The whole of this year has been eventful, to say the least. Countless lessons have been shoved in my path and no matter how many times I try to ignore them, circumvent them, even fight them, I end up losing and succumbing to what they have to teach me.
As much as I work hard to be strong, I realize this strength I’ve been leaning upon is really weakness in disguise. It is a strength that is borne of fear and resistance and sooner or later, yielding this constantly will seem like an endless and tiring battle.
That time has come. The lessons I’ve been running away from have finally caught up with me and surrounded me, not to torture me as I assumed, but to free me from this dark, lonely path.
A lot of pain has been spilled between me and the people I truly love and life just threw up her hands and said, “Enough. It’s time for a change.” And though it is truly scary, I have found that surrendering to something you cannot fight against will reveal your capacity to hold each moment with love and kindness. The pain, sorrow, anger, and loss are sometimes unimaginable to handle but the Universe reminds you that you are strong enough to overcome them.
Within all of us are dualities that can never be separated from each other – light and dark, joy and sorrow, life and death. They are neither good nor bad, they are just what they are. Our resistance to one and our attachment to the other makes us suffer and pulls us in opposite directions that disturb the flow of life. Sooner or later, we will get tired of the struggle (or life will get fed up with our stubborness) and we will be forced to let go. The pain of letting go could be very severe and it is amplified by our fear of the unknown – but what it replaces in our lives is a sense of quiet and growing freedom.
It has been a year of pruning and deep internal healing for me. I resisted it for a while. I cried myself to sleep and through a lot of in-between moments because I did not like what was happening. I did not want to let go of the people I loved. I did not want anything to change. And when things spiraled even more out of my control, I spent many nights staring in the dark, feeling helpless and desolate.
I thought the pain would never end.. but it did. Because in place of my best friend, life brought me a healer who held my hand through it all. She helped me pick up the pieces that I thought were destroyed and she showed me how to believe in myself again. It took some time to heal, but it was a lot faster than I expected. Now, I can laugh easily and genuinely again. I can think of my best friend again with hope, love, and forgiveness. And most of all, I could look at myself in the mirror with love and compassion for all the beautiful messes that I’ve created.
I keep remembering Jack Kornfield’s message that it’s never too late to start again – and so it is. After a few decades of living on this earth, I’m starting over again and I feel no shame. I am learning how to love unconditionally, how to forgive and honor the people I love (including myself,) and how to be patient and trust in the unfolding of life’s mysteries.
2018 was the messiest year I’ve gone through so far but I wouldn’t exchange it for anything. Though I’ve lost some people I dearly love, I will treasure the lessons I received in their stead. I am grateful for this experience of deep internal growth and I hope I can apply what I’ve learned in the years to come.
As this year ends, I hope that we can all find the compassion to love our flaws and be forgiving of others’. We have all made messes in our lives – hurting people we love with our selfish actions, making mistakes wherein we lost things what we valued the most, running away from our responsibilities and turning to addictions. All of this make our lives seem like a mess but there is beauty in everything. In the pain, there is freedom. In letting go, there is growth. In making mistakes, there is an opportunity to start again. Nothing is ever final for life is dynamic and ever-changing. Life evolves and so do we, if we choose to learn the lessons presented in front of us. We may not be perfect, but we are still beautiful and deserving of unconditional love that starts from within.
Have a happy new year, everyone!