By Rev. Summer Albayati (This article was published in the UU Mystics Spring Newsletter)
Embracing mysticism to me means embracing the idea that we can never know — truly know — what will happen in our lives. For me, this concept has challenged me in amazing ways. I have had to take that leap of faith and realize that I do not necessarily have complete control over my life. And yet I must have faith, no matter what, that life will be okay.
The first time this happened to me was when I was diagnosed with cancer. I had just given birth to my son and a few weeks later was told that I had a tumor that had grown rather quickly. This invasive tumor wasn’t present at the birth and then, poof — like magic, this cancer was fast acting, and growing. It required a complete hysterectomy, chemotherapy and radiation in order to have a chance to survive.
When faced with that unknown — life or death — one’s faith can be challenged, to say the least. For me, my faith was challenged in a big way and it was those holy moments, embracing the unknown in the everyday experiences, that kept me going: eating miso soup every day after radiation (the only food that day), watching my beautiful baby boy entertain the ladies in the chemotherapy room for many hours, sitting on a bench while feeling the sun’s rays on my face, and listening to the cars pass by as I lay in bed, exhausted and sick, but thankful to hear the sounds of life.
Embracing mysticism means I strengthen my faith by believing that, whatever the suffering, whatever unknown path my life will take, I will be okay — as long as I realize that it is the signs of life that are holy. That way, no matter what my pain may be, there is a life preserve called life — and it is continually happening, no matter what. Mysticism, faith, life. Those are three words this mystic cannot live without.