30 Jan February: Evolution of the Soul
Did the rose
Ever open its heart
And give to this world
It felt the encouragement of light
Against its Being.
We all remain
I have always found February to be a most difficult month. I was pondering the why of this as I was preparing this months newsletter. Is it the cold that makes it dreadful? The lack of light here in the northern hemisphere? Then I realized that February is the last gasp of winter turning towards spring, just as august is the golden end of summer with its whisper of autumn chill. Endings can be very uncomfortable— they are breaking ground for new beginnings. Imbolc is an ancient Celtic holiday celebrating the very first stirrings of new life–the earliest breaths of spring, and it arrives on February 1st. Can you imagine the seeds lying still under the soil in their winter sleep being coaxed out of the safety of the earth? Can you feel the stirring deep within the centre of their natural intelligence igniting the desire to come alive?
What courage it will take to answer the call of the light, demanding you leave everything you know behind, demanding everything you thought you needed.
If this sounds exciting and deeply uncomfortable, I think we have nailed the energy of February.
It’s not a far stretch to say that we have been through a lot—are going through more than we thought we could bear over this past year.
Yet, If what we are seeking is the light of a new beginning, or a rebirth of any kind, life has a way of giving us what we ask for in the most unusual packages.
One of those packages is discomfort, a feeling that we have spent a huge amount of energy avoiding. This pandemic with its many lock downs and restrictions have changed the way we are coping with discomfort. Before, we could always jump onto the next thing, book that next trip, hit the next party, plan the future. We could drink it away, socialize it away, work it away! We have been now been given an opportunity to pay attention to our inner nature in a way that collectively we never never have before.
I think of all the things we have been shown in this deep time of change, February’s message is to be with the burning pain of the life that yearns to be born however painful it may be. In what ever package it arrives in.
Somewhere along the line we allowed ourselves to believe that we cannot bear pain. What do we think will happen if allowed ourselves to break open to the intensity of how we feel?
We spend so much energy avoiding discomfort then wonder why our bodies no longer feel like ours or why the world has lost the wonder we knew as children. It’s so easy to cover our selves up in pseudo light, or claim a stiff upper lip, while carrying the pain of our growth within us. What we have lost, what we will miss, what we can never recover.
Truthfully we are afraid of death, and the little deaths that are necessary as we evolve and grow. We are afraid of them because they hurt. Growing is a painful process.
What if I told you that to experience pain is to be alive and that we are strong enough to experience hard things? What if pain is joys’ precocious twin teaching us how to evolve?
The truth about pain is that it changes us. It changes us irrevocably. That is the point of pain.***
How else would we gain the wisdom to make the choices in our lives that matter? The difficult challenges help us filter what is useful from what is not— help us navigate the endless sea of experience so that we might feel dynamic and alive! Discomfort has the power to break us open into gentler, kinder people with a greater ability to empathize with others.
In no way am I telling you to go looking for pain or conflict. But if it is already on your doorstep, know that I believe in your capacity to meet it with all the dignity of your soul.
If your heart is breaking let it break, if your life is falling apart around you, take heart, it’s meant to sometimes. Let the walls crumble, let them burn down. We must be willing to let it all go, like the seeds that will slough off their hard shell as they burst headlong into the soil towards the sun.
Broken hearts are tender things like the first green sprouts of spring, I wonder, how soft can we get? How reverent can we be to this awesome, natural, animal process that is ours to belong in?
As we transition together in this great sea of change, it may feel painful sometimes. Let’s hold ourselves and others in great care and watch in wonder as we transform.
***Please note, there is a big difference between abuse and pain. Pain is natural and bearable, abuse is not. Abuse is not love, abuse is not something to tolerate or bear. If you are in an abusive situation, please know that you are worthy of a different story and there is help for you.