There ought, I thought, to be a ritual for being born twice
– patched, retreaded and approved for the road.
– Sylvia Plath

In these busy times, society seems grow-up its children way too fast and spend its adult years trying to recapture its youth through collecting beloved toys or through the false mask of plastic surgery. We seem to have forgotten the beauty of ageing slowly. The thought of death and wrinkles and age terrifies us.

Perhaps it is this way because we have lost touch with our spirit and with the Spirit that binds us all together.

Perhaps we are this way because our society at large has no ritual for spiritual transitions. We have lost this most sacred part of ourselves and in turn we fear what we do not know.

Perhaps rather than looking within to confront our fears and rather than looking to God for help and strength and comfort in our fight, we look to our fellow society members for validation and reassurance. And finding none, we look within and see only pain.

Maybe it is time to open ourselves up to the Divine within all of us, connect with our spirit and with that part of us which is God.

Maybe it is time to look to smaller groups of society who do have spiritual transitional rituals and form our own if our personal society has none. Jews have bar and bat mitzvahs, Mormans have missionary work, and Catholics have First Communion; even if a person is unchurched or agnostic, they need a ritual to honor the spiritual transition in their life.

Maybe it is time to stop running from our fears, especially that of ageing or becoming old, accept ourselves for who we are and who God made us to be. We are not God; if we attempt to recreate ourselves in a way that God never intended, we may never find the peace within we long for so desperately.

Ritual is more important that we can consciously understand. Ritual speaks to our unconscious and subconscious selves. Ritual speaks to our spirit selves, that inner most part of the heart or mind; and, by it being a physical act, the transformation within becomes visible and more easily accepted by our small, finite brains. ‘An outward sign of an internal change.’

 

grace c

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