May the soul always cultivate her intention not to be vanquished. If the spirit of evil sees that she is willing to lose her life, her tranquility, and everything else that it can offer rather than return to the first dwelling, it will soon give up on her. Let the soul be strong and not behave like those soldiers who knelt down to drink before going into battle. Let her be steadfast as she goes forth to stand against all the minions of unconsciousness raging inside her, knowing that there are no weapons superior to the peace of the cross.

St. Teresa of Ávila, The Interior Castle (trans. Mirabai Starr)

All the minions of unconsciousness raging inside her. Never have I read a more apt description of what it feels like to be a Nine fighting for integration – for a foothold in God’s reality. This passage stopped my breath. Yes: It’s consciousness that I’m seeking. And it’s unconsciousness that constantly pulls at me and calls me backward. For too long, I’ve considered the numbness of my “Inner Sanctum” a safe harbor. No. It’s a decoy, a shadow of the Interior Castle that St. Teresa speaks of. It’s a harbor that puts my soul to sleep rather than bringing it awake, one that isolates me rather than uniting me with the Beloved (in me and in others).

Fighting the urge to give in to unconsciousness every day is a struggle for me right now. How many times have I felt like kneeling down to drink rather than facing what’s in my way – rather than piercing through the shadow that’s blocking my Light? Too many to count, lately.

My desire for inner peace at any cost has been a lightning rod for unnecessary suffering in my life. I ignore everything that calls for a fight. I lie down in front of wrongness instead of believing that the hurt I’ll cause – and just might feel – in naming it is holy. In the process, I deprive myself of what I really desire, and what the world around me needs: for things to be set right.

I need (God, please make me want) a just peace, not a passive one. I know that God’s peace always requires participation, but it is so hard for me to believe that if I join the dance, my footwork matters.

Why?

I’ve been seeing Red-Tailed Hawk everywhere lately. In close quarters, taking off just as I pass.

Perspective, she whispers.

From up above, high enough, every thread contributed to the Pattern is used, incorporated – never wasted.

Trust that, little Wolf, though you live on the ground.

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