Through The Looking Glass

“The new midlife is where you realize that even your failures make you more beautiful and are turned spiritually into success if you became a better person because of them. You became a more humble person. You became a more merciful and compassionate person.” ~ Marianne Williamson

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 I was reading a post on a friends social media, where she was going through a deep internal struggle related to the sequence of her entire life. Since I have been going through a similar internal conflict, I felt a sense of understanding, empathy and respect for the process.

What I found interesting, was that many of the comments were obviously trying to uplift her mood by stating profound spiritual truths and teachings. I found this such an intriguing circumstance of how we project all these highly idealistic perceptions of how we must face this inner process; through being in the moment and choosing to be happy right here, right now.

After reading all the very similar comments, I realize that unless one has been down this dark corridor, there is little to no comprehension of the process. The process of transformation, often can be very deep and excruciatingly painful. Even though you realize that some level of mental and emotional upliftment would be beneficial in this moment; often it’s not there to be found.

“Suffering is not enough. Life is both dreadful and wonderful…How can I smile when I am filled with so much sorrow? It is natural – you need to smile to your sorrow because you are more than your sorrow.” Thich Nhat Hanh

The process of having the outer ego removed and stripped away often provokes a disenchanting series of feelings. The person you were previously has radically shifted and the life you were striving to live, does not exist.

The axis of transformation is steep and can be something that is akin to a deep exfoliating of your skin, leaving it red and painful. It takes time for the new growth to take place and can not be ‘solved’, by some theoretical commentary.

We live in a society that does not allow or fully accept such inner transitions. There is a collective rule of having to continuously present a false sense of happy all the time, rather than show the deep suffering going on in that moment. If you are attempting to live life with greater awareness, you are doing your practice and allowing the process to flow.  Despite the fact your mind finds the content of the experience to be of a painful nature; it’s often necessary to facilitate the change that is needed.

“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.” Rumi

Transformation does not have to be difficult or even painful, however most people walking this path find that it often will fall more into a painful category, rather than joyful. Of course, the after affect of such transition is a greater sense of peace and happiness due to having to fight with some aspect of our sense of expectation; having to eventually let it go.

When challenges comes, there is always a lesson to learned and eventually some shift in our perspective in life. Hence, if we never suffer in our own lives, how can be truly embody empathy towards others suffering.

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The Perception of Deception – Letting Go

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.” Joseph Campbell

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Life is about silently letting go of everything that no longer serves our greatest potential of being. This is one of the most profound and difficult lessons in life, knowing when to let go of all that is holding us back, keeping us stagnant, or bringing us down to a level less than who we truly are. It takes a certain level of strength, negotiation, and discrimination to know exactly what we need to sever out of our lives, when the situation or relationship has served its purpose, no longer benefiting us. This has been a re-occurrent theme throughout my life; letting go of all that I no longer need, as metaphorically the lighter your baggage, the farther you will be able to travel in life. 

The perception of deception is how we deceive ourselves in life, through perceiving situations and people erroneously. However, once we are able to alter our perception through awareness, we ‘wake up’ to the present reality. Recently, this metamorphosis occurred in my own life, as if I had been asleep navigating my way through life, to suddenly ‘wake up’. It seems, through invoking a much greater discriminative power than I previously had access to, I woke up to a very clear and utterly transparent realization of the life I was living. I was starkly confronted with the reality that one cycle of life had been completed, while a very different cycle had begun.

I realized that the liminality of my previous life had come to a closure, leaving me with the assertion that the person I had become was no longer interested in continuing certain patterns that I had previous enacted. These areas encompassed dynamics with certain friends and family. Although, most of the acute realizations had been within my barometer of awareness for a very long time. Such as, how my family had bestowed certain ascribed attributes upon me as an indicator of who I was suppose to be, which is one of the most common familial practices. However, within the jurisdiction of my family allotting a sense of identity upon me – was akin to becoming a deterministic prisoner to a persona – completely irrelevant to who I am. Like many familial practice, the identity ascribed to me represented the abject of a complete stranger; someone I had never been, nor will ever be. 

Moreover, I refuse to allows others to dictate who I am supposed to be. This is primarily due to the very fact that I see my life as my own, not trapped by the limitations imposed on me by family or anyone else. It takes a certain degree of critical thinking and discrimination to understand the mechanisms of entrapment, which exist in everyone’s lives, in various forms. In my own life, I have never easily submitted to others attempts of trying to control, manipulate, or limit me through their own issues. Even though, I have always been aware that such patterns were taking place with certain individuals. However, at this juncture in my life I fully realize that I would rather not engage with such individuals, regardless of who they are. Thus, it is in my best interest to save my energy for more productive pursuits.

In essence, perhaps this ‘wake up’ was really a coming home to myself through the deeper sense of self-empowerment that I feel. Even though, it has taken until now to reach this destination of strength and discrimination; to clearly, rationally, and calmly see what is beneficial to me and what is not. Hence, as we grow through the experiential reality of life, there will always be revelations of small ‘truths’ along the way. Inevitably, life forces us to learn detachment through infinite lessons in letting go of all that no longer serves us any longer, thus providing a lighter journey forward.

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