Saturday, March 22, 2014
The Path of Wisdom
One thing I say to clients in the midst of a life or health drama is, Let it change you. I say it all the time. It's a counterpoint to the idea that an illness or injury of body, mind or spirit should not change anything. The idea, spoken and unspoken, is that we should see illness, injuries and endings as setbacks to be gotten over as soon as possible. Once we are well or healed or have grieved a loss or ending, we're supposed to get right back on the merry-go-round of our goals and plans, undeterred, but also unchanged. I wonder what that is about.
Determination is a beautiful human quality. Commitment, too. During a serious health or life crisis, we would have a much harder time surviving if we couldn't access determination, will, and a commitment to carry on.
When the crisis has passed, that's when people turn their intentions toward getting back to life exactly as it existed before the illness, loss or injury. It's then that I will inevitably say, Let it change you.
Of course there are those who dive head first into transformations. As soon as they're able, they begin straightaway making rash decisions, before they have healed, before they've integrated what happened. In a certain way, the folks who all of a sudden quit their jobs, leave their partners, move to new cities or whatever, are also not allowing whatever happened to change them. They opt to make external changes that are often quite destructive rather than evolving from the inside out. I should know - I've tried this approach numerous times.
The people who can sit with what has happened to them, who can make changes in their lives that come from the inside out, become wiser, kinder and more compassionate. Sometimes they have to let go of a relationship or their profession. When those life changes come from wisdom, they are, in every case, sound, helpful, healing.
Life is a sacred drama, as full of loss, illness and sadness as it is with beauty and joy. Every experience can teach us something new about being human. I believe we would be hard pressed to ever learn anything if life didn't trip us up now and again. How we get back on our feet after a crash and burn is a sublime learning experience, or - it can be. There are people who are pretty good at avoiding the potholes - I guess. I've never met anyone who was able to avoid all injuries, illnesses and loss. But maybe there are some of them out there. Are there?
People who say they don't want drama in their lives confuse me. I think what they're saying is that they would prefer not to suffer. Well, who wouldn't?
May you be safe and sound. When the sacred drama of life in this form throws you a curve ball, may you prevail. May you take in what happens to you at the deepest level. Let it change you.