LET IT BURN

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This will be short, but not very sweet, it feels very raw and very real, and that feels important to me to come from that place. Not from the place where I have it all figured out, because most of the time, most of us, don’t have it figured out, that is the messy beautiful part of life.

So here we go….

I have felt really lost as of late. The reasons are plentiful, and yet the experience is what I am living and breathing each day. It is what I am most curious about.

When the rug gets pulled out from under you, a relationship ends, you lose someone, your life gets turned upside down……..how do you navigate it? How do you let it burn and crumble so that new life can spring?

That’s what I am experiencing in my life, and what I want to talk about here.

What I find myself in is liminal space, the words I will use to describe this come from something my coach sent me at the beginning of the pandemic, called Understanding Liminal Space from Richard Rohr

He says,

“Liminal space is an inner state and sometimes an outer situation where we can begin to think and act in new ways. It is where we are betwixt and between, having left one room or stage of life but not yet entered the next. We usually enter liminal space when our former way of being is challenged or changed—perhaps when we lose a job or a loved one, during illness, at the birth of a child, or a major relocation. It is a graced time, but often does not feel “graced” in any way. In such space, we are not certain or in control.”

He's right, it doesn’t feel like grace, it feels like my skin is burning. Like the ground on which my life stood has dropped out, it feels like how my stomach feels on an elevator. It feels like I don’t know anything.

And yet, it is the isness that is here. The more I fight what is, the deeper my suffering becomes, and the more I become it. And so the first thing I have learned is to surrender, to give myself permission to be in my experience. To be in the unknown, to be in between the death and the rebirth. It is uncomfortable.

I feel my control reflex, my push to fix, to transform, to heal, to make it all better. But I know that that wouldn’t leave room for something new and different to occur. It wouldn’t let me burn to ashes and rise again. That would only solidify my pathways of self-abandonment. It would keep me stuck, it would keep me from living.

I know this because I’ve done it. I’ve been here before, lost. And in a desperate attempt to be found I’ve stitched my life together which only left gaping holes to be filled with more suffering.

And so I choose again and again to not abandon myself, and to open to the life that is here.

This very real raw and vulnerable place I am in feels like it is calling for something new. Like something is being asked to be birthed. That from this rawness there is space for new life to spring. And that it is only in letting myself be ground and crumble that my life can begin to blossom once again.

It feels that this pain and loss has opened me up for something genuinely new to happen.

And that’s terrifying. The unfamiliar, the uncomfortable, the letting go, all of that is not easy for me. The loss of who I was, of what my life was, the stepping without knowing, it takes a lot of TRUST. Something I get to remind myself of a million times a day.

Richard Rohr goes on to say that, "liminal space is where we are the most teachable, often because we are the most humbled."

I feel that. I feel that this is important, that I am being asked not to rush this process, but to be here in the in-between. To slow down. To listen. To let it burn.

This in-between place. Where there are no clear answers, I feel I am being asked to LIVE THE QUESTIONS.

I’ve been revising Glennon Doyles’ book Untamed, this summer I listened to it as I wondering in the woods and I felt a stirring with me. I feel like the seeds that have grown to break my life apart were first planted then. I could feel a flame being lit that now I feel burning my life to the ground.

Glennon says,

“Deconstruction is essential to construction. If we want to build the new, we must be willing to let the old burn. We must be committed to holding onto nothing but the truth. We must decide if the truth inside us can burn a belief, a family structure, a business, a religion, an industry, it should have become ashes yesterday.”

And so from this place of uncertainty, I get to live the question of what is true for me. What is the truest version of myself, of my life, that I can imagine? My only job right now is to listen. Deeply. To see if I can feel that knowing, and if I can listen to its nudges.

They have been quiet as of late, but I’m beginning to hear them again. They say things like “go outside, slow down, take a bath, read, rest, it’s ok, you are safe, feel it all, let it burn.”

Glennon says.

“Launched into the abyss, between the not true enough life we are living and the truer one that exists only inside us. So we say maybe it’s safer to just stay here, even if it’s not true enough, maybe it’s good enough. But good enough is what makes people drink too much, and snark too much, and become bitter and sick and live in quiet desperation until they lie on their deathbed and wonder, What kind of women, relationship, family, world might I have created if I’d been braver.”

What I am losing, what feels like it is being taken from me, is no longer true enough. I must let it go, to step into what is calling my name. I must be brave.

What is this true and beautiful life that I get to imagine and create? What does it feel like, smell like, taste like, look like? And where am I in resistance to it? Where are the parts that say no, that are afraid, that want to run and hide? And how can I say yes to those parts, to welcome them back, and integrate them into my being with love and kindness? How can I let them teach me about how I’ve been living my life? How can I show up for myself in all of this?

Pulled a card from my Rumi deck and a line I want to share with you is this. “More love is rushing towards you like a great cosmic tsunami. You will struggle with this blessing to the extent that you will attempt to hold onto what has been. So don’t. Let go. Let it move you.”

It’s not easy. I remind myself every other breath, to step out of the story, to come back to the body, and to listen. To be here.

Glennon says,

“If I am living bravely my entire life will become a million deaths and rebirths. My goal is not to remain the same but to live in such a way that each day, year, moment, relationship, conversation, and crisis is the material I use to become a truer more beautiful version of myself. The goal is to surrender constantly who I just was in order to become who this next moment calls me to be. I will not hold onto a single existing idea, option, identity, story, or relationship that keeps me from emerging new. I cannot hold too tightly to any riverbank, I must let go of the shore in order to travel deeper and see farther, again and again, and then again, until the final, death and rebirth, right up until then.”

And so, my friend, I am here, in this upside-down place, where my insides feel like they are on the outside. And I want you to know that if you feel this way if you are experiencing any of this as well in your life, I want you to know that you are ALLOWED TO. That you have permission, and that you are not alone.

Feel it all.

Let it burn.

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