Life, death and rebirth


The last few weeks have been enormously challenging for me, both personally and professionally, with change, upheaval and uncertainty the overriding themes. There have been days when I have felt confused, lost and bewildered by what was happening, finding it impossible to make sense of what has been taking place. And, as a person who likes to be able to understand things in order to feel in control and safe, this has been a time when fearful moments have been very plentiful.

However, what I have learned over many years is that there will be a logic somewhere within or beyond the chaos, although I may not be able to find it, yet. Somehow I have learned that there will always be something to be gained if I can find a way to “let go” of trying to control things, and allow the process to take care of itself. This is not easy, not at all, but it is possible, at least for parts of the day, sometimes through allowing myself to rest, or to meditate, or listen to music, or sit in the garden, or to be quiet with a friend or with my own therapist. “Surrender” is a term that is culturally alien to my Northern Irish roots, but it is the key.

I have been reminded of the many cultures that value life’s cycles of growth, death and rebirth. In our western “developed” societies, we tend to value the growth part highly, seeking “more”, craving happiness and positivity. Ancient traditions focused more on the “death and rebirth” aspects than we tend to do, believing that true wisdom and healing can only be found through the dying of the old worn out structures and defences, and the entering into the vulnerability of frailty and even collapse. There is hope however, that from the pain and loss there will come new strength, new energy, new growth – a Phoenix rising from the ashes perhaps, a seedling pushing its way through the rotting wood of its fallen ancestor.

So, I am entering the flames, reluctantly, but convinced that good will come, and that there will be rebirth. I’m not particularly enjoying the process, but I am trusting my inner resources, making use of my therapy and of the love and understanding of my friends, my family and supporters.

“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well”  –  Julian of Norwich