There are times when even our most precious realizations will fall apart and dissolve in front of our eyes. What was so clear only days ago is no longer available, valid, or able to contain and nourish us.
It could be the falling away of a relationship, a shift in our work, the loss of a friend or our health, or the crumbling away of purpose and meaning.
This is a vital time in alchemical work, a psychic rotting of the leaves, where things are yellowed away by the alchemical putrefactio, reorganizing me and my life and the way I was so sure it was supposed to turn out.
“But it wasn’t supposed to happen like that… this person leaving, the loss of my work, my art. I wasn’t supposed to experience anxiety, depression, meaninglessness, and purposelessness. That’s just not me.”
It’s the embodied confrontation and tending to this cycle – and the grief spirals that dance in the core - that plants the seeds of a future reimagining of who we are and what we’re doing here.
It’s not easy to see this reorganization as an ally of wholeness, and we can’t pretend this is the case. Sometimes we just fall to the ground. But it is the invitation of this path, of the emerging lineage of the wounded healer.
It’s tempting in these moments to conclude that something has gone wrong, some great cosmic mistake has occurred, something is wrong with us, we’ve failed, or been forgotten or forsaken.
The soul is always communicating to us. The great Friend is always looking for us, in the hope of drawing us nearer, but often in ways that are bewildering to the part of us that believes it’s in control, that we’re truly steering the ship.
In order to get our attention, the soul must at times upset and dissolve the status quo, turning inside out the dreams and fantasies of me and the life I thought I was living.
Over time, we might start to see this activity of psychic restructuring as the expression of a certain kind of grace. Not the sweet, flowy, expansive grace that is our favorite kind, but one that is fierce and disassembling.
It’s wild and untamed – and can ache and burn – but it is grace nonetheless. The grace of a roaring lioness.
Sculpture by Krista Marleena