into the dark of the psyche is a candle. Even if its light is low and flickering, its presence is reassuring and it is something to follow when the dark becomes threatening or overwhelming.
I am peaceful at the start of this process and full of optimism that whatever the outcome the process will have been worthwhile. If you are undertaking your own journey, then keep a light with you as you go and walk safely.