One morning in my daily tarot draw I turned over Death reversed – the inability to let something go so something better can come along. Some gears in my mind clicked into place. Ha, I thought, I got you.
I finally figured it out. I’m experiencing a loss of faith.
That blank point in my mind that I couldn’t seem to get into, all that cleaning house, the weird dreams – a loss of faith. In what, I can’t pinpoint, may never pinpoint. Maybe a lot of things.
But now that I know what it is, I can’t help but think – this is excellent. Losing faith is the perfect place to be. Here’s why:
1. Recognizing a loss of faith teaches me to accept death, which is always, always necessary for resurrection.
Because of my Christian faith, a cornerstone of which is resurrection, my favorite card in the tarot is Death. Death means something no longer necessary is falling away and something better is coming along. Death must take place for resurrection to occur.
But just because I like the concept doesn’t mean I like the practice. There are lots of kinds of deaths. The loss of faith I experienced was the death of a dearly held belief system about… something – myself, my culture, my country, my religion, maybe all of them. That is hard.
So hard, in fact, that my psyche tried to protect me from it for a long time. I remember a coworker interpreting a dream in which I was locked in desperate hand to hand combat and a warrior came screaming out of the woods to take out the guy I was fighting. “That warrior is some aspect of you trying to protect you,” she told me. Now I know what from – the death of some dearly held beliefs.
Now that I know, I can grieve – process the death, lay it to rest, and see what comes up out of the ground. Because until I acknowledge it and let it go, I don’t have room for anything else.
2. The best place to learn to hope is in the dark.
It’s one thing to believe in Kingdom Come when you’re reasonably sure that God will work everything out in the end. It’s another to believe when you’re reasonably sure He won’t. Hope grown in that environment is strong stuff, not easily broken.
I have a feeling we’ll need a hope that borders on sheer lunacy in the next few years. So I’m thinking of this dark place I’ve been led to as an incubation chamber instead of an abandonment.
It might seem weird that I’m celebrating a loss of faith, but I’ve been trying to figure out what I’m dealing with for so long that just having a name for it is a relief. Having a name means I can finally process this and move on instead of staying stuck in limbo. It doesn’t lessen the emotional work involved, but it does give it focus.