the secret that can keep you going when things get hard
April 1, 2014
The dark night of the soul.
Nothing makes sense anymore. Life seems unfair, too hard, impossible.
We rage and rant. Sob. Climb beneath the covers and stay there.
Why is it so hard?
Why can’t someone make it better?
Hang in. Breathe deep.
Don’t run from it.
Things fall apart. It’s what life does.
It changes. It grows. It surprises us.
And so do we.
Joseph Campbell said: “We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
We’re not meant to stay stagnant. Not meant to hang onto beliefs or ways we think life should be.
We’re meant to to unfold, to gently rise up from resistance and angst and into peace.
A lotus arcing into bloom.
Lotuses grow in the muck.
The messy, changing, layers of mud beneath a body of water. They root down and then steadily press upwards through the lake, rising into bloom when they reach the surface.
Butterflies strain and bite and press against their cocoon until they emerge–with strengthened wings. Ready to fly.
Every seed cracks open before the new growth can come out.
This is what the tough things do for us.
This is what life does for us.
It helps us to emerge from the cages we’ve created. By showing us where we’re holding the bars in front of our own faces.
Every time a certainty dissolves–something we held to be true about life–we emerge into a new terrain.
Opening into your fullest self–strength, peace, power–means letting things fall apart.
So you can rise again.
Because you’re not meant to keep hanging on…or “handling it.”
You’re meant to let go, to surrender your beliefs about what life should be…so you can receive the life you’re meant for.
Acceptance is not about self-sacrifice or being a doormat. It’s about letting go of the bars we feel stuck behind, but are actually holding in front of our own face.
Often the bars are beliefs:
People shouldn’t suffer.
Kids should only have happy childhoods.
My husband should be what I want him to be.
Good friends are always there.
Life is full:
of pain, sadness, grief. Beauty, hope, happiness. Like a patchwork quilt. Pull it around you. Find peace.
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” Anais Nin
Ask yourself. What are my beliefs about what life should be like? Does hanging onto them keep me stuck, or help me open?