Our Lady of Divine Serenity
Close your eyes…
Imagine you are sitting on the bank of a very still pond. You sit cross-legged, alone. You are afraid, but you know you are in a place of peace. You don’t know what to do with your fear. It inhabits your chest, this feeling that wraps around your heart and makes it hard to breathe. It hurts. So you breathe slowly in, slowly out. You feel the breath entering and leaving your lungs.
At some point, a divine lady appears. She arrives from the right of your vision, a splendid being in flowing white robes. She walks slowly to the water, her presence entirely entrancing. She is like an angel, gliding over the earth slowly, so slowly. You want to watch her forever. You want to become her. And yet you still have this fear in your heart. So you sit quietly and watch. She knows you are there, seems to have come to help you. She walks to the banks of the pond and puts one toe in the water, slowly, slowly, slowly. She seems to invite you in… Come with me? But she doesn’t say a word. She doesn’t even look in your direction. She slowly enters the water. You return to your experience, your breath. Your chest rises and falls. You want to take the breath deeper into your lungs, into your belly, but the fear constricts your chest. You watch the lady.
She has entered the water now, this still, still pond, and she is gently swirling the surface with her fingertips. Small rings emanate from her fingertips across the surface of the water. She swirls it like it is her best friend, her dearest child. She is so gentle. Her white robes float around her, every tiny ripple of water swaying them gently. She is at peace, this woman in the water, utterly at peace. She is peace.
You want to join her, but you don’t know how. You just watch. The jungle rises up around you, behind you, circling the banks of the pond. You and this lady are alone, and she is communing with the water and the experience. You know that somehow, deep down, she is inviting you into this experience as well, showing you that it is possible to be at peace.
...Just step in...
But you don’t know how. So you continue to watch. You continue to breathe. As you pull the breath deeper into your lungs, something else happens. The sky opens and the voice of you, a higher, kinder, wiser you, begins to speak. “Let it go, honey,” she says. “Let go of your fear.” You inhale, pulling the breath past the lump in your chest. “I don’t know how,” you say, close to tears. “I don’t know how.”
“Let me help you,” says the woman. Now she is standing on the banks of the pond, and there is a golden jar in front of her. It is tall, chest-high. It has intricate carvings on it, in a language you don’t understand. It has a curving handle and gentle spout. It is a jar for putting your fears into. She feels you resisting, becoming afraid again, unsure of how to put this feeling in your heart into the jar.
“Just breathe,” she urges gently. “Just breathe. It will happen.” So you breathe. You concentrate on the breath entering your lungs and leaving. You feel your belly rising and falling. Rising, rising, rising… Falling, falling, falling… And with each exhale, you see a little bit of the fear beginning to leave. It leaves your body in the form of the breath, a dark brown, sometimes black colored fume that you exhale. It pours effortlessly into the jar. You keep breathing.
Soon the fumes become liquid. You are afraid this liquid will fill the jar, there is so much of it, and your heart still hurts so much. Just then, the sky opens again. Above, there is another helper, a pair of hands that holds yet another jar. As your liquid fear begins to reach the top of the golden jar, your higher self says, “See? This is how we do it. We offer the jar up to Heaven, and we trust Heaven to let it go. There is always more support. There is always another jar."
In the pond, the lady in white gently swirls the water. Your higher self says, “Put your hands on the jar like this.” She supports one side of the golden far, and invites you to take the other. Then you both lift the jar up and offer it to Heaven. The pair of hands receives it, and pours it into this new jar. Then they hand it back down to you, and you and your higher self accept it and put it on the ground. You continue to breathe. The black liquid continues to unfurl from your heart. It begins to fill up the jar again. Meanwhile, in Heaven, that pair of hands is offering the jar of fear to the sky. It is consecrated, loved, and set free. It becomes a million blue birds that fly away in every direction, scattering into the sky. Free.
You are breathing again. The jar is filling up again. And when it does, you and your higher self lift it up, hand it to Heaven, and give a little bow, your hands pressed together over your heart. Heaven accepts it, says a prayer over it, and sets it free. A million blue birds take flight, beautiful, weightless, free. This happens again and again. Each breath enters your lungs, and leaves full of particles of fear. Sometimes it is thick, liquid, black, sometimes it is light brown, more like air than liquid. It is a cleansing, a purging. The divine lady in white swirls the water and enjoys living. Her robes spread out over gently rippling surface.
After some time, your heart feels a little lighter. You can breathe a bit deeper, and you are getting the hang of this. Breathe, fill the jar, offer it to Heaven, watch it transformed and set free. Breathe, fill the jar, set it free. Breathe, fill the jar, set it free.
Your higher self says to you, “Now, Love, you can do this any time. And indeed, this is happening all the time, whether or not you know it. Even when you are not consciously aware of it, this process is happening. This golden jar lives inside of you, and it is always the repository for your fears. It is always here for you, and it will always take your fears and offer them to Heaven, and Heaven will set them free. Always. When you are afraid, you can look inside and watch this happening. Know that you are safe. Know that you are loved. Know that you are always okay.”
You keep breathing, and watching the lady in white. You keep filling the jar and offering it up to Heaven, where those kind hands receive it and set it free. Birds fill the sky, again and again.
When you feel finished for a little while, and it is time to move on, you thank your higher self, and the lady in white, and the hands in Heaven. Everyone bows in turn to one another, hands pressed together at hearts. You are humbled and small, but you are loved. You are cared for, and all you have to do is ask. That is all you have to do. Any time you need help, you can close your eyes, breathe, and ask for help. Then just listen. Maybe the fear won’t go away right away. It probably won’t. That takes time and that takes faith. But once you know the process is underway, and that it is happening all the time, it is easier to believe that you can heal. It is easier to believe that you can be set free.