Peace : Easter Reflections

Cave

Peace today, Good Friday I feel that finally I am free of death at least for today, the light is shining and I am aware how many deaths there have been, until death looked like all there was.  So many deaths.  But the wonderful message of the Easter symbolism for me is that it is after death and out of suffering renewal and

new life comes.  The symbolism of three nights of waiting and of Mary weeping by Jesus’ tomb prior to his resurrection is a metaphor to me for what the soul goes through on its painful path of suffering which in a way reveals for me that on some level the soul is both incorruptible and eternal always beating deep down inside waiting upon us to recognise it and honour it, waiting to shed its the old painful layers of ego and confusion that keep it obscured.

Suffering through our own conflicts, losses, endings and deaths reveals that there is a new value to be birthed if we can bear with these things.  It is only when we face our own pain and hopelessness that we recognise how important certain things are and how hope lights up a field of possibility.  When it is stolen we find ourselves in such a dark place all crippled over, doubting if we will ever find the energy or love within to live again.  But my experience is that if I just bear patiently with these dark times, if I just allow them to work their healing alchemy on my soul, something transforms and also that often after so many long dark nights of suffering something precious awakens and a new light dawns, some awareness I could never have gained without suffering and bearing through.

I was in a very dark place yesterday.  I was grieving for most of the early part of the day.  My godmother’s death brought up all the painful dark history of my childhood, adolescence and early years of addiction and I saw how lost the young me was, how far I was truly living from my true self.  The ache in my heart that I had to dull with drugs and alcohol came from my true self.  It is only when I stop the numbing that I can feel and feeling often seems to ask more of us than we feel ourselves to be capable of at times.  However I do know that feeling is the only way through, it is the only way I can shed.  It seems to me now that unconsciously I was running from my grief for so many years but only because I was never mirrored in how to meet my grief and because I learned to fear it in a culture where there is so much fear of grief.

I didn’t feel I had the permission to grieve but my soul knew it needed to find permission somewhere.  I am grateful that when I got sober finally I came across teachers who spoke about grief, John Bradshaw and others reminded me that original pain was the root of my addiction, it had to be felt and understood.  Shame was something I came to believe I was instead of an attitude to myself I acquired.  I now see how unique and special a person I really am.  I see my gifts.  I see that for so many years I have not really honoured myself.  In my addiction I gave myself away to anyone who wanted me.  In parts of my later recovery I did the same but the pain of this was the critical lesson that sent the central message home, God loves me, life loves me, nature loves me, I am loved.  I just needed to feel that in my soul.

Sometimes I could not find the love but now I have,  I really feel that lately I have begun to find the love inside, paradoxically through seeing how hard and unloving I often am on myself and others.   I now know that instead of asking for love, I need to give it.  Instead of making demands instead I can accept, accept that often others have their own agenda and often don’t understand me, but that is okay.  I will understand me, that is my work, and only through understanding and accepting myself will I ever have any chance of understanding and accepting you.  Or of choosing to let go when I don’t and so stop creating for myself further suffering.

I did not achieve this on my own, I was blessed enough to find in my life one person who would sit with me in whatever state I was in, who would listen to my own deep struggle with low self esteem and self belief and consistently mirror back my good.  I will never fully be able to repay that person and I know I don’t have to, but they have given me a gift beyond words, beyond gold.  At Easter I am reminded of how much I have lost but also of how much I have gained.  I have come through a past shot through with so much trauma and loss.  Over the past 23 years  have stayed sober. I have given love to my family,  I have been strong and I have been vulnerable, I have been undone and then redone, I have on some level gone through an ordeal and now feel some kind of precious newness and peace, at least for today.