You learn - turning darkness into light
Well now…soon we will be ending a decade and starting into a very new and fresh year 2020. What a magical number! And as I am writing these lines today, we have the last full moon of this year, this decade on December 12th 2019.
So incredibly much has happened for me in those 10 years. Looking back now is a miracle, because nothing what has happened could have been somehow foreseen. My whole life which felt quite comfortable and nice, pretty much secure and easy just started crumbling below my feet. I lost two jobs (luckily found new one’s), broke up with family, friends, partners. I nearly lost my apartment, my beloved cat died after 17 years of heartfelt companionship.
I felt like shredded into pieces by the dark goddess, swallowed, chewed and spitted out again.
Just like she didn’t care about anything, just destroying my life how I knew it. Maybe I had asked one time too often for change. And if you ask the goddess, sometimes – if she likes to listen to you – unpredictable things can happen. And don’t get me wrong – they are not always nightmares, but usually they are not pleasant. Without some destruction, nothing new can grow.
So, as I have to admit – I am a collector, a keeper – it was a really harsh lesson learned. She almost took everything. She exposed me to life itself without any of the usual protection. The only thing I could do was open my eyes, open my heart and start experiencing this very moment I was in. The now. And I discovered the wonderful Pema Chödrön, who is a great blessing. In her book “When things fall apart: Heartfelt advice for hard times” she talks about the Buddhist practice of “Tonglen”. When we are confronted with pain, we should breathe in the pain of all beings and with our exhale we breathe out relief. So it turns upside down our normal behavior, as we tend to soak up the happiness, but would avoid the pain.
But pain is inevitable and avoiding pain is not going to help when you need to grow. So I sat down and was breathing in even more pain until I was the pain. And then the relief came very softly …and I felt incredibly connected to all beings. And the gift was a warm and wonderful tenderness for myself and the world.
Let’s face it: growing is usually painful. But the pain is a gift, a treasure, and you have to go through it and keep going. If you stop moving, you will get stuck and feel trapped. The only way to get beyond the pain is breathing it through. Breath always brings you to the present moment and this is the only one you really have. The only one within you can really align with what is your current situation. And take some action for a new path.
So let's turn our darkness into light - and give our pain a meaning!