When I take a long look at my life, as though from outside, it does not appear particularly happy. Yet I am even less justified in calling it unhappy, despite all its mistakes. After all, it is foolish to keep probing for happiness or unhappiness, for it seems to me it would be hard to exchange the unhappiest days of my life for all the happy ones. If what matters in a person’s existence is to accept the inevitable consciously, to taste the good and bad to the full and to make for oneself a more individual, unaccidental and inward destiny alongside one’s external fate, then my life has been neither empty nor worthless. Even if, as it is decreed by the gods, fate has inexorably trod over my external existence as it does with everyone, my inner life has been of my own making. I deserve its sweetness and bitterness and accept full responsibility for it.Hermann Hesse, Gertrude
How often do we blame others for the unpleasant experiences we found ourselves in? How comfortable have we become in embodying victimhood? Can we allow ourselves to sit in the discomfort of what was, before stepping into what will be?
Standing in the middle of the wilderness, the wind continuously flows its way through. Although it cannot be seen, it demands to be felt. Our emotions are the same, they lie still in the depths of the river until they are stirred by an external force. A trigger, a memory, a person, a place. The wind resists control and moves fearlessly through all that stands in its path. In order to break free from its eternal cage, it has fostered an unrelentless way of being. As human beings, we often observe this phenomenon and assume that we are incapable of doing the same. However, we are the nature that we find ourselves in. The power that the wind possesses, of changing its inner and outer landscape, also exists within us.
Once the wind has carved its way through the stubbornness of your heart, resistance is released. The aftermath of such a carving makes way for the storm to arise. The leaves sat upon the stagnant river now move along the rhythm of the storm, dancing through the air. The memories engraved into the veins of each leaf begin to disappear, as the storm slows and surrenders. Fear falls away, as the emotion of each memory is transmuted into a powerful, unwavering force. In its wake, the debris fall together with the intention to transform.
The rain begins to wash away the longstanding pain, exposing the wreckage which was once buried below. Seeping into the bones, it carves away to form an immortal home. The waves which once loomed from afar now crash through each wall, creating space where there may have been none at all. The weight of the water moulds each bone into a new form, more stable than the one before. For years, it had been held hostage by a choice of its own. As the season ends, it floats above the surface, learning what it means to be seen. Not as the wreckage it once was, but for the potential it has always been.
The sun shines through the carcass floating above the shore, bringing clarity into the dawn. In the presence of such light, we see the skeleton for what it is and hold space for a shape we cannot name. Though malformed, though old. We learn to say hello, to acknowledge its presence and to let it go. On looking back; we breathe into each depression, each hidden hollow. Allowing the exhaled emotions to return into the wilderness, and inhaling hope as you rise amidst the shadow.
Have you given yourself space to honour repressed emotions? Are you willing to be your own non-judgemental witness? To see your light and dark both?