Endings. Goodbyes. God’s grace. And Mary Oliver.

Yesterday. I ended things. I said goodbye. I compiled a list:

  • my fears of…
  • my insecurities about…
  • my ambivalence around… 
  • my lack of trust in…

Undaunted and unstoppable; an undeniable strength and Spirit within – pulling me forward to today. This day.

I parked the car at the beach and walked through the gate marked “Club Members Only.” Undeterred, I headed to the water and set my coffee down in the sand. Then I resolutely, unceremoniously cast the list into the sea. 

The tide was going out.

I turned around, picked up my coffee, walked back to the car, and brushed the sand off my shoes. The experience was deeply spiritual.

Rewind just a few hours. I spent the morning looking out over those same waters. Journaling; praying, really. Asking God to help me let go, turn the corner, and step. Forward. Into courage and trust. And though I am wont to wonder if God actually hears my prayer, I shortly thereafter read these words:

You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

(Mary Oliver, from Wild Geese)

I laughed out loud. And then I wept. Deeply aware of how profoundly I needed to hear exactly this; how profoundly gracious God was to offer such. 

I do not have to be good. I am good.
I do not have to walk one more mile on my knees. Enough is enough.
I do not need to stay in the desert. “Home” beckons. 
And I do not need to repent. Any more.  

That was yesterday.

This is today. Beginnings. Hello’s. God’s grace endures. As does the beauty and power of Mary Oliver.

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice…

…there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do…

(The Journey)

The tide is making its way back in – carrying with it waves upon waves of wet, wild life: mine.

_________________________

A huge sigh of gratitude to Kate Swoboda for yesterday’s post. You, woman, were God’s grace embodied. Thank you.

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    { 31 comments… read them below or add one }

    Lindsey April 18, 2012 at

    Oh, wow, Ronna. It may be the other coast, an entirely different ocean, but I’m looking longingly at the one near me and wanting to cast away so many things. Thank you for inspiring me today as you do so many days. ox

    Reply

    Ronna Detrick April 20, 2012 at

    Much, much love, Lindsey – as always (from one ocean to another).

    Reply

    Currie Silver April 18, 2012 at

    amazing, remarkable, uncanny.

    WOW!!

    Reply

    Ronna Detrick April 20, 2012 at

    Mmmmm. Love this, Currie.

    Reply

    Amy Miyamoto April 18, 2012 at

    Beautiful – your post brings up three things for me…
    1) I, too, spent deep healing time at the beach this week (synchronicity) – the ocean’s healing song seems to beckon me regularly now.
    2) For some time I have been hearing the message – women today need the power of the same healing rituals and (ceremonies) of the women of the past… almost all have fallen away in modern times and a price has been paid. Although you used the word “unceremoniously” to describe it – I very much experienced your actions as healing ceremony.
    3) Currently reading The Feminine Face of God – it is rocking my world and bringing so many things together that align with the (essence) of the experiences you share.

    Enjoy your trip of unfolding dear Ronna. ;)
    Amy Miyamoto recently posted..Fire Walking Anyone? Anyone?

    Reply

    Ronna Detrick April 20, 2012 at

    Amy: All three of these points made me both smile and feel this deep tug at my heart. Synchronicity? Perhaps. And perhaps not…A message, to be sure. A calling, indeed. And ritual – in the mix, hungered for, and crafted/created even as we speak/type. (And apparently I need to order that book!)

    Reply

    Amy Miyamoto April 20, 2012 at

    The book is pretty up your alley. ;)
    Amy Miyamoto recently posted..Fire Walking Anyone? Anyone?

    Reply

    Nikki April 18, 2012 at

    Tears, again.

    Love to you,

    Nikki~
    xoxo

    Reply

    Ronna Detrick April 20, 2012 at

    I’m sending you a box of Kleenex, Nikki. :-) And deeply grateful for you…

    Reply

    Michelle Barry Franco April 18, 2012 at

    In some ways, it feels a bit like I did this with you. I feel just a bit lighter, a bit more open. A letting go.
    Now, I’m inspired to create my own “unceremonious” ceremony for letting go some more.
    This is a real gift of deep sharing. Thank you.

    Reply

    Nikki April 18, 2012 at

    Hi Michelle. I feel the same way. On both counts. Whew! Ronna is radiating so much light, it’s incredible.
    Nikki recently posted..Why we’re jaded by good causes

    Reply

    Ronna Detrick April 20, 2012 at

    Remind me someday to tell you my story of “light,” Nikki. These words of yours, when I read them, nearly knocked me over. Thank you.

    Reply

    Amy Miyamoto April 18, 2012 at

    “This is a real gift of deep sharing.”
    Michelle I concur – it is the deep sharing that is the gift – I believe it is this balm of Deep Sharing that the Divine Feminine is calling forth… and we can see it so brightly in Ronna. ;)
    Amy Miyamoto recently posted..Fire Walking Anyone? Anyone?

    Reply

    Ronna Detrick April 20, 2012 at

    Humbled. Honored. Grateful, Amy.

    Reply

    Ronna Detrick April 20, 2012 at

    LOVE that it’s inspired your own ceremony, Michelle. And there’s always more letting go, isn’t there? Layers and layers and layers. And simultaneously, an opening to layers and layers and layers. Rich. Beautiful. Dangerous (in the best of ways). Strong. Yum!

    Reply

    Minna Bromberg April 18, 2012 at

    I love that you walked through the “Members Only” entrance. It reminded me of a favorite (infrequently sung!) verse of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land:”
    As I went walking
    I saw a sign there
    and on that sign it said,
    “No Trespassing”

    But on the other side,
    it didn’t say nothing.
    And that side was made for you and me!

    Here’s to walking to the other side!!!

    Reply

    Ronna Detrick April 20, 2012 at

    ABSOLUTELY, Minna!

    Reply

    Cynthia April 18, 2012 at

    yes, yes, YES!

    This is exactly what I did recently when I burned all my old journals. I let go of the not-good-enough.

    There were years of repenting on my knees wrapped up in those pages. I barely looked through them before I threw them on the fire but the pages I scanned broke my heart. Sentence after sentence after sentence of fears, of brokenness, of sorrow, of trying to be more, of saying I wasn’t enough or I was too much.

    I am done.

    I cannot even begin to tell you how different I am, inside and out, with all that baggage gone!! All that negative energy is no longer surrounding me. The phoenix is rising from the ashes and she is BEAUTIFUL! She is JUST RIGHT!

    Thank you Ronna for sharing your journey, for writing from the heart. My own beats with yours.
    Cynthia recently posted..Just like that I knew

    Reply

    Ronna Detrick April 20, 2012 at

    I LOVE the image of the phoenix, Cynthia. So much power and beauty there. It is one that calls to us, I think – inviting us to more fire…and more rising, to be sure. In. It. Together.

    Reply

    Callahan McDonough, LCSW April 18, 2012 at

    Ronna, this posting touches me in such real and deep ways this morning. Release, permission, honesty that includes the fears. Transcendent. Love your releasing to the ocean, the embryonic waters, asking the great Mother earth to re-purpose fears, to birth Joy, Aliveness.

    Reply

    Ronna Detrick April 20, 2012 at

    Thank you, Callahan. This word “permission” has come up multiple times for me in just the past 48 hours. We need it. We have it. And we are the ones to give it. Yes…embryonic waters in which we are nurtured – and which tell us when it’s time to push, to show up, to bring forth life. Joy. Aliveness. Yes.

    Reply

    nikky44 April 19, 2012 at

    Wonderful post and experience! Thank you for sharing
    nikky44 recently posted..The Child that is Me

    Reply

    Ronna Detrick April 20, 2012 at

    Thank you, Nikky. I’m grateful you are here.

    Reply

    Jess April 19, 2012 at

    GORGEOUS!

    So happy for your relief.

    xoxo

    Reply

    Ronna Detrick April 20, 2012 at

    You and me both, Jess. Thank you!

    Reply

    Heather Coleman April 19, 2012 at

    Quite inspirational. I will start to remember that wonderful line that you don’t have to be good because you are inherently good. Where is that beach in the picture? It feels very peaceful.

    -Heather
    Heather Coleman recently posted..how to seduce a woman

    Reply

    Ronna Detrick April 20, 2012 at

    Thanks, Heather. And the beach is at Whidbey Island, WA. :-) Beautiful – even in the gray.

    Reply

    Hilde April 20, 2012 at

    All you have to do is let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
    Thank you for another inspiring piece.

    Reply

    Ronna Detrick April 20, 2012 at

    Mmmmm. This is beautiful, Hilde. Thank you.

    Reply

    Alana April 21, 2012 at

    Oh. You just described my day yesterday almost perfectly. Different in actions and the words that came to me, but so similar in essence. Swirling into a crisis of faith, letting go, and finally knowing what I have to do. Thank you for telling this story and speaking for so many of us.

    P.S. New site is gorgeous. Congratulations!
    Alana recently posted..Growing something big

    Reply

    Ronna Detrick April 23, 2012 at

    Thank you for your kind words about the site, Alana. It does feel like home, to be sure. And thank you even more for your honest words about swirling in a crisis of faith…letting go…and knowing what you have to do. Beautiful.

    Reply

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