"Relax, no one gets out of life alive." I've been repeating this gem of a quote to myself all week long. It reminds me of the impermanence of everything. Our emotions, feelings, life situations are all transient. Life is a cycle and every part of the cycle is important and needs to be felt and embraced fully. The Byrds famous lyrics sum this up perfectly:A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep
To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven
There are three Hindu Gods: Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, that represent the cycle of creation, sustenance, and destruction. Brahma, represents creation. He uttered the work OM to create the world. Vishnu is the sustainer of creation. Shiva is the destroyer; he represents endings and transformation.
My great-grandmother always use to say "it's darkest right before dawn." In other words, the darkest times in life give birth to the light and the most beautiful transformations. Often people try to avoid destruction and the pain associated with loss and letting go. This is an uphill battle that everyone eventually loses because endings are inevitable and necessary. For example, try this exercise: be Brahma and take deep inhalation. Now be Vishnu continue to inhale but avoid becoming Shiva and don't exhale.... our body understands the need for endings, even when our mind doesn't. We need to honor the cycle and allow it to occur without trying to change or control it. We tend to fight and fight, swimming upstream against the currents of our lives because we are afraid of letting go.
Kim Amani illustrates this beautifully:
"Most people resist breaking. They fear pain.
So they hold onto their weak places. Like a cup which is full of cracks, it is no longer a solid vessel.
Much better to smash it, sweep up the pieces, throw them into the dustbin and find a new cup.Let yourself break.
Most people can sense the vulnerability that comes next. If they let go. So they back away from it. In the split second where they could choose to plunge off the cliff, they step back.
And the whole process shuts down.
The jump will break you.
This is where you are reborn into a shinier, more true and powerful, version of you.
Your old cracked parts fall away.
Yet, the price of admission is vulnerability. Letting go of control. Softening. Being willing to expose yourself and all that lies underneath."
The cycle of creation, destruction, and transformation is apparent all around us in Nature. Nature blossoms and blooms in spring and summer. Leaves start to fall during the autumn in preparation for the cold, dark, and restfulness of winter. Nothing blooms forever in nature, why would we expect it to in our own lives? If we look at how plants grow we can gain some more insight. Lets look at the tiny seed that is planted into the dark earth. The seedling's protective hard shell needs to break apart in order for growth to begin. The amount of energy needed for this to occur is tremendous. It sprouts not knowing where it is heading or why, pushing through the darkness until it breaks through the ground. It grows upward towards the sun, blossoming and becoming all that it was meant to be.
Another example is the caterpillar who instinctively builds a cacoon. While in the dark enclosed cacoon, the caterpillar literally self destructs turning to mush. It may think its dying but in actuality it is going through an amazing transformative process that gives birth to a beautiful and strong butterfly.
The cycles of creation and destruction are also apparent in the waxing and waning moon cycles. The new moon waxes or grows each night until it reaches its peak as the full moon. The full moon then wanes or shrinks until it reaches the darkness of the new moon. The energy of each of these phases is very powerful, in fact it has the power to move oceans. New moons are a time to plant the seeds of our intentions- its a time of inward reflection and connection. As the new moon transforms to the full moon so does our intentions manifest into being. Full moons are a time of outward vibrance....babies are born, wolfs howl, energies are high, but this does not last forever. The full moon transforms back again to the new moon, we let go of things that no longer serve us turning inward again so we can make room for brand new intentions, and the cycle continues.
Even women's menstrual cycles show the phases of creation and destruction. Each month the lining of the uterus is built up to prepare for new life. If fertilization does not occur, then the lining of the uterus is shed.
These examples show us that periods darkness and letting go are just as important as periods of light and growth. Sometimes you just have to push through the fear and take a leap of faith, embracing the unknown and trusting that you will be supported and transformed to new heights.