“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens.” ~ Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 Verses 1-8
Several years ago I faced a devastating challenge. Before the onset of the challenge I had dealt with more than my share of challenges. Like many of you reading this, I had experienced break-ups, loses, failures and even natural disasters, but nothing had prepared me for this particular form of devastation.
As I had done somewhat successfully in the past, I tried to outthink my own suffering. I even wrote a 252 page dissertation on suffering. But we know as Einstein told us that “You can’t solve a problem with the level of thought that created it.” I tried to deny my suffering, but often burst into tears when anyone asked, “How are you, really?” I even tried to distract myself by taking up a hobby and keeping myself very busy.
No matter what I did, however, my singular bone chilling awareness was, “This is what is going to take me out. There is no going back. For all intents and purposes, my life is over.”
Some spiritual teachers have called this experience The Dark Night of the Soul. I knew that people often survived their dark night experience and sometimes even thrived afterwards. “That is wonderful for them” I thought, “but the truth is that I will never be truly happy again.”
What we can learn from the pattern of the spiral, exemplified by the beautiful nautilus or the Buddhist prayer wheel, is that life goes on, even beyond itself. We can be happy again if we choose to move up the spiral. Like the organic patterns of the nautilus, we will be supported by natural patterning if we will allow ourselves to be supported.
It turn out that what helped me move up the spiral and embrace happiness again was two people who came into my life, both who had lost children, in fact three between them. They were always there to support me and allow me to soak their shirts with my tears. I shared my feelings while they reminded me of my own divinity and the divine truth of my experience. Often they even made me laugh. Unconditional love can help us move upward on the spiral towards a healed perspective like nothing else can. What Americans call “mouth to mouth resuscitation” the British call “the kiss of life”. Certainly, love offers us the kiss of life like nothing else can.
While love offered me a profound healing, I certainly don’t want to sugar coat the experience of moving along the spiral of healing. To be honest, most people were not terribly supportive to me during this dark time. In fact, some were insensitive, some were indifferent and even a handful were cruel. This experience taught me that in these times whether we are nurturing someone else’s healing or are dealing with our own, one person can alchemize any situation, no matter how grave, with the gift of love.
If we pay attention to the gifts of the spiral we can see its inherent wisdom. What doesn’t get healed or what feels like the end will often come back around to be healed. An old boyfriend of mine who I hadn’t talked to in over 25 years contacted me several years ago. He was still in some pain around our break up many years ago. I got to apologize for my abruptness and insensitivity during the break-up and he was relieved to find out I hadn’t ended our relationship because I thought he was inadequate, but in fact because I was afraid.
When we are feeling lost or in despair we might meditate on the peace and pattern of the spiral. The shifting contours of the spiral offer us in every movement a chance to heal, reconnect, renew and to be reborn.
(c) 2008 Jeanine Austin, Ph.D., C.Ht
Doctor of Life Coaching, Certified Hypnotherapist
Simply Divine Solutions
Life Coaching and Hypnosis Worldwide