Every lifetime has its ups and downs, peaks and valleys, flurries of activity and depressions or lulls — and ultimately, its end. The same can be said for a forest, a tribe, state or nation; a civilization, a religion, or a species. That which endures through the eons is subtlety, energy, fragmented memories, DNA and the basic building blocks of life, and relics of what once was. We’ve only begun to unravel the mysteries of the past 200 millennia. We live in an era of vast historical amnesia, and it is to our detriment.
However, in personal matters, on the winding road to discovery, meaning and making sense of this singular lifetime, we are endowed with unique capabilities and capacities.
We all have moments in our lives that define thematic pivots and significant plot points. You may be mourning the loss of a loved one, laying in bed after a hard day at work, or driving home in rainy weather, having just been to see a thought-provoking movie. A revelation surfaces, your eyes widen, your face relaxes, and a clarity settles in to your consciousness. You’ve touched on something beautiful… and powerful.
Maybe you’ve just observed yourself complaining about the same old mundane things, or you suddenly feel a deep sense of defeat and hopelessness in making any permanent changes in your life. Maybe you’re suddenly motivated to totally and completely let your old story die… and you’re not sure of what this feeling is, but in the silence, you notice that it takes hold and finds a growing sturdiness in your body. You may actually mean it, this time.
There is tremendous liberation in the death(s) of the old self, and there are different levels and amplitudes of the energy involved. You’ve already encountered many such moments throughout your life, but they went largely unnoticed. The smallest shifts can produce the greatest lasting impact, given time. Conversely, the greatest changes can often last only a moment.
So, do you fear death? Why?
If there’s one thing that life here makes quite evident to us, it’s the profound, transition-enforcing period at the end of the sentence; death is our constant companion, just as much as life is. But do we enjoy and celebrate in this transient nature of things, or do we resist, ignore, defer and look away?
In a gentler sense, the death of a story we’ve carried within us should be celebrated. This existential ability is one of our inherent superpowers as a human being. It is only our experience that we can alter, learn by and redefine at any time — regardless of circumstance or the desires of another. No one walks and talks and thinks and blinks the way we do. No one has stumbled and failed and stood up again in the ways we have. No one really knows our shame, suffering and struggles — nor do they fully comprehend our joys. Even when we tell someone about it, what they’ll hear is not the same as what you said.
Recall the last time someone shared something deeply intimate with you… Were you present, focused and sensitively empathic? Or, did their words trigger you and initiate a thought stream in your mind? Were you impatient, anxious for them to stop talking so you could tell them they were wrong, or how to fix it?
They, whoever they are, are entitled to their opinions and ideas and judgments. They’re allowed to be disappointed in you. They have that right. The rest is on you, and at some point, that fragile framework will shudder and shake, begging and whining to collapse.
Who are you, and what do you really want?
Let the rest die. You need that space for the new, now you.