Waking up is a lifetime endeavor...
The Light of God’s Shadow reminds us through earthy, vulnerable and humorous musings, stories, and poetry that waking up is a lifetime endeavor. Psychotherapist and spiritual director Jinks Hoffmann encourages us to listen for the divine daily call to wholeness—in our relationships and work, our joys and dreams, our messes and triumphs, our losses and grief. We accompany Jinks on her journey through radiant and dark shadow, and we learn with her from the wisdom of her teachers. We grow in understanding— and in our bodies, hearts and souls—that when we welcome our vulnerability and strength, we heighten our humanity and heal our souls. By becoming kinder and more compassionate with ourselves and with one another we keep waking up and we bring healing to the world.
“Her stories and poems remind us that the Divine is meeting us in and through it all. For both those who accompany and seek accompaniment, we will find within these pages a hand reaching out to us. The hand of a sage with wide open eyes, delicately attuned ears, an ever-expanding heart, and
both feet on the ground.”
—Diane M. Millis,
author of Re-Creating a Life, Deepening Engagement, and Conversation-the Sacred Art
About the Author
Jennifer (Jinks) Hoffmann, poetry editor for Spiritual Directors International, was born in South Africa but has lived in Canada since 1966. Originally a Speech Therapist, Jinks is now a Spiritual Director and Psychotherapist. Jinks has had a book of poetry published (It’s All God, Anyway) and has had many poems published in books, journals and on-line. A devotee of waking up for over forty years, Jinks reads, writes, walks, works with her dreams, and pays attention to her daily messes and triumphs—ever in search of Mystery, all the while knowing that Mystery is searching for her.
Enter my room with me and your own inner sanctum, where, naked and vulnerable in our authenticity, we can speak from within-not about-our lives. When we ask for moment-to-moment guidance from the Great Creator we learn more about ways to awaken, to glimpse the unity. Now, with more faith in entering the dark, we receive and embrace the light of God’s darkness. Here we find harsh loneliness, the cruelty of nature, the biting entanglements of human relationships, the cold abyss of grief, mystery that can terrify. We also find unspeakable beauty, the blaze of love and community, the uplift in awe, creativity, and the Breath of Life on our cheeks. We find the courage to love, to love more, to allow the light of God’s Shadow to shine through us.
Going in and down, feeling the pain, staying with ourselves with soft bellies and open hearts, both redeems us and brings us closer to the Holy One. In the time of COVID-19, some are saying, “Focus on the positive” or “Get over it. This is your life now.” “Getting over stuff” does not work for me. I trust that grief is sacred and needs witness. Allowing pain to run its course is holy work.
One of Jung’s fine teachings was that long-term relationships are excellent—and often challenging—containers for transformation. Psychological and spiritual change may occur when anyone in a partnership—or in any family or other social system—begins to awaken in some way. When just one person begins to change, it is almost inevitable that the whole social system will be stretched, and more consciousness for all may be the outcome.
At times, we sleepwalk through life. It may be hard to stay awake to the bigness of the moment, except very briefly. Perhaps there is no brighter light but that which emerges from darkness. The more we awaken, the more we see how the whole world can shine, even in times of heartbreak. When we are openhearted with the reality of life’s darkness and our own dear imperfect psyches, we may be more able to feel the love that underlies all existence.
There may be moments when, stalking our finitude, we become simultaneously aware of the gift and the fragility of loving. It is hard not to flee at these times, for the searing meeting with another when we love from the edge of our skin can almost hurt. Open, vulnerable, in the field of love, we know that love and loss are inextricably entwined. In these moments we may experience the sacred. There is no safety once you hold hands with your God-given love teachers. If we love
unequivocally, our hearts will be broken open—more than once. The elemental and the concrete, the hidden and the revealed conjoin in rare moments. An everyday experience, like watching a child concentrate on creating a LEGO castle, becomes suspended in time, yet as
immediate as a line in the palm of your hand—everything shimmering and humming. How do we bear such love?