Sunday, March 31, 2013

A symbolic death and rebirth journey

In life things end and we find that we are forced to face new beginnings.  These journeys are not always easy, but in the struggle to make life meaningful we must face these challenges with equal parts courage and strength.

I have recently faced just such a turning point in my life.  I was at an all-time low point, sorrowing for something valuable that I had lost.  The grieving was at that point where in order to survive, it was necessary for me to fine a new pathway forward.  

Everyone, at some time in life, faces those moments, where everything they believed true about their lives is suddenly turned upside down.  When something precious is lost.  The confusion and the pain are overwhelming.  The healing, a lonesome struggle to survive. It does not matter what the trigger event is, the common goal is the path to a new beginning.  For everyone the journey is different.  The time along the cycle of grief must be just right.  And at that point in time the rebirth can start to take shape.

For me the idea of the journey began with the approach of spring.  I had been reading about the historical significance of the “Pagan rights of spring”, the Chinese Wu Xing, where winter must happen before spring can sprout and finally the Christian Easter with its tradition of death and resurrection.  All these elements brought together, led me in the same direction; the importance of creating new beginnings.  I put together a 3 day journey of contemplation and meditation, one that I hoped would guide me in the right direction.

On Friday (Day 1) I reflected on accepting and putting the past to rest.

"We cannot change our past. We can not change the fact that people act in a certain way. We can not change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude."  ~ Charles R. Swindoll  

I began by thinking of my old expectations as something to bury.  Let go of the preconceived expectations that I was holding on to so very tightly.  I will replace them with new ideas and new concepts.  I will bury the expectations that I had for relationships that are over, instead I will start to think of ways to place greater value on new relationships and friendships and allow them to blossom.

When I started to look at it this way, the only thing that I have left to be sad about the past is the way hurtful / painful events made me feel inferior. The only way through that is to learn that my self-esteem should not be tied to the way I was treated.  My self-esteem should come from within. It should come from accepting that contrary to what other people might say or do, I am a good person. I am a kind person. I am worthy. And the journey includes accepting that it is necessary to allow the inner child to heal.

On Saturday (Day 2) I spent the day reflecting on substitution. Removing the expectations leaves a vacuum. It is this vacuum that needs to be filled and I am the only one responsible for filling the vacuum. As long as I am bound to the “what might have beens” in my life, I allow others to have control over my happiness.

“Nature abhors a vacuum”
Francois Rabelais

If I take control of my life, if I take steps to fill my life with events and people that bring meaning to my life, then I no longer allow past events to affect me. I can fill my life with new friends and meaning will come from being fully invested in the present.  I consciously replaced every item on my “this is what I have lost” list with and item of equal importance on my “this is what my present will contain” list. I am in control of establishing all these very satisfactory alternatives to a full and fulfilling life. The events from the past will no longer be given the power to bring me down.

“We all hope for breakthrough rebirth moments.”
Dane Cook

Today, Sunday (Day 3), is the third part of my rebirth journey. I am at a different place in my grief journey and the hurt is no longer so intense.  I accept that I am changing. I accept that I have allowed my experience of the negative event affect my spirit and my soul.

But now I am fighting back, I am taking my life back. If I can't have what was taken from me, I can still enjoy good times with others. Yes I will carry the scars, but every day is becoming easier.  The pain resides only in the memories of past events but those memories do not need to rule the present.

I can take back my life by not letting those past actions continue to have a hold on my feelings in the present. Accepting that which is over. The muses of the past have had their say. But I, no longer have to listen to those voices that say I am unworthy. Those voices want to bring me down, want to hurt me. I need to rebut those negative events with positive self-talk. I am worthy. I am a good human being. I deserve better. I have the power.  I have the option of choosing which voice to listen to.

As I continue forward I can accept that there may be sad days. But I have the power to decide whether or not I will allow those days to have control over me or not. I can choose to turn the message around. I can choose to not be the victim of the negative messages. I can decide that I will not stand for being the target of abusive and bullying behavior.

So today I am reflecting on rebirth. The rebirth of my life, a new life, a different life.  I will remind myself that different does not imply inferior.  Different is just different.  And who can say, it may even end up being infinitely better than anything I could have imagined.

Some things will not be in my life because of the choices others have made.  But new and different things will find room in my life because of the choices I make!  It is in my power to negate other people’s ability to hurt me, manipulate me and control me.  In so doing I gain my freedom.  I give myself permission to resurrect my own new life. I free myself to be a different me.

2013 – 03 – 31

Renate Dundys Marrello

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