In life we are called sometimes to do seemingly impossible things, like leave an old life that no longer fits. People will be hurt. We could be hurt. We will have to give things up that have long been a comfort. So we figure we just can’t do it.
And yet, if we don’t proceed we know we will get stuck on life’s path – unable to move forward or backward until we do that unthinkable thing.
I made exactly such a move two years ago, leaving behind my 23 year marriage and my teenage son, moving across the country to San Francisco, ending an old business, starting a new one and coming out as a lesbian. Along the way I also gave up sugar, gluten, caffeine and cut back my alcohol consumption to 3-4 glasses of wine per month.
It was basically every transition you could make all packed into one tidy package.
And it was anything but ‘tidy’, believe me. Mistakes were made, hearts were broken, and a hell of a lot of tears were shed. And yet, I know I moved as consciously as possible.
There just isn’t any pain-free way to do these hard things. And yet, I was being called – as we all are sooner or later – to honor the striving of my soul, pulling me forth. My soul had been waiting for the right time to grow and expand … even if it meant giving up everything in my life that was trusted and comfortable.
At the time I had a dream in which my long deceased father showed me a street in San Francisco, near the home of my new business partner, Jeffrey. I suddenly said, ‘I’m going to live there!’ and he nodded, smiling.
Then he showed me the destruction of the World Trade Center and in that moment I experienced a wave of intense grief – all the suffering in the world. That was when I knew I was meant to move forward and heal people … no matter what the cost would be.
Yet — could I really trust the Universe to protect me, guide me and keep me safe as I changed my life? What if my new business partnership didn’t work? What if I wasn’t really gay – or couldn’t ever find true love again? What if Larry and I couldn’t come to a peaceable agreement around the divorce? What if my son became distant and angry with me?
If I let them, thoughts of my imminent destruction and the end of happiness as I knew it could engulf me. And yet, there was a truth here for this was the end of happiness as I knew it. Since then it has been replaced by a deep understanding that I’m in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing.
Not all of this path has been easy and joyful. But every piece of it has been right.
That is what this alignment is all about. Your soul gets to the point of expansion where it simply can’t live in the life you’ve set up for yourself anymore. Something has to give – whether it is your work, your relationship, your environment, or how you treat your body. And so you surrender to this calling, potentially fighting it all the way.
Yet once you surrender completely life starts to really click along. You become lighter, more nimble, and better able to weather the storms that arise. You can now maximize each challenge as an opportunity – and your emotional grounding becomes strong and stable.
If I were still the chocolate-hoarding, wine-drinking, uber-controller that I was in my marriage, Teal’s death would have sent me over the edge. In that life and body I had no capacity for grief, let alone the trauma of losing a child.
Yet if we have no capacity for grief, we have capacity for life, itself. We are cut off, truncated and compacted in what we allow ourselves to be, think and feel. And so our zest for life simply gets drained away.
I want to live life absolutely – to know the zeal of an excellent day, the importance of deep friendships and the white fire of great love. I want to be consumed by my life — to get out of the way and let Spirit pour through me. I long to become an invisible, empty vessel … simply a container for deep joy and love.
And this is exactly what is happening now in my grief over Teal’s death. I am starting to feel better and better, more and more connected to the divinity in Teal and in all of us. And more alive to the extraordinary presence – the God — in her death and afterlife.
If you are holding on to something too tightly, ask yourself if fear will be your master. Or will love?
Will acceptance and support for your own desires be the rule of the day?
Or will you drag a life or a body that no longer fits around behind you, allowing the weight of old baggage to hold you back?
For your life is whispering to you, dear friend, telling you the truth … and so will you listen?