“There are many fierce moments in any one life span: times of turmoil, upheaval, challenge, and change. These fierce moments of grace are in many ways the most spiritually important moments of our lives.”
I’m personally in one of these fierce times.
I’ve left a relationship with a really lovely man. A man I love. I’ve left my home with him and moved into a new city, a city I’ve longed to live in for quite a while now.
Many have told me I’m courageous. I’m suppose there is some of that. And, to be honest, I simply could no longer stand the pain of avoiding what I knew was true in my heart.
It’s painful to avoid what gnaws at you during the night.
It’s painful to keep lying to yourself about yourself.
It’s painful to continue a relationship with someone you love, deeply love, when you get clear that it is no longer where you want to be.
Don’t get me wrong. Not all of me wanted to leave. A part of me was happy because I love him and I felt safe and secure with him. But that was only a part of it.
I also felt hemmed in by my own unwillingness to be true to myself…the real self.
And, I felt pain in my heart. The heart always knows.
This is where freedom really is…where there is no safety. I’m learning this. Not all of me believes it yet, but enough of me does to have brought me to this place.
The way does not reveal itself.
It doesn’t have to. It’s the way.
It doesn’t show up as a brightly lit, four-lane boulevard. Rather, it feels like the image above.
As I would lie awake at night, torn by this sense of needing to leave and a sweet love for the man lying next to me, I could feel the wild trees all around me, so thick I couldn’t see. It felt as if they were hiding the way, wrapping me in a darkness that felt frightening.
I was surrounded by the unknown, with just a small sliver of light and path ahead. Only a bit of the way was shown, and now, in hindsight, that bit was plenty. Always enough.
Somewhere in the midst of this wild forest of life is my wood line. The way is made from life itself, the wild forest giving over her bits of wood to be laid down end to end. A long curving line that snakes through the wildness of life.
Even the wild trees, the wild forest serves. I know without conflict, tension, friction, there can be no creativity. It’s in those sticky places where the desire for safety and the desire to be free rub up against each other. It is here where we can come to know the most humbling feeling of being the wild eye of infinite spirit living life through the limited reality of a human body.
As in the outer world, so in the inner world, so in the collective world.
This meandering path of Wood Line, forged by the death of cypress trees in a grove of eucalyptus, shows the way to a new life in a new world. The snake winds through me, too, beckoning me on to somewhere I can’t yet see, or that (as Marjory writes) “hasn’t been revealed to me yet.”
We are in an unshaped place.
This week I was on a call with Meg Wheatley. We spoke of her idea of hopelessness as a necessary way for these times.
In sitting with this sense, hopelessness is an invitation to let go of the ways I hold on to my old life. If this new life is to be truly new, letting go of hope means really letting go of my need for safety and security, of the ways I’ve known these things in the past. It means being with the shittiest of feelings that I have tried to avoid. It means beginning to trust in nothing but the ground that gives rise to existence itself.
And it is so in our collective world. The cypress trees of the old way, where greed, separation, and a wanton disregard for the earth were once cornerstones of how to be in the world, are taking their last gasps. As they die, the ground will again be visible.
“These fierce moments of grace are in many ways the most spiritually important moments of our lives.”