Something is being revealed. Just beneath the surface of what seems to be. You might not like it. You may wish for something other than what is presenting itself but if you lean in and look, if you listen and feel, you will see that something is being revealed—something essential.
This something will change everything—if you let it.
I told a loved one recently that I’ve become a ‘keeper of stillness’. I hadn’t fully thought about it until I heard myself say it out loud—Keeper of Stillness. Healing has slowed me to a snails pace. Having no choice but to wait, to watch, to listen, and observe. In much the same way as you see things from a bicycle you won’t see from a speeding car, and walking will reveal even more subtlety than cruising by on a bike...
Slowing has revealed things in me and around me that the busyness concealed.
I’m being shown something—something life changing. I’m being entrained to a new rhythm of being. Because I don’t see this particular pace being the norm—I’ve judged it. My story isn’t a common one, at least not in those around me, so I’ve fought it—or at least I tried to. I’ve made myself wrong for it, tried to find a cure for it, I’ve downplayed it and even tried to hide it. I've tried to fix it, tried to make it go away.
A couple weeks into this period of illness I prayed, “Okay, okay, I get it. Thanks for the experience Spirit but I’m ready to return to my ‘normal’ life now.” A couple months in I cried, “Hey! I’ve been punished enough. I’ve been slowed, and stalled, and kept on the sidelines, just let me get back into the game.” A couple years in I desperately pleaded, “I will do anything to make this go away. Just give me my life back.”
Now, several years in, I’m still kicking and screaming at times but I’m also finding new levels of curiosity and surrender. Further into my process now, it’s dawning on me that in my resistance, I’m refusing a precious gift.
This is not some cosmic error. This is not a mistake.
The storyline I’m living is governed by an intelligence that is bigger than me. The intelligence that creates life and governs worlds also animates my life experiences and I’ve been arguing with that force. Instead of bowing before it and honoring this strange gift I’m being given, I’ve been trying to trade it in. I’ve been wishing that I could get in line with the manager of the Universe and exchange this for something else—anything else.
The reality is that over time as the days, weeks, months, and years roll by a transformational process of the greatest magnitude in occurring within me and through me. It’s cost me no less than everything and I’m coming to see that it’s been worth it. I’m not the person I once was. I don’t see the world the way I once did. There is no going back for me.
This cosmic set-up has initiated me into a slower and more mindful pace. I’m being initiated into greater awareness and into the limitless power of my own heart.
When we have to “bear the unbearable” something within us dies—something egoic. When Ram Dass had his stroke in 1997 he reportedly said, “What grace is this?” In his book, ‘Still Here’, he describes the way in which his stroke catapulted him, past the realm of ego and personality into living from the “level of soul”. According to Ram Dass, this soul consciousness is the very definition of grace. Through his stroke ordeal a completely new mode of operation and perception was revealed to him, a powerful gift that health could never have instilled in him at that depth.
This kind of grace is a heavy grace or “fierce grace” as Ram Dass calls it. It’s a no-fucking-around kind of grace that splits our very selves open and gives us a run for all we’ve got. It’s also a grace that, if we allow it, dislodges the egos supreme reign and leaves us transformed. It catapults us headfirst (whether we want it or not) into the mysteries of soul. If we let it, undergoing—whatever form it takes—leave us changed, different, altogether transformed. And, strangely, it’s the unbearable stuff of nightmares that often secures our one-way ticket for transformation.
To experience the perceptual shift that Ram Dass experienced through his stroke, we must surrender, at least a little, to the powerful forces that ravage us. In my own process with the heavy grace of Lyme, years in, I’m finally beginning to ‘get’ in a deep-seated way that I’m not supposed to be somewhere else or someone else. I’m not supposed to be doing something other than what I’m doing right now. There is a deep-seated intelligence in what is unfolding here. There is perfection in what is revealing itself.
Holy ground can be anywhere and it is right here.
When we surrender to the flow of the river instead of clinging to the banks we see that we are always being carried to the ocean. Incredulously, grace is present—not in spite of the unbearable—but especially in the unbearable. The great expanse we seek is both carrying us along right now and awaiting us around every bend.
Even if I overlook it or lose sight of it sometimes, even if it repeatedly brings me to my knees—there is treasure of immeasurable magnitude here. This experience, as challenging as it is, is blessed by the power and wisdom that makes all things possible. There is a treasure so significant in this experience that my soul is willing to swap years of ‘normal’ living for it. There is a treasure that is being woven right into the fabric of my soul, a treasure that is as much for you as it is for me.
I am being initiated into the love, beauty, and grace that is both alive in my heart and at the heart of all things.
:: REFLECT ::
How might your undergoing or challenge—whatever it is—be different if you were to reframe it as the greatest gift you’ve ever been given?
What is required to make the perceptual shift from being a victim of circumstance to being the hero or heroine of an epic soul story?
If your current life challenge were a poem, a riddle, or even a love letter, what might the core message or hidden meaning of it be?
Who are you becoming as a result of what you’re living?
Copyright © 2015 Marie-Ève Bonneau