Saturday, August 25, 2012

The dark passage of grace

Every midwife knows
that not until a mother’s womb
softens from the pain of labour
will a way unfold
and the infant find that opening to be born.
Oh friend!
There is treasure in your heart,
it is heavy with child.
All the awakened ones,
like trusted midwives are saying,
'welcome this pain.
It opens the dark passage of Grace.
The truth of this quote is ancient. It is the first step on the path of enlightenment; it is the foundation of therapy; it is the key to happiness!

We all do it. We see the pain. We smell the pain. We have a bit of a sense of the pain and we walk away in the other direction. We keep ourselves busy and distracted. We avoid. We numb. We complain. We do anything we can to avoid taking the first step. That is the step into and *through* the pain. 

The mistake we make is in falsely believing that if we feel the feelings of the pain we will never return. We falsely believe that if we move into the pain we will either break in a way that we can't be fixed or be lost in a way that we can't be found. 

Imagine this: (I wish I could draw on a blog).

Numb/ Avoid          <-----    YOU ------> PAIN    ------->     Everything you dreamed possible.
2 x 4 over the head

We go in the opposite direction of the pain.  We are not happy. We might even be miserable, but it is a misery with which we are familiar and so we keep at it. 

In the numbing and avoiding we are living our lives, but are not happy. We feel stressed, rushed, in survival mode, unable to keep up. We are spinning our wheels in obligation. Trying to get by. We feel alone and depressed or angry and resentful. We have no time for self-care: eating well, exercising, self-reflection and self-love.

We won't take time to stop and when we do stop, we numb.

I think of hitting oneself over the head with a 2 x 4. We keep doing what we have always done because we are so afraid to put down the 2 x 4. Even though what we are doing hurts us we don't know what we would do if we weren't doing this. We are afraid of the PAIN and we are afraid of what is on the other side of it. The void on the other side is a fear only second to the PAIN.

This is the first step- put down the avoiding/ numbing/complaining behaviors. Dare to walk away from the misery. 

Then you will have to see the PAIN. You will have to admit to the whiff in the air of the thing you are trying to avoid. Each person's pain carries it's own name, but after exploring you will call it worthlessness. You will see that the misery comes from avoiding the feeling that without the misery you feel worthless. This is the reason for the fear of the pain. This is the core of the pain for each of us. It is a part of the human condition.

The recognition of this is the pain akin to labor in childbirth. This is the pain you are avoiding. And it is in moving through this pain that you will find grace. 


Grace = Exhale. (Take a big breath right now. Allow an exhale. Try it.) 

This is the place of redemption. It is in this grace that you will find the gift of self-forgiveness. You will pay-off the debt: the price you have been paying in misery.

You will be free to feel the love of which you are apart. The greater love of the world- the stuff that is the binding force of connection between us all.

This is the place of worthiness. Of knowing: your value is demonstrated in simply being. There is nothing you need to do to be of value. You simply are. And that is enough.

This is a place of self-realization or divine love. By all names it is the same place and it is waiting for you.


It is in this grace that you will find that all of your dreams are possible. You belive this will be a scary place to go. You are afraid of what you will find when you see the treasure of your heart and the vastness of this love.

 I will tell you the name of this place: it is a life of ease. A place where you can create the life you can't yet imagine. It is a place where there is no striving to keep up and survive; no need to struggle to prove your worth. In this place you can be who you are and live without fear of the PAIN.  You no longer need to avoid/ numb/ complain. You can create the life of your dreams.


I invite you to explore this place (even though you may not think it applies to you). You may accept and yet spend many hours outside the door of PAIN examining the edges and thinking about the frame's construction. Vacuuming the rug you imagine to be right outside this door. I know. I have been there. I have thought the door would not be worthwhile. 

I urge you to know that it is simply by walking through and facing the truth of this PAIN that you will move through into the place of your dreams- a place where you discover the treasure within your heart and the vastness of great love.

It is with great love that I leave you with these thoughts.