Holding Vigil: Voice or Vice




Vigil comes from the Latin word “awake”. It is expected that one keeping vigil stays awake and watchful with complete devotion. It relates to vigor, strength in watchfulness, alertness, and guard on the eve of a holy day or festival eve. 

Keeping vigil means external and internal awareness is present. It highlights the importance of sacred thoughts and actions. When we hold vigil for a dying individual, we strive to make their wishes known. We respect all that arises and surrender to the full experience of the moment. 

To be vigil means we step outside our own ego and give ourselves to the moment. As the gift of the most gentle and graceful souls of love we can show up as, we strip away all that is unnecessary. We bypass our selfish tendencies and we forego our superficiality. We cut straight to divine presence, and we arrive. 

To hold vigil is to allow the momentous movement of what is happening. From here, we hold love, and cherish. 

Goals and plans do not have a place at this moment, nor does time or schedule. 

Voice can be medicine or disruption in this place, so it must be saved for only a moment that asks for it. Voice must be gentle and loving. Every sound evokes ease. Every nuance intended as a way to soothe and uplift. Every breath matters. 

In times that require us to hold vigil, many of us will squirm. We will distract, disrupt, and avoid anything that protects us from the present moment because the ego doesn’t like to surrender, especially in uncertainty. It wants instead to keep us safe from the unknown dangers that lie in the present. This is when we turn to the Vice. The vice is what protects you from the perceived pain that holding vigil contains. Unfortunately, that pain is only the pain of an open and loving heart open to be alongside one when they need it most. Vice is what we turn to when we reach for our smartphones or turn toward work and progress when our presence and love is called upon. Vice can be obvious like drugs, sex, and TV, but it can also be more discreet like exercise, shopping, and avoidance. Vice mutes the voice and smothers the candlelit vigil. It closes the curtains to ensure pain doesn’t enter. 

If we choose vice, we become estranged from vigil. The more distant we are from full surrender to being with others, the more we fear it, and the more ego works to resist it. 

Ego consumes empathy only serving itself. Perhaps, we are in an epidemic of ego-besity and the empathy-resistance comes from over indulging in the self and under exercising our love and empathy. 

Perhaps the medicine is being awake and watchful to one another. Showing up without Vice and using the softness of Voice. Voice that comes from true surrender, intention, and the pureness of being with and joining one in the transition to the next holy chapter, phase, or life. 

May you be well. May you be well. May you be well.