I do love the hindsight that comes with being as old as I am. Being able to look back over the heartaches and disappointments and train wrecks of the past and see very clearly their gifts and protection. I remember having a reading from an astrologer when I was still in my 20's and her saying that I was so intent on knowing why. Why did that happen? Was it meant to be? Why? Did I create it? Why? Was there a deeper lesson? What is it? Will this ever stop hurting? Is this precious thing lost forever or will it come back again? Why? Why? Why?
She told me to work on accepting everything that comes into my life as happening for me, not to me. Just keeping that faith that higher wisdom is continually at work, that the entire Universe has conspired to bring me to each moment, each place, each experience. Sometimes the deeper truth will be glaringly evident. But more often several years or even several decades might pass before I see the perfection. Sometimes that clarity never comes and the Why? just remains one of life's mysteries.
I've always loved the Hindu perspective of the Divine manifesting in a myriad of aspects. The big three or "great trinity" brings together a creator, a preserver, and a destroyer or transformer. This was a totally fresh concept for someone raised in a traditional orthodox religion where the activity of God was pretty much confined to creating all things bright and beautiful. The Old Testament might talk about a vengeful or pissed off God showering fire and brimstone on a city full of sinners. But all in all, God and his blessings were about building and expanding and adding to our good—never about dismantling or destroying or laying low.
And how totally silly is that, really? That our divine Self, our authentic Self, our higher Self would never be fully engaged in the process of death and rebirth—the process of transformation. Shit is going to hit the fan, rejection is going to stab like a knife, relationships are going to explode, our health is going to fail, people we love more than life itself are going to die. We may have to bear up under unbearable pain and sorrow, experience betrayals that make it impossible to breathe much less trust again, survive unimaginable abuses, sleep on a park bench like Neale Donald Walsch, and walk around with murdered dreams in our back pocket.
Scared and sacred are spelled with the same letters. Awful proceeds from the same root word as awesome. Terrify and terrific. Every negative experience holds the seed of transformation. ―Alan Cohen
It's possible for all that and more (hopefully less) to happen. But then further down the road new life begins to blossom, nourished by the energy released in all that destruction. Up comes the brilliant new job, new love, new career, new home, new vitality, new friends, new hope. Whatever had covered up or suppressed our glory and power and beauty and authenticity has been burned away or smashed into fine powder. And there we stand: Transformed and shining like the sun.
Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place. —Rumi