Photo by Moses Mitchell
Are you in the process of coming back from something difficult, challenging, life changing, even brutally so? Have you been clawing your way back up out of what felt like quicksand? Feeling like you’re in a dark hole and doing your best to hang on and then pulling yourself forward inch by inch?
Many spiritual teachings call this a dark night of the soul experience, often required for us to undergo in order to truly transform who we are through a painful process of healing and growth beyond our control. Many also use the metaphor of the phoenix rising from the ashes as what it feels like to go through those times and to come out a changed being ready to soar. First, you’re burned to ashes and then you must come together a wholly different being as your rise out of the fire to fly. This process is done to us and through us so that we can become fully awakened to our higher self and to our relationship to Spirit.
If you’re in the process of making a comeback from whatever that painful experience (s) was, take a moment and witness it. In my case, I don’t think I ever truly appreciated the process of change I went through. It required validation each time I was able to connect the dots of my undoing all the way back to my childhood and I peeled back a layer that had been ruling my inner world without me knowing it. Each moment I learned something new and did something new and integrated it into my being deserved true reverence. If you know how hard it is to have your life burned to the ground and then stand there looking at yourself not having a clue who you are or what you’re doing then you know how much work this process is. Even more difficult than watching your life fall apart is feeling terrified of that nothingness and wondering if you’ll ever make it to the other side.
Then something starts to shift causing you to take these little steps and the process of healing and awakening begins. You read that book or you go to that spiritual service and read and hear the words you most needed that set your heart on fire while your chest heaves and your eyes pour tears like a thousand years of stored up pain leaving your body. The comeback begins in those tiniest of healing moments. Each day you feel a little more and you work a little harder to understand yourself and your fears and your doubts and your pain that ended up tearing your life down. As you understand a little more you come back to life a little more. Then you learn how to feel all the things you never allowed yourself to feel because you were too busy pretending they didn’t exist until your life blew up in your face. Now you face them one by one and you feel their scorching pain that blasts your heart open more and more.
Suddenly you notice you feel more alive because you felt your pain and faced your past. You didn’t break or collapse or die, in fact it was just the opposite. You feel more connected and free than you ever have. Your choices then begin to look different, and if you pay attention you can give those amazing moments the acknowledgment they deserve. To see yourself behave more in alignment and integrity with your truth can be mind-blowing after a lifetime of working against yourself.
You begin to then feel more engaged in life and with other people and you start dreaming again. You start entertaining doing things you’ve never done that kind of scare you more than a little but you feel exhilarated at the prospects. So you start doing them, a little at a time, dipping your toe in and then going for it. Now you see yourself doing things you never imagined you’d have the guts to do and they feel so right like your soul was made for them and you realize it’s why your life had to burn to the ground. So you could feel this and do this and know yourself to be this.
You’re witnessing the comeback. Don’t turn away for a second. Each moment of your comeback is a sweet victory to be held in your heart that builds a beautiful temple of self-love within your being. Savor all of it.