2018 was a year of turmoil that culminated in releasing attachments to outcomes, old dreams and labels that have defined me, some for a lifetime. Many of my clients and friends are in various degrees of a similar situation. This is a heart-wrenching process. Releasing attachments is truly what grieving is about. No matter who or what is the subject of our grief, we are called to release.
As I've separated from some long-held identities, tough questions have arisen. We are not the various labels that have attached to us and if we are not mother, brother, artist, son, liberal, Buddhist, lawyer, hiker, etc., then what is relevant and what are we to do with our energy and our voices?
Over the past months, I have spent quite a lot of time in dark silence wondering what matters and what is real.
What was the agenda behind long held dreams and projects? Which relationships exist because of attachments to a particular persona? Who or what was being served by 14 hour days in front of a computer?
Of course I have shed labels and old stories before, but only to eventually take on new ones. Now I am sitting with the detachment as much as possible because even that is also a label. This is an unsettling place to be and yet, I cannot help but surrender to it. What I have found in this process has been an amazing freedom from judgement. Without attachment to my own labels, I also have less attachment to the labels of others. Our world's various belief systems are only borrowed, some for a few years and others for much longer. We hang onto them with all the passion we can muster because they give us purpose and direction and provide a community of like minds, perpetuating "us vs them." However, we can't take our identities with us when we die, either physically or spiritually. They simply cease to be.
I have recently released many dreams and projects and the attachments to them into the dark river of time. Some I had outgrown, some seemed insurmountable with my resources and others are simply not practical at my current age and stage. Many of these dreams and goals did not go willingly and the struggle has left me bruised and battered. From my own rawness, I've found that I take the world less seriously and have much less to say. It has become blatantly obvious that the bulk of day-to-day conversations perpetuate our borrowed labels and consequently, have lost meaning...."How's your job going?" "When do you graduate?" "Did you see that story of such and such on the news?"
What is left underneath the beliefs, stories and identities is something deep and familiar. I have found that I am resonant with everything and everyone when there are no labels to separate us. Judgements about the world have also disappeared. The world is not a dangerous place or a joyful place or a place that needs fixing. Underneath our own projections about needing to 'save this' or 'fix that', there is a primal resonance that connects us and transcends all else. It is a deep magic and I feel the pulse of this energy growing stronger. I'm learning to BE in the world in a new way that is more observational and less personal. Is this good or bad? Both are judgements. In this space of presence, beliefs and even language somehow make little sense.
Rumi said "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about."
Thanks for listening. I'm happy to do the same for you over coffee or a phone call.
Feeling deeply connected and sending love in this season of holiness,