Not long ago I resigned from my job
to enjoy projects and quiet time with my husband as he prepared to retire.
The very night I resigned I was restlessly tossing in bed and had a sudden shock of realization that I had stepped from the work force into the last stage of my life, that my next transition would be leaving my physical body for a different world.
I felt alone; desolate.
Life has sped by and though it has been full, this is the first time I reflected so completely that there were no more stages of life for me beyond being a senior citizen.
Now, how does one go to sleep with that reality so fully dawning?
I knew that no amount of begging God was going to extend my time on earth.
I laid there and watched the events of my life roll by on my inner screen. Then, I took time to say The Lord's Prayer … "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven" … In that prayer I felt like I was really talking to God, and I drifted beyond waking into a peaceful restful sleep.
Since that step into the world of seniors I have been making the best use of my time that I can by thinking and acting with kindness.
Of course I've always known we have a temporary sojourn on earth, but the reality didn't hit me so vividly until I retired.
Reflecting, I think that we can choose to make good use of our time here and thereby grow into greater depth of soul.
I like to think of the soul coming into a human body as an unfinished canvas, and that by beautiful strokes of caring actions we fill in the details to produce a soulful masterpiece. Pure to begin with, but becoming more radiant through virtuous living.
Stepping from a job into retirement broke ties to finding happiness in objects of the material world. I hadn't expected that reaction. Now I am working on polishing my soul as best I can, to reflect to my world brothers and sisters the radiance of our Creator.
I want to be as ready as I can when I step into the beyond.
A Dark Night of the Soul Copyright © 2011 Susan Helene Kramer | Photo credit Stan Schaap; a ceiling in Le Louvre, Paris, France