Lately Tucson, AZ has been in the news for the tragedy that occurred there on Jan. 8th at 10:10 am. At the same time, across town, a memorial service had started at 10:00 am for Joao Cota Robles, the adult son of the world-renowned spiritual teacher, Patricia Diane Cota Robles. Joao had died suddenly in Dec. The church was filled up, and had an overflow crowd of 700 people spilled over outside along with love and support pouring in from tens of thousands of people all over the world, including me. Darkness and light, flowing forth at the same time in one city!
Even just looking at the tragic event itself, you see the important discussion that has arisen from it, about our ability as a nation, and as individuals, to be able to discuss disagreements while respecting each other’s views, rather than using the ugliness of labels and angry rhetoric, and inciting violence. Out of darkness comes the potential for light!
Even before this tragic event, Arizona was in the news for it’s I believe, backward immigration policy. I know people boycotting the state because of it. I understand the dilemma of the immigration policy as I grew up in southern Az. My Father hired illegal immigrants for his seasonal cotton picking season. He treated them very well, and I grew up believing that hiring illegal immigrants was normal and that they should be treated as well as any other employee. I saw the value in what they contributed to my Father’s business and to the economy of the country. There were immigrant children whom I went to school with though and I sadly saw the ridicule they endured. I have also heard the complaints that many have about the immigrants who come to our country without visas or work permits, and I understand their concern. So I see the dark and the light of this situation.
In 1986, after hearing an inspiring panel discussion, in Tucson, of people who had worked with the Sandinistas, soon after they took office in Nicaragua, I became involved with groups working with Central American refugees. I watched in horror as our government started it’s secret war there, undoing all the good that the Sandinistas were doing for the country at that time and forcing them to then focus all their energy, man power and resources to fight an illegal war rather than help the people and the country thrive. I did this work over a ten-year span, working with individuals with horrible scars from torture and some of them with bullets still in them. People just trying to find a way to contribute, earn an income, have a life that is safe and productive. These people came from the darkness of war and terror and yet they are some of the happiest, most giggly joyous people I have ever met….light beings fleeing the darkness of their country’s wars.
I am looking at all of these events and situations that have and are now taking place in my home state, in the town where I went to college and graduated. This is the city where I at one time hiked seven days a week, even sometimes doing two hikes in a day. I’d get my son out of bed, we’d hike for a sunrise, come home and take a nap and then head out again. I explored the mountains, deserts, lakes and streams in all 4 directions. The Santa Catalina Mountains are very magical, and Reddington pass is my favorite spot of anywhere I have ever ventured. So I have these memories and experiences of darkness, mixed in with memories of all this beauty and light.
My most important memory of this town is that this is the town where I finally chose to live! After many years of off and on depression, from knowing my divine purpose since childhood and yet not having it available yet and the distance between the two leaving me feeling at times very miserable, I reached a deciding moment in Sept. 1986. I woke up in the middle of the night with a severe asthma attack. I woke my son up and told him I was driving to the hospital. All the way to the hospital I was hunched over the wheel, barely breathing, and I knew this was it; that it didn’t matter what the doctors did for me, it was up to me whether I lived or died. I argued with myself all the way there. Should I choose to focus on my fears, pain, grief, all the darkness, and thus choose death? I knew that it would be easy to just let this serious asthma attack finally take my life after struggling with asthma for 33 years. Or should I, could I, choose to trust in a future of light, and living my truth, and let myself make it through yet another battle with asthma and choose life?
When I arrived, I walked into the hospital, and even though I had called ahead to let them know I was coming, they were shocked when they saw me and saw that I had driven myself. I was put into an emergency room and the battle began. As they put drugs into me, I kept leaving my body. I’d be moving to the light and something would jerk me back into my body and I’d vomit, then I’d leave again, and be traveling out, and then I’d be jerked back into my body and I’d have to defecate. I grew up in emergency rooms and had never experienced anything like this, even the one time I died at age 11 and my Father revived me.
After hours of this, they finally had me stable enough to put me in a room. I piled pillows up on top of one of those tables you put over the bed, and barely leaned forward onto them, like the elephant man. I was still struggling to breathe, but I had obviously chosen to live. I had the room to myself and as I looked out the big picture window facing the Santa Catalina Mountains, I saw my spirit outside, as if on a runway, surrounded by other spirits celebrating my decision, finally, to live. I had made a commitment to my path, my purpose; no matter how long it took to arrive. There in the darkness of early morning, I faced the light and chose the light…. not death, but to shine the light amidst any darkness on this planet or in my life.
I believe that the time for me to fulfill my purpose has finally arrived. I believe it is arriving for all of us. This is OUR deciding moment. We have the opportunity, now more than ever, to choose the light. This isn’t an easy time, nor is it easy to feel love or see the light sometimes in the midst of our daily challenges. But I believe that we are being called to do so with each breath, each thought, each action.
I believe that together we do have the strength to call in the light, live the light, and dance the light! I believe that we are being supported by massive amounts of unseen beings, too, along with God, Spirit or whatever name you give that source. So we don’t have to do it alone.
The time is now. The decision is yours. What do you choose? Will you join me in the light?
Katelon T. Jeffereys