Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Transformation of fear

I'm back at the house tonight ...  wow ..  I didn't realize how hard it would be to go through stuff and start packing. Yes, there's a new beginning around the corner, or at least I keep telling myself that ... but the pain of the present as I hold onto memories and a deep love I have always had for my now ex-partner feels especially raw when I am in the house we shared for 6 years, building a life, building memories.

As I was going through files and starting to clear out old documents and prepare for my move ... [i made an offer on a house and will be closing on January 14th] ... I found myself filled with a deep sadness. I stumbled across this piece of writing ("Fear of Transformation") that was shared as a writing prompt for a Discovery Writing class that I took years ago, and where I met my dear friend Elaine, whom I lost to cancer in April, 2009. There's such a depth to the grief I am carrying in my heart after the recent ending of a long-term relationship. I have to believe that the grief is not only the loss of my long-term partner but the grief of losses I have never really truly grieved ... till now ... and so the flood gate of emotions I have feared for all my life is now here ...  this most recent loss is the tip of the iceberg.

I know in my gut I am going through some kind of transformation. I have to believe that. I have to hold onto hope. I have to believe that I will see light at the end of the tunnel and I will once again feel joy, and bliss, and happiness ... maybe even more so than I ever imagined possible for this time around I am feeling the loss; I am feeling the grief; I am feeling the God-awful pain that cuts so deep I often don't know what to do or how I can make it ...

So tonight I just want to share this piece of writing ... a piece of writing that marked the beginning of a beautiful friendship with Elaine where even in death she still blesses me with her presence by appearing in my dreams ... I share this piece in hopes that some day soon I will feel a lightness and I will feel like I can soar and fly ... I  love my now ex-partner ... I always have and I always will. I just pray that the pain will not always feel so raw, so painful, so gut-wrenching. I pray that for any of us going through a difficult time that we will find peace and relief .... and that we will trust that transformation and growth are taking place in our deepest and darkest times ,,,,,

Fear of Transformation
From: The Essene Book of Days by Daraan Parry

Sometimes I feel that my life is a series of trapeze swings. I'm either hanging onto a trapeze bar swinging along or, for a few moments in my life, I'm hurtling across space in between trapeze bars.

Most of the time, I spend my life hanging on for dear life to my trapeze-bar-of-the-moment. It carries me along at a certain steady rate of swing and I have the feeling that I'm in control of my life. I know most of the right questions and even some of the right answers. But once in a while, as I'm merrily (or not so merrily) swinging along, I look out ahead of me into the distance, and what do we see? I see another trapeze bar swinging toward me. It's empty, and I know, in that place in me that knows, that this new trapeze bar has my name on it. It is my next step, in my growth, my aliveness coming to get me. In my heart-of-hearts I know that for me to grow, I must release my grip on this present, well-known bar to move to the new one.

Each time it happens to me, I hope (no, I pray) that I won't have to grab the new one. But in my knowing place I know that I must totally release my grasp on my old bar, and for some moment in time I must hurtle across space before I can grab onto the new bar. Each time I am filled with terror. It doesn't matter that in all my previous hurtles across the void of unknowing I have always made it. Each time I am afraid that I will miss, that I will be crushed on unseen rocks in the bottomless chasm between the bars. But I do it anyway. Perhaps this is the essence of what the mystics call the faith experience. No guarantees, no net, no insurance policy, but you do it anyway because somehow, to keep hanging on to that old bar is no longer on the list of alternatives. And so for an eternity that can last a microsecond or a thousand lifetimes, I soar across the dark void of the "the past is gone, the future is not yet here." It's called transition. I have come to believe that is the only place that real change occurs. I mean real change, not the pseudo-change that only lasts until the next time my old buttons get punched.

I have noticed that, in our culture, this transition zone is looked upon as a "no-thing," a no-place between places. Sure, the old trapeze-bar was real, and that new one coming towards me, I hope that's real too. But the void in between? That's just a scary confusing, disorienting "nowhere" that must be gotten through as fast and as unconsciously as possible. What a waste? I have a sneaking suspicion that the transition zone is the only real thing, and the bars are illusions we dream up to avoid the void, where the real change, the real growth occurs for us. Whether or not my hunch is true, it remains that the transition zones in our lives are incredibly rich places. They should be honored, even savored. Yes, with all the pain and fear and feelings of being outfilled, passionate, expansive moments in our lives.

And so, transformation of fear may have nothing to do with making fear go away, but rather with giving ourselves permission to "hang out" in the transition between trapeze bars. Transforming our need to grab that new bar, any bar, is allowing ourselves to dwell in the only place where change really happens. It can be terrifying. It can also be enlightening, in the true sense of the world. Hurtling through the void, we just may learn how to fly.

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