Today is the Spring Equinox and the eve of the full moon. Hallelujah! I am excited to come out of hibernation and begin communicating regularly with you again. It has been a while since we last connected. Many interesting and dramatic changes have occurred in my life since I began writing to you nearly two years ago. Throughout the scope of that time, I have continued to enjoy incredible, amazing, and serendipitous experiences, replete with all of the joy and pain that inevitably accompanies those. I have been to the heights and fallen to the very depths of my being as I open to the possibilities with which I am repeatedly gifted while attempting to open and awaken my heart and mind. (Admittedly, this exercise is done sometimes with valor, often with clumsiness, and frequently with trepidation.)
There have been moments of bliss when I believe I have “arrived”– thinking at last I will never again suffer the piercing pain of life, which can bring me to my knees–this pain that can threaten to stifle and stunt the very growth I have been attempting to develop. Only to find that it will and does continue to penetrate the ever widening spirit-door into the secret garden of my soul.
Whack, my father dies suddenly. Then the editor, Winnie Shows, with whom I worked closely for over two years, was taken by the cancer that had carved away at her breasts and body for so long. Those two, my dad and Winnie, were tenacious fighters–strengthened by the work they were passionate to continue pouring forth, which seemed to sustain them–even when it looked like their physical bodies were literally wasting away. Still they pressed on. My father was 91 years old when he died and while I was halfway across the globe in India when it happened, I would imagine that he sat at his desk just prior to his final visit to the hospital. Winnie, I am told, continued sharing her creativity, talents, and gifts until the very end.
And so what to make of the sudden passings of these two extraordinarily important people in my life–albeit in quite different roles? Ah, another weary reminder of the impermanence of things, however cruel and unrelenting the constancy of change can appear at times.
But I know there is more– so much more to this. For even while I feel and feel deeply the sadness that soaks me to the core, if I can broaden the aperature of my vision just a little, I am certain to notice a contrast to those feelings however faintly fuzzy and out of focus it might appear.
What about the enhanced relationship with my brother, his sons and their children? What, about the extraordinary lesson that Winnie taught by leaving as she did. I think I always believed that she would be there ready to bounce something off of or share another thought. How utterly ironic that it was Winnie in the end, who showed me about the folly of forever–the essence of the message in the book, Happily Ever After Right Now, of which she had been such an intimate and significant part. I thought I knew the lesson. I thought I understood about impermanence. And today, once again, I humbly admit, I am still learning and probably will be forever a student of this fascinatingly perplexing subject as long as I am drawing breath.
And so this pain, fully experienced, continues to do its work, which is to pierce, probe, and puncture. Our work is to feel the wounds to the extent that we are able, so that we can recognize what will be necessary to bring about the healing we are all so eager to enjoy. If we remain numb to that pain, the wounds will ultimately fester and putrefy. On the other hand, if we do what is necessary for healing to occur (not always easy to be sure), we will ultimately grow strong in the broken places. Yes. And the very injury which once caused so much suffering and anguish, will eventually be replaced by a bough in our hearts where the singing bird will come.
Thankfully, I have been gifted with a few boughs and birds already, and so I can trust, that the shock of these newly raw and tender “sudden passings” will eventuate in another singing bird or two. Of course, I will have to keep feeling it all in order for this phenomenon to occur. Once again, the feeling is the cue that will lead me to the cure. And as I am so led, the people, healers, places, circumstances, and events will (and do) continue to show up. A miracle? Maybe. Though I suspect all of this is much more normal than miraculous. All we have to do is to be open to believing that it can be so.
Rest easy. It is always better and easier than we think.
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