Ah. Your faith IS being tested then. Your spiritual health bucket is taking hit points. Your spirit is low, your faith is struggling, you are in a Dark Time.
I am not talking about your Path -- whatever one it is you have chosen for yourself. Sounds like you grew up in one path (Christian of some type) and you incline toward Native American as an adult person -- perhaps some other Pantheist types too. That is fine. Again, I'm not talking about your Path that resonates with you.
I'm not talking about denomination. I'm not talking about organized religion community worship things like Catholic mass. Not informal community worship things like pagan ritual. Not community worship like in a church or temple -- community worship is only ONE possible expression of one's spiritual practice activities.
I am talking about your Journey along Faith Development across your lifespan. And the tending of your spiritual health bucket. Your spiritual well being and your faith. How YOU tend to it.
I do not know what your normal spiritual practices are. Do some fall under "body practice" like yoga? Tai chi? Do some fall under "mind practice" like journal writing or meditation? Justice practices -- like volunteering in a soup kitchen? Soul practices like creating things -- model planes? Paintings?
What are the things you DO to feed your soul? The things that bring you that joie de vivre
feeling? Where you spirit soars and your soul SINGS and you love the feeling of being really, really ALIVE!
You are experiencing a life challenge and need to draw on this bucket, but the spiritual health bucket is turning up low. So... You sound like you need some spirit health bucket stuff to top up to me. You probably do not want anything a high "volume" or too complicated either.
- We have mental health.
- We have emotional health.
- We have physical health.
- We have spiritual health.
Just as there are body bucket development charts for a new baby to learn to sit up, crawl walk? There are emotional development charts. When new baby can only cry or not cry. Baby has needs met. Baby does not have needs met. Baby has to learn a lot about emotional expression!
Then the mental development charts -- a baby cannot understand object permanence for instant. That is why "peek a boo!" is so exciting to children that age. They really do think you disappear somewhere and come back. They do not yet understand that even when hidden, the thing or person is STILL HERE. Just under the blanket.
So there is the development chart for the spiritual health and development bucket too. If you do not like James Fowler one, you can try Scotty McClennan. There are other charts -- find one that makes sense to you so you can get your bearings and see if anything there speaks to you and give hints to what you may be able to do for your bucket.
If you find your general faith being tested, it could be a time for growth and changes in that spirit bucket. Growing pains will
be had. Expect some of that, and knowing that, perhaps this Dark Time will be a tiny bit easier to bear?
Pain is pain, but sometimes it helps to organize it so you can bear it and be able to ENDURE.
If you can separate out some of the UGH you feel and be able to file it under "Oh. This part is bucket growing pain -- annoying but safe to ignore" then perhaps that helps lessen the burden of the "terrible dx" pain. And the "Cannot help my lady" pain. Try to Name it, and then try divide it up so you can ultimately conquer a small portion, the doable bits first. Day by day. Or minute by minute.
It does not sound like a burden you can carry all in one go. YKWIM? So just let it sit there a while -- this grief burden thing.
Be with it. Don't change much about it. Just do what you do to get grounded first so you get some room to breathe. It's ok to be between a rock and a hard place if you have some room to breathe. So do just enough
to get some breathing room and then do nothing. Sit. Think. Sit some more. You will know when you are ready to make another change.
If you find comfort in the Native American path -- perhaps this is the time to turn to some of the sacred texts of that tradition, or music, or art or whatever -- to help aid you in facing this life challenge. The balm to soothe your soul.
Go with what resonates and speaks to you and helps you refill that spiritual health bucket that's feeling a bit tired right now. Faith is not a button one turns on and turns off. It is not a rock that you keep in your pocket -- you have faith, you do not have faith. Faith is a muscle you exercise like any of the other bucket health things -- It gets stronger when used.
So you are coping as best you can. Carry on. You will feel all kinds of things. Be open to feeling it and just... let it blow on through.
No. It will not erase the suffering to decide to suffer WELL.
But perhaps it can make the weary load a bit easier to bear until the Light returns. And it WILL return.
Having faith? That's believing your inner light will shine bright, shine dim, shine wobbly, shine upside down. But dang it! It is YOUR light and if it wants to shine in purple or in invisible octopus color
today -- it's damn well shining on and on and on! Because you say so. Because you have faith. Punch out anyone trying to blow it out and even if it does? You have a box of matches to rekindle. You have friends with a light to spot you a light if need be. Not into candles? You can get a flashlight. A torch. Tiffany lamp! Because you have faith.
Maybe not entirely sure what to do with it, how to work it, or how to tend it or how to refill. But you do have a spiritual health bucket! Everyone just comes with one! It's ready to hold the faith.
Me? I know where I go -- border country. Where land meets air (mountains) or where air meets water (in the ocean on a ship) or where land meets water (shore lines.) Laying eyes on border country soothes my soul for some reason. So does laying down on bare earth. Doesn't get more grounded than that!
I don't know if those ramblings provide any comfort. I know it's ramblings.
Sometimes the ministry of presence is just to choose to dwell in another's pain for a moment. Not because you can really do a whole lot. But so that they don't have to be enduring alone.
Hang in there. You are not alone.