Joy and sorrow are the great expanders in our lives, in the sense that whatever we feel deeply and irrefutably stretches us and leaves us more spacious (and more wise) on the other side.
Often times we have more to give and share as a result.
Some of the best teachers I’ve ever had the privilege to know and work with have had some of the most harrowing lives. But they learned to turn their hardships into their triumphs. Their losses didn’t just brutalize them and render them useless. They deepened and enriched them, too.
It’s one of the strange paradoxes for all of us. Breaking down is part of breaking open and coming into contact with our true value in this incarnation. We don’t really know our strength, our capacity, our resiliency until these parts of us are activated or tested.
Carl Jung wrote: Depth corresponds to a potential height, and the blackest darkness to a hidden light.
It’s a spiritual workout to be actively engaged with life in these ways. To allow ourselves to express what wants to be expressed. To process the big emotions. The beauty that feels scary to trust. The grief that feels impossible to live beyond.
Our willingness to show up for the challenges on our path is how we come to test our own limitations and change in big, beautiful ways. To discover how much we’re capable of holding. How much we’re capable of releasing. What it’s like to be fully, magically, bravely alive while alive.
Turning away is easier in some respects. But greeting our own hearts is where the real meaning lies in our lives.
Mark Groves summed it up so well when he wrote:
Life doesn’t give you the people you want, it gives you the people you need. To help you, to hurt you, to love you, to leave you, and to make you into the person you were meant to be.
This perspective is the difference between growth vs bitterness.
We’ve all been there.
When we make a conscious choice to interpret our losses and disappointments — especially when it comes to relationships — as necessary parts of a deeper whole, we struggle much less to accept them.
The more we are able to live in an ongoing state of acceptance, the more peace and joy we will experience. No longer fighting against our path, but learning to flow, like a river, well established in its bed, toward the greater sea that’s forever calling us.
Learn more about my coaching work, podcast, book and my FREE offerings at: marywelch.com ❤