This brisk October morning finds me doing something I haven’t in ages – sitting at my desk, writing these words. Writing, in itself. Being functional as a human in general. It’s been a long time.
A long time and a challenging time. It’s been dark, deep, and murky. It’s been painful. It has been a time requiring a level of trust that allows for complete surrender, the belief there will be another side and that I will reach it. It’s been a long hard look at the myriad of ways I’ve attempted to escape discomfort, avoid issues, and skate along as ‘normal’ as possible, whatever that means these days. In short, it’s been intense.
Without getting in to all the details, for they aren’t the point of the story here, I will share now that I’ve been in the midst of a health/healing crisis for a few months, the unwinding of which has led me along paths previously not traveled, although perhaps delicately tip toed upon in preparation for this one. Being in head to toe pain, however, forced me to commit fully, to become integrally connected with my innermost guidance, with unwavering trust in my personal north star.
From the outside, my healing crisis came with excruciatingly painful external symptoms, but from the beginning, my insides knew it was so much more. I knew it was a deep dive and would take time to untangle, and that there was no easy way out. It was a nervous system completely frayed by constant stimulation. It was inescapable inflammation – the inner fire stoked by putting aside my own needs to leave a smooth road for others. It was a lack of boundaries, it was a tendency to leave my body when overwhelmed, it was a massive call for change. It was years of ignoring the wisdom of my body for the safety of external acceptance.
Now, after so much patience, noticing, and tending, the more intently I listen, the more I can hear her whispered truth.
And for that, I’m beyond grateful. I feel such grace toward my wise and protective body for sending me on this journey. As challenging as it has been, I know this is all for my highest healing good. I know I’m sitting inside my very own masterclass in surrender and healing, I am experiencing the greatest beauty life has to offer by trudging through the muck.
I’m not sharing this as a tale of woe as an inspirational moment or even as an explanation as to why I’ve been on hiatus from life for the past few months. I’m sharing this because in my mind, in my heart, in my body, I know I’m not the only one experiencing monumental shifts right now. I know my story to be a microcosm of the shared experience playing out in the human collective right now at this very moment and I’ve seen it and felt it within myself.
Understandably so, I get some looks of bafflement+disagreement when I voice my belief that we are inside this painful healing crisis, precisely to awaken us to the promise of better tomorrows – A gift wrapped up inside this enormous challenge. I believe whole heartedly that years from now, generations from now, humanity will look back on these times as the catalyst for meaningful change and the impetus to begin living our lives the way we’ve been meant to from the start.
With intention, with heart, with compassion, with the courage to be kind, with integrity, with gentleness.
Right here, right now, we have the opportunity to dive deep into the murkiness, to reject any sense of victimhood, and to claim the beautiful rising that we’re here for. There’s no denying we’re in it. Deeply. We are in a deep pile of smelly old poo as a human collective – we’re inside the shadows – the yucky truths about ourselves we’ve attempted to cover up – the avoidance techniques we’ve employed that have worked … until they didn’t any longer. We’ve had a lot of options taken away from us precisely so we can focus on the change we need to become.
When I stop, look, and listen, our world is crying out in pain and many of us are searching for a bandaid, the quick fix, the “once we do this it will all be normal again.” However. Without sounding bleak and dark and dreary, I propose this – there isn’t a magical fix-it. There isn’t one topical that will solve it all. We’re not going to wake up one day and be ‘normal.’
Instead, we’re being handed the opportunity to create something new.
When we switch the lens of perspective, we can see we are being given the chance to take this time as a healing crisis. To trust with all our might there is something greater, something more luminous, something deeply sacred waiting to be born – if only we’re courageous enough to go there. Moving through this pain may force us to examine every little piece of ourselves, our lives, and the realities we’ve allowed to play out that have created this current plane of existence. But we’ve got to dive deep into the shadows if we want to illuminate the light.
At one point during a particularly painful time of my illness, my husband lost his patience and blurted out “Isn’t there an easier way to fix this? Can’t you go to the ER and say FIX IT?” and while I knew his frustration stemmed from love for me and exasperation at watching me in pain for so long, I also knew in my heart of hearts the answer was a soft and gentle
There wasn’t a quick fix. There wasn’t then, for me personally, and there isn’t now, for this collective shit storm. There is no simple solution, there is no one right remedy, but there are countless individual souls sharing a common experience yet feeling and expressing it in wholly different ways. There’s no way fathomable for that to NOT be messy and not look like healing at all.
We’re in an undeniably messy situation. Everyone wants the same thing – life to be easier again, to not have to overthink every little decision, to have a measure of predictability. Yet we can’t agree in how to get there. Beyond that, it seems to me that what we thought was predictability and ease never was, but that was a story we told ourselves to feel comfortable. Me thinks we’ve been coasting on auto pilot a little too long and are being force fed the experiences that will unveil messier truths than we’ve wanted to see before.
We all have the same end goal, and yet – we continue this achingly familiar and painful rhetoric of us vs. them. Blaming. Shaming. Believing what divides us over what unites us. Beliefs that keep us stuck inside old outdated ways, instead of allowing us to break free into a new tomorrow. There is so much more that unites us than divides us – and if we step away from all the noise and drop deep within the wells of our own peaceful beings, we know that. We do not have to align ourselves with one side of the us vs them, but we can find internal freedom in holding compassion for all. Yes, all.
It was supposed to be back to normal by now, sure. I was supposed to be back to normal now, to be able to make it through a day without pausing to acknowledge and breathe through the painful skin I’m in. No one wants to be in these situations we’re in. And here I am, the optimistic, highly trusting, connected with Spirit+Nature gal that knows we’re being pushed toward our own greatness. We are being squeezed out of complacency and birthing the structures we want to live inside. It’s just so hard to hold sight of that vision while we’re inside this part. But holding that vision is the only way through.
It is too hard. I get that. And yep, I know – I’m incredibly privileged to even have these thoughts. To have a life where my needs are met to the extent that I’m able to wander about contemplating the nature of humanity and where we’re going. A luxurious life I lead, for certain. And also, I can say I’m no stranger to looking at challenge in the face and saying BRING IT. I know you are happening for me and not to me, I know life is taking me for a ride more expansive and unpredictable than I could have imagined years ago.
And so, after all this rambling, I offer this – If we don’t each take internal inventory, take responsibility for the words we say, the actions we take, the prayers we create – then we are asking to stay in this uncomfortable spot for a whole lot longer. There is immense power in becoming intimately comfortable with discomfort. There is no band-aid fix for transformative challenge. Pain only passes when faced head on. Avoidance techniques don’t work after a time. And…the beauty that results from the hard work is so incredibly worth it.
We are literally creating the world we want to live in. I’m prayer-full we can create one from Love.
For the record – posting this essay is an act of healing and massive growth for me. I’m well aware that telling people we’re not getting out of this mess until we step out of our complacency and refusal to look under the proverbial carpet isn’t what people want to hear. I know I often see things in a different way than most. And that’s ok. For the first time in my life, I’m not here to please people or to make things easier for others. Debilitating pain will do that – it releases the hold of all the f’s one has spent far too much time and energy holding onto.
With pain comes clarity. And I know what I’m here to do. I’m here to Love. I’m here to create.
And I also know when I speak my mind and write my truth I procure a peace in my heart that expands to all things. And every time I shed a layer that reveals more authenticity, I alleviate a little more external pain and bring more inner flame to my world. And I know I’m not alone.
Every one of us is being called upon to feed the fire of her inner flame. To ignite the world with her passion, compassion, and Love. To reject complacency, to shine with the brightness of truth. Every one of us is here to claim the reality that is our birth right – to create a world birthed out of Love. I fervently believe we are meant for so much more than what we’ve settled for in the past.
I’m ready. Let’s go.