“We had thought that we were human beings on a spiritual journey – it may be more correct to say that we are spiritual beings on a human journey.” Teilhard de Chardin, The Phenomenon of Man, 1950
In a matter of a little over two years, my whole life has changed. Three of my best friends died. I married Michael, the man of my dreams. I was blessed with 4 new children and 6 grandchildren. I moved to the country from living “in town” and we created a beautiful home together. There was a complete change of staff at LifePath due to unforeseen circumstances. My daughter, Alli, moved from Oregon to San Miguel de Allende to become General Manager of LifePath. I began the process of changing my role in a company I have loved for over 17 years including retiring from my therapy practice. I faced serious health challenges and have recovered. And, Michael and I have begun a new personal growth business combining our skills and talents. Whew!
Throughout these times, it has been so important for me to remember the above quote from Teilhard de Chardin because I knew I was being called to begin again; to reevaluate what I thought was important and to let go of what wasn’t. It feels like I have been, in a way, stripped of all that I knew (and was attached to) and that I was being asked to step into the unknown. It has been a re-birth.
Re-birth can sound so wonderful, so magical, so new. It can often mark the beginning of a time of starting fresh or creating a new future or falling in love. In Kansas, where I was born and grew up, it was a time when we could begin wearing white and pastel colors to church. Mom even changed the colors of her hats and Dad went from wearing felt Stetson hats to straw. Easter Sunday signified this change for my family and community. Flowers and plants begin to bloom in the spring and butterflies (and mosquitoes and flies) are everywhere. Here, in San Miguel de Allende, the jacaranda plants are in full bloom. Everything is suddenly awake and with that comes the feeling of new possibilities.
But re-birth does not always happen this easily or beautifully. In my case and in the case of many others, it’s difficult, it’s frightening (actually terrifying). It is sometimes called “the dark night of the soul”. I was often brought to my knees (literally) as I was forced to deal with the loss, the changes and the unknown. Everything I had found solace and safety in was crumbling around me. Even though many of the changes were so good! It has been, indeed, a wake up call.
At first, I started trying to “do” more to keep busy and to try to deny that these changes were having an affect on me. But, then, my physical body and my spiritual life wouldn’t let me “do” anymore and I had to feel the loss of my “old life” and accept that I had to let that go in order to allow the new. I found that clinging to the past resulted in struggle and suffering.
So, I’ve chosen to surrender and to listen to my soul and my body. I sleep more, I do “nothing” more, I relax more, I love more, I admit to “not-knowing” more, I cherish my friends and family more, and I listen to the wisdom in the silence more. From that, I’m finding that I can express my true self more. To me, that’s the essence of re-birth. A re-invention of myself. From that has risen a strength and a courage that I didn’t even know I had, until it it was tested.
Can you release your attachments, can you let go of the “things” you identify with or you think define you? Can you let go?
I’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org about your thoughts. I truly would.