Photo of Ohori Park Lake-My symbol of surviving partners infidelity and surviving grief

The Power of Sacred Space During Suffering

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Photo of Ohori Park Lake-My symbol of sacred space, surviving partners infidelity and surviving grief

Sacred Space, in my eyes. Ohori Park.

Just mere months after I first learned of my partner’s infidelity, it still felt like my flesh was being torn apart, inch by inch. The piercing pain was amplified with her utter disinterest in saving our marriage.  

Whether out of foolishness, desperation, a bold vision of all we could re-build together, or in honour of the person I truly loved, I still wished to offer my final invitations of revival and reconciliation. But it was clear that she was content with the ashes of our relationship and friendship over these past 6 years.

My Sacred Space in Fukuoka, Japan

That year, in 2016, I soon found myself travelling to Fukuoka, Japan on one of many stops during an extensive soul-searching journey. I was desperate to figure out how I could survive this excruciating pain.

After all, on some days, it felt as if my body had been stabbed and completely pierced by a blunt, rusty pipe…over—and—over–and–over.  

I was desperate to find a sense of hope amidst the violence of betrayal by the person I so deeply loved.

I was desperate to encounter God (or Source, if you prefer) in ways found only in the serenity of a sacred space.

Thankfully, during this incredibly painful journey, I discovered many moments of gratitude and joy in a place where I never expected to see or visit.

Indeed, it was here…at this incredibly beautiful lake at Ohori Park (大濠公園), where I was held by Spirit through all my tears.

For me, this is a place where I experienced many moments of personal transformation and growth during epiphanies discovered through deep reflections, meditations or prayers.

Of course, finding those moments wasn’t instantaneous or easy.

I could say far more about all those empty, lonely and painful moments where I far too often dwelled. You might call this space a sort of “limbo” or “purgatory” of sorts. I called it my space of In-Between.

That’s because, whatever I “found”, whatever insights I gained, whatever “gifts of grief” I acquired,  I always felt like I was always standing in the shadows where light meets the dark.

For example, only by leaning into the grime of my own resentment did I discover a seed of Compassion that desired to bloom.

Only by daring to listen to my most silent screams did I find this elusive spark of Joy that danced through.

Only by keeping my eyes open in this pitch dark night of my soul could I begin to see the Moonlight shine down upon me.

On my Instagram, I wrote this caption:

“In this sacred space of water, land and sky, Shadow unveils Light, Solitude welcomes Spirit, and Holy Darkness invites the intimacy of meeting our own truest nature: as the Beloved…just as you are, just as I am, just as We are.”

Yes, I do still find myself returning to those moments of in-between a lot of days. I’m still working-through all of this.

But I’m grateful to be witnessing the transformative evolution of all I see being born from all these ashes.

Reflection Question:

Whether you prefer to use the language of “reflective space”, “quiet space” or another term instead of “sacred”, what sorts of places do you personally seek out for stillness, healing, and clarity?

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