Keep going

Your pain is more than just pain; it is also your courage and strength, for you are

enduring it. Your torments and fears are the foundation of your growth and

transformation. From your challenges your bravery and resilience are borne. What is

unbearable now will bring you clarity and light. What feels too dark to cope with will be

your guiding star. You have more wonder and beauty in you than you dare to see. You

are stronger, braver, more determined and more brilliant than you can possibly

conceive of in this present moment. Keep going. Keep going. Keep going.

 

 

Fear

Fear holds us back. Fear prohibits growth. Fear is limiting, constrictive, damaging. It is often irrational. It does not need reason to exist. It does not care what is wrong or right. Fear is the adversary of freedom, comfort and safety. Fear has no compassion. It offers no sanctuary. Fear is the asylum of the mind. It breeds suspicion and dread. Fear feeds on light. Fear is dark. Fear silences life. Fear makes us small. Fear is our inner self, alone and cowering. Reach out inside yourself. Find that part of you, sitting scared. The part that fear keeps cold and shaking. Hold its hand. Keep it close. For fear cannot fight love. Fear feels it and flees from it: the warmth and hope is its enemy. So hold yourself. Close. Closer. Closer still. Hold yourself above worry. Above time. Above earthly concerns. Above thinking. Up here fear has no place. Fear cannot live in light. Fear knows it cannot survive. And suddenly fear becomes itself: running scared, before your eyes. And suddenly- Look! There goes fear. Fleeing for its life. Off into the distance, shrinking.

Cardinal Point

I am the moon’s daughter; unknown,
naked, shy, half-awake, idling, white, blind.
I dwell alone, in the cratered wasteland
of the psyche. I search for myself;
the eternal, a sense of something lost
perhaps never there at all. Perhaps
here all along. My spirit is pale, waiting
for me to arrive. It rests longingly
at each cardinal point; reaching, curling
circling, enclosing. Hoping to meet me,
forever young.

It is there waiting, in every direction
and yet to be found in none.

A Task: the thought clean up

Think of a thought that has been bothering you. How long has it been there? How often does it arise? Does it hold compassion, or does it hold judgement? Is it helping you or bringing value to your life? If not, does it need to be there? Have you ever questioned or challenged it? How much authority over you does it hold? Who, or what, is giving it that authority? Can you talk to someone about it? What do you think they might say? Have you ever expressed this thought out loud? Could understanding why the thought is there help you to take control of it? Does the thought hold any intrinsic truth, or is it a product of your worries, fears or imagination? What would your life be like without this thought? Would you live more freely? Is there a way you could release it?

 

 

Stiffness and light

It is quite possible to feel happy and sad at the same time. There is a stiffness and light to our very being. Humans are complicated, sensitive, overthinking creatures, full of riddles and contradictions, most of which we will never be able to reconcile or make sense of. As humans we are prone to tormenting ourselves. Our attention is rather like a spotlight, and when it illuminates one thing it shrouds the rest in darkness. In this way we can become trapped in negative or dark spaces. We become so stiff and rigid that we worry that we might never be able to move again or find a way out.

When we are caught in the slipstream of life (or swept away by the thoughts inside our heads) it is easy to feel overwhelmed and lose our balance. Clarity, purpose and joy are, of course, things that we wish to aim for and savour. They are nourishing and help to keep our spirit feeling light. But these are not physical realities or things that are external to us; rather, they belong to our state of mind, which means they can very rarely be held constant throughout our lifetimes. Difficult emotions and experiences will inevitably arise and throw things we took for certain into question again, but it is important to remember that this is a natural part of life and the human condition, and we should not punish or reprimand ourselves for it.

In our quest for happiness and understanding we try to place order and meaning on what is random and uncontrollable. We forget that part of the beauty of life is that it is chaotic and unknowable. Our internal worlds far exceed the space of the external one we live in. The human mind has the capacity to travel far within our own conscious awareness; through landscapes that are wonderful and awe-inspiring, as well as treacherous and terrifying. We can scale vast summits or tumble down into trenches of abyssal darkness. Our inner landscapes are places of infinite and intricate complexity and richness.

Often it is only when we reach a point of unbearable tension, pain or fragility that we are able to discover our most extraordinary strengths and capabilities. Although it is in our nature to want to escape feelings that are unsettling or uncomfortable, having the courage and resilience to endure them ultimately has the power to transform, heal and open up our lives. Darkness and disturbance are vital to us, but we need to harness their power, rather than be overcome by it. With experience, knowledge, and the practice of self-compassion, their destructive energy can be turned into a positive life force.

Remember how strong you have been just to reach this point, right now. Living is not easy. But don’t forget that it will not always be so hard either. Be kind to yourself in times of darkness. There is no need to judge yourself for being who you are, or where you are. Your growth is not a linear journey or narrative; it may loop and spiral at times, points of fixture may become fluid, and the stable ground may begin to shake. When the foundations begin to settle – and they will – your feelings of suffering will ease and become melded into the strength that forms, and is latent within, the beauty of your own humanity.

This will give you hope. This will drive you forwards.

Don’t let the hard times fool you into believing things are worthless or futile. Embrace what you don’t know and embrace what you do know. Trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Follow where your curiosity leads you and seek experiences rather than answers. Remember that each one of us is flawed, fallible and ever-changing. We arch, bend and sometimes break. All good things take time, and you are, without doubt, a good thing. So take it slow and remember to pause, step back, inhale deeply and breathe out your stiffness into the air. I promise your lightness will come back, and you will be restored.