He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves. -Gabriel Garcia Marquez from Love in the Time of Cholera Cycles of life. Death and destruction. Clearing the way for new beginnings. The idea of death and rebirth has come up a lot over the last couple weeks. Both literal and metaphorical. I work at a treatment center called Villa Kali Ma. Kali is a Hindu goddess of death and destruction. I read somewhere that she causes destruction in our lives when we are veering off course and need to be put back on our highest path. It is with our best interest at heart. Sometimes it seems like things are falling apart all around us. Like we can't catch a break. In those times, I've found that surrendering is the path of least resistance. Allowing things to crumble and fall away. Trusting that something new is on the horizon. I don't say any of this lightly. I'm coming out of an eight year process of death. The death of a marriage that led me on an inner journey to find home within and learn how to love myself. The death of my nephew that broke my heart so deeply, I had no choice but to say yes to my shamanic initiation and begin this path that has changed everything for me. Here is a journal entry from 7.2.17 when I was in Peru. It was the night of my first ceremony (this is all an inner journey that I was having): It's raining. Droplets are pouring down. And I ask, "Is it raining or are those teardrops?" They are tears. They are my tears. Falling on barren ground. And then I'm underneath the ground. There are fairies and this beautiful, colorful scene. Everyone is busy at work. Preparing. They are so grateful for the rain/teardrops that are watering the land. They are creating this new life that will be mine. It hasn't blossomed yet so I don't know it. But it is coming. The tears have been worth it. They haven't been wasted. So many times throughout this grief process, I feel like I've cried too much. Sometimes I'm sick of my own tears. But they were needed. They are nourishing the foundation for what is to come. That was four years after my divorce. And today is about four years since Peru. Sometimes the dying process takes longer than we hoped or expected. It is painful as we are in it. And there are moments that remind us that new life will come. A new beginning will arrive. We just don't know when. Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, if you listen carefully, you can hear her breathing. -Arundhat Roy People would to say to me that it takes half the time you were in a relationship to get over it. That would have meant five and a half years and at the time, I couldn't imagine having to wait that long. Here I am eight years later, and I needed all of that time to grieve and then break open and fall apart so that I could begin the healing work of putting myself back together (as Oriah Mountain Dreamer says: different from before, but whole once again). Wherever you're at in your current cycle of life or death, I invite you to honor this moment. It is needed. Allow yourself to be in the dying, the grieving, the shedding, the messiness, the healing, the rebirthing, the celebration. Wherever you are, know that all of you is welcome. You are held and loved and supported.
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