|Alice in Through the Looking Glass
Seven years ago on June 1, 2010 I arrived in paradise by way of some astonishing synchronicities. But I would've never gotten here, nor would those synchronicities have happened, if I had not first dived into the depths of hell.
The beauty, magic, love, joy, and gratitude that I have experienced almost every single day since I began my new life here are also accompanied lately by big challenges, along with fear, resistance and a whole lot of instability, insecurity and uncertainty.
But I now trust (except for those moments when I don't!) that chaos and trials are the trail that leads to transformative evolution and undiscovered treasures.
So many aspects of myself and formerly highly unskillful behaviors transformed suddenly for the better after my descent into the underworld seven years ago. Other aspects are more slowly evolving.
Even with these many changes (some of which are pretty miraculous), I am still the marvelously messy mix of me that I have always been.
The cool thing is that I have grown to love and appreciate who I am, with all of my human "flaws" (like aspects on a gem that make it unique) and "sins" (an archery term that means to miss the mark).
This is a much more enjoyable way to live than my previous state of self-loathing and being obsessed with a relentless struggle to fix myself so that I could gain approval from outside myself.
But again, the path to this happier way of life was as a result of a miserable time of chaos.
This is how evolution happens. Not just for me, but for all of us. Think of how the caterpillar disintegrates into goopy bug soup (made of 'imaginal cells") before emerging as a beautiful butterfly.
|Perhaps in this case "Stoned soup" 😉
My life circumstances are bit precarious at the moment*, but I'm certainly not alone in this dilemma right now on the planet. It is a scary and difficult time even for those who are in more stable circumstances than mine, and I foresee a rough patch ahead for all of us.
But I also believe that we (individually and collectively) are ready for the next stage of our evolution and that the rocky road through this sometimes terrifying territory is the only way.
If someone tries to assist an almost formed butterfly emerging from its chrysalis by cutting a larger hole with a scissors, this is not a helpful action. The butterfly develops it's ability to fly as a result of the struggle through the tiny aperture and could be deformed and flightless if everything was made "easy" for it.
This does not mean we should not offer assistance to those who are having a hard time, (we are all in this together and need to be as compassionate as we can to each other) but a certain amount of pain and challenge is necessary.
This journey is full of paradoxes that require paying close attention to each moment. This the function of crisis in our lives.
Big shocks, surprising changes, painful endings and other disturbing events are very effective ways of getting our attention and moving us forward on our (essential, vital and non-optional) evolutionary path.
What I am discovering lately is that this quest through difficult terrain is not facilitated by demanding answers and fixes. It is more about asking QUESTions with an open attitude of curiosity about what is happening and what lessons and gifts are possible.
It requires slowing down and cultivating trust, even when it seems imperative to speed up and work harder to make something happen.
This journey also needs a willingness to explore the messy middle ground as well as the jagged edges that appear at the brink of the abyss.
The warning is that this journey is dangerous. There are no guarantees of safe passage.
And the only way out is through.
You can temporarily avoid it, but this will only make it harder later. This I can safely promise you.
I can't promise that you will find bliss like I found in my little paradise. And there is no promise that I will continue to live as I have for this incredible seven years. The only constant is change.
But I offer you my experience and the wisdom I have gained from hearing and watching countless stories (fictional and real-life) of others who have followed the same kind of journey.
Whether a trip down the rabbit hole into a bewilderingWonderland with a jabberwocky and a capricious bloodthirsty ruler or a surprise divorce or any of the endless variations of our life (and death) stories, there is a discernible and reassuring cyclical pattern.
And one of the elements of this pattern is that there are treasures beyond measure to be found in the darkness.
So on this New Moon, the dark time of the cycle of the month, I offer hope to those of you who are feeling fear. And for those of you who are experiencing the magic, I celebrate with you. And if you are both feeling the fear and experiencing the magic, I welcome you to my world!
|Adventures with wonderful little friends in Wonderland
*in part due to my encounter with a service called Wondersitters which I invested ridiculous amounts of precious time to join in the hopes of picking up on-call child care jobs to supplement my finances. They are... um...not wonderful. ("They" can refer to both my finances and the owners of Wondersitters)
Although they do prompt the question of "I wonder if I or the hundreds of others who served their families will ever receive our money..." And the even more helpful question of "I wonder what the lessons and gifts in disguise are."
I am pondering the latter question in full faith that there are gifts AND spreading the word to prevent others from going down this rabbit hole.
The kids pictured above did not come to me not through Wondersitters but through a wonderful little synchronicity.
Here is the very short video.