There is a certain death that occurs as part of the healing process, in the deepening of self-awareness, something that does not survive illumination. While it is tempting to spin out of the uncertainty and into rebirth, there is wisdom and a purity within the reorganization itself, which we cannot know if we abandon it prematurely.
The dissolution itself is initiation as it offers vision not available in the scramble to put things back together. An old part of ourselves that has accompanied us for so long, a fellow traveler is no longer permitted to continue the journey by our side. The crumbling of an old dream – my life and the way I was so sure it was going to turn out.
This prior soul-companion can be another person or it can be a member of the inner family - an image, a feeling, a lens through which we’d been seeing ourselves and others; a part of our world that has come to the end of its meaning, the end of its life.
In order to be initiated in this way, we must slow down, return into the earth and the mud and the ground, and somehow cut into the urgency to enter into the next phase while the current one is still being illuminated. To take some time to mourn the reassembling of our world, to grieve all that we will inevitably lose as we heal and awaken. To set aside what we will get, what is coming next, and attune to now.
To tend to the pieces of soul, the shards of the heart, and the fragments of the psyche that are being dissolved, to honor the role they have played, for standing by us for so long, and providing refuge during difficult and transitional times. To grieve the loss of their companionship and allow them to continue into whatever realm is next for them, permission to travel and experience new things.
To stand in awe at this process, despite the profound pain and grief, to care for all of it as we allow the mystery to reveal itself in deeper and deeper ways. To know that healing and awakening is messy, glorious, and full-spectrum… and is not only an act of creation, but one of destruction as well.
Image from Liber Novus, Jung’s Red Book
My most recent book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available
The next book, A Healing Space: Befriending Yourself in Difficult Times, will be published by Sounds True
The next event is The Healing Shame Retreat: Spiritual Awakening and Transforming the Core Wound of Unworthiness, April 24-29, 2019 at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado, with co-facilitator Jeff Foster