I heard someone say today that one must be well, healthy, or whole to be able to do their real work and make a contribution in the world. Hearing this comment, it dawned on me that I really couldn’t disagree more. Let me explain…
When I was ‘fine’ I had something to offer for sure—I had wisdom to share and it was still of value to my community and my offerings were well received. This wisdom, however, hadn’t undergone the inevitable trial by fire; it hadn’t been ruthlessly tested by the often-excruciating realities and paradoxes of life.
Now that I have experienced the underbelly of my existence first hand, I feel a more rooted compassion in my heart and authentic understanding in my being. When I was ‘fine’, I was more likely to judge those who struggled—I secretly thought, “Pull it together guys!” As a follower of the law of attraction, I assumed those who struggled simply needed to get their manifestation shit together.
Now that I have had to stew in my own soul’s challenges for days, months, and years—my trial by fire—I’ve gained a greater sense of my true nature and of my true offering. I know that the experiences we have are not ‘who we are’. I have found an openness of spirit and an inner quality of non-judgment in what I encounter in those around me.
I was asked recently what my wish for myself and humanity was and I said: “For all beings to heal and to remember their true nature.” I realized that I didn’t wish for the challenges to go away—whatever they are. The undergoing of living with Lyme disease, has bared the sweetest fruits of all my life’s events and it has been one of the true gifts of my life. This journey has carved a precious depth in me.
I have befriended myself, learned to dance in the dark, and hold steady no matter what.
If I truly want this same ripening and healing for all beings—I essentially am entrusting their soul with whatever their unique challenge is. I don’t wish the dark on you, but I do wish your soul the fruits of the dark—the gifts of the undergoing—and it’s probably not going to be pretty.
The challenge is inevitable.
The experience is required.
The healing is perfect.
We are works in progress, each and every one of us. It’s not that we need to be healthy and whole to make a contribution…no, not at all.
It’s that the more real I can be with myself and with you about my fragmented, beautiful, and fucked up journey to wholeness, the more I can support you in embracing the dark corners and steep climbs of your own path.
From this space nothing is too taboo to sit with or too much to show up for. There becomes a wide-open space for embracing all that the human journey presents. We learn to ‘apply awareness’ to the joys and the sorrows, to ‘be with’ the spectrum of dark to light. Yes, the more I lean into the cracks in my own wholeness, the wounded spots, and deep hurts, the more I can hold space for you to be with your own beautiful brokenness.
When everything is ‘fine’ there is no need to do ‘the work’, nothing to surrender to spirit, no incentive to find those last threads of inner resilience and that raw strength you draw on only when there is nothing left to do. When I’m ‘fine’ I’m much quicker to judge your challenges—I’m holding it together so why aren’t you?
When I am in the sacred mess of my own process and am able to hold space for myself compassionately, being there for you is effortless by comparison and in fact, there is nothing else to do—nothing else to be done. I can’t image not being there for you, with you. Now that I’ve learned how to show up for me, I can’t imagine not showing up for you. I too am learning to love the mess, learning to love myself through life’s most harrowing ‘detours’.
I know first hand that life takes us into detours that are nightmare worthy, as we find ourselves so far from our envisioned route we can’t imagine that this is also part of the path and this, and this.
And before we make our way to that sacred clearing where we remember our true nature, integrate the fruits of our undergoing, and step even more into who we really are and find the space to hold it all, there is a dark passage through shame, rage, and disbelief.
I don’t wish you an easy passage—no, instead I wish you the ripening that comes with staying the course. I wish you the strength to hold steady. I wish you the grace to make it through to what the other side holds.
My wish is that you learn to love the mess.