Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Growing Pains?

This week Jamie asks wishcasters, for what do you wish to give yourself permission? I wrote the post below before I saw this week's wishcast question, but it seems the right answer for this question right now. I have a simple wish this week: I wish to give myself permission to feel sadness without running from it or trying to drown it. I wish to give myself permission to be still, to have patience with my sadness.


Fallen


I have stretched my psyche in an effort to understand why we reflexively run from sadness, why we initially fail to see it as a harbinger of personal metamorphosis vital to our being and growing. Our consumption-driven society confuses joy and pleasure, affording us only a narrow hedonistic lense thru which to experience our world. We learn to demonize sadness, to starve and deny it. Ultimately this forces us into premature birth, diminishing our capacity to endure. The struggle of birth, of breaking into being, embodies the most difficult and essential struggle of our lives.

Consider the butterfly breaking out of her chrysalis, in the final stages of her metamorphosis. She must endure the complete struggle of birth in order to survive; in fact, trying to "help" the butterfly ~ i.e. intervening to end her struggle ~ by prematurely freeing her from her sac, will cause the butterfly to die before she's even born. The butterfly must experience the struggle in order to live. And so must we. Struggle denotes transformation. Metamorphosis manifests itself as struggle, sadness, painful awkwardness.

The extreme transformation from fetus to newborn each of us face must occur in order for us to survive and thrive. So, how does this guide our relationship with sadness? Well, what if we stopped running from sadness? What if we stopped rushing it, drowning it, denying it? What if we waited patiently with our sadness, forging a stillness in our hearts? And then, what if we surrendered to our own transformative process?

Stillness fortifies us, preparing us to receive the gift of grace ~ the capacity to surrender. Sadness descends when we realize the insignificance of our effort, when we find ourselves face-to-face with our own vulnerability, and embracing imperfection that feels like an elusive and troublesome grain of sand in our eyes. It exists in our difficult rejection of fear and self-indulgence, encased within a membrance of surrender. A surrender, which grants us the freedom to embrace the often unpalatable and mysterious truth that all is as it should be.

24 comments:

Sarah Lulu said...

Oh Roxanne I know that space you are in and I actually typed your same analogy today in an email to a friend!

As Roxanne wishes for herself, I so lovingly wish this for her also.

Ginny said...

As Roxanne wishes for herself, I wish for her as well.

faerwillow said...

~i am left speechless by your words written and not really knowing where to start...simply a beautiful well exicuted thought you have left us to ponder...as Roxanne wishes fo rherself so I wish for her too...brightest blessings~

Tabitha@ichoosebliss said...

As Roxanne wishes for herself, so I joyfully wish for her also.

Jane said...

One of the ways I've managed to survive some of the situations I have over the years is because I've sat WITH the pain and gone right along with it until I got to the other side of it. Always, at some point, I've been able to see why I needed to go through it. As you wish for yourself today, I wish for you also.

Karen D said...

As Tink wishes for herself, so I wish for her also. I also run from the sadness or distract myself from it. May you sink in and let yourself feel it and then work your way out to the other side.

Pamela said...

Such wise and beautiful words...words you could not share without experiencing their truth. Thank you for giving us this gift.

As Roxanne wishes for herself, so I lovingly wish for her also.

P.S. Your blog is amazing!

Pamela Sweet
(blogging at http://blog.sweetsoliloquies.com/2010/02/24/wishcasting-wednesday-permission/)

Beverley Baird said...

As Roxanne wishes for herself, I wish for her also.
Stillness, time for yourself, permission to sorrow - all necessary.

Wendy said...

As Roxanne withes for herself, so I wish for her also.

Yes we must feel all our emotions if we are to feel any of them.

Sulwyn said...

As Roxanne wishes for herself, so I wish for her also.

Goddess of Yum said...

Your words touch me today. I've been learning to sit with the sadness of my mother's passing and while it's been challenging it has also been beautiful. As Roxanne wishes for herself so I wish for her also

Lis said...

so beautifully expressed ... wise wise truths here ... thank you for the reminder that growth is a process that involves uncomfortable places/spaces/moments to be witnessed and honored.

As Roxanne wishes for herself, so I wish for her also.

BunnyKissd said...

Very true. As you wish for yourself, as I wish for you also! {{{hugs}}}

Sara Blackthorne said...

As you wish for yourself, so I wish for you!

Christine said...

As Roxanne wishes for herself, so I wish for her also.

Ellecubed said...

As Roxanne wishes for herself, so I wish for her also.

ρομπερτ said...

What an outstanding entry of yours !

What I would like to permit for myself: well, probably to be allowed to be as I am, without hearing time and again, that I should be stronger, richer, more masculin - wondering what in the world determins the latter one at all.

Again, very impressive writing of yours. Wishing you all a wonderful Thursday.

Katrina said...

As Roxanne wishes for herself so I wish for her also. What a brave goal! I am going to try this, too.

chickory said...

beautifully written.

chickory said...

beautifully written.

chickory said...

beautifully written.

elky said...

As you wish for yourself, so I wish for you.

As a psychiatric nurse practitioner I encourage my patients to do exactly what you're talking about, to be with their pain rather than run from it, distract themselves, try to talk themselves out of it; many are unable, or are so out of touch with themselves they have no idea what I'm talking about. But those who allow themselves increasing glimpses of their interior life are ultimately transformed by fully experiencing the whole range of their emotions.

Also as a nurse, I can fully relate to nursing "until it hurt." Nurses enter into relationships with patients that few others do, even their closest loved ones. We are privy to the most intimate, most vulnerable, most exposed, most frightening experiences of their lives, which is both a privilege and a burden. The toll it took on you is indicative of your compassion, your ability to "be with" them in dark moments; this is an occupational hazard. Unfortunately, many nurses harden themselves against the anguish of patients, focusing on the technical aspects of care, and the most valuable gift of nursing is lost. Particularly in the current climate, resources for supporting nurses, for providing for the means to release some of the burden they carry are scarce. But we'll all pay the price for that in the end.

In Transition said...

Sometimes it is as if you are expressing many of the thoughts I have myself in this strange and confusing space of life.

A goal of mine as well is to learn to "allow" whatever it may be just to be... hoping that in nurturing the messiest parts of humanity I can learn to integrate and actually feel whole.

I wish you luck with your allowing and send many blessings.

In Transition said...
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