Mysticism, Faith, Life — 3 Words To Live By

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.