The End of the World Isn’t Such a Bad Thing.

Via on May 1, 2012
Photo: AndYaDontStop

When we surrender we find a great victory.

I decided right now to review my current situation and condition, and to share some thoughts I have on the subject. Since writing is cathartic to me, it just seems so right at the present time to “clean out the attic” and review things while sharing what I find.

This year has been what could be termed a “disastrous” year for me. My marriage ended unexpectedly, my family was split up (which devastated me completely), and the company I worked for went bankrupt, leaving me unemployed for the first time in about 20 years or so. The state of New Jersey has decided to screw with me on UI benefits, somehow citing that corporate bankruptcy and the failure to be paid due wages are not truly grounds for not working for someone. I’ve endured great physical pain and mental anguish, and stress levels that I never thought could exist.

The “more” has shown itself in so many ways. I learned to embrace aloneness. I actually find those moments of aloneness to be quite amazing. I’ve let go of the attachments and ideas that caused me such suffering and despair. I’ve found a love for this life that is not dependent on any other human being. I appreciate employment as a mechanism of happiness in my life that has very little to do with money.

I appreciate the time I have with my children. I love them, no doubt, and  cherish each second with them. I see them differently, not as “my children” per se, but as human beings who look to me for guidance on how to make their way in this world.  They have to experience things on their own, but their dad is always going to be available to them to help them along in fostering their spiritual selves, as well as dealing with this world’s insanity. Physical presence is not mandatory, but so welcomed.

I have a renewed appreciation for friends. These are wonderful points of light for me, not just for companionship, but as an expression of who I am. I love these people and I cherish them. They brighten my day, soften my stance, harden my resolve and basically show me the way on so many fronts. I simply love people, and those who love me back hold a special place in my heart. It is awesome.

Love. Yes, love. To have someone who captures my imagination while allowing me to capture theirs.  To count on someone, not just for the minutia of daily living, but for the grander appreciation of who we are both as individuals and as a team. To hold a hand that holds me in return. To be wanted, needed, cherished and loved.

To be accepted in who I am and to not have to assume a role as if an actor in a play. To never be told again how inadequate I am in this role or that role or in my reaction to something. To be able to feel anger and have someone say, “I love your rage,” or to feel passion and have someone say, “that’s sexy.”

To have someone who absorbs it all, lets go of it ensuring that it never returns. Amazingly enough, in committing to only having spiritually connected relationships built on a sense of Love and Spirit, I’ve found great joy and security in the promise of what is to come. There are no more relationships built on the physical alone. It must be so much more.

This type of love is music that calms the wild beast while allowing that beast its moments of rapture. If we both give and accept it, then we are Home. When we no longer need “hedge our bets,” but are enveloped fully and completely in this universal truth, we are found. When we surrender we discover we have found a great victory.

I am not a victim in the turmoil, I am an active participant who has found great freedom in it. I have found love, peace, and above all, freedom as I rose from the ashes of what I thought I knew into something I now know. I feel like a flower that has found its way through the cracks in a lava flow after an enormous eruption. To experience that beauty was probably a major reason for the eruption in the first place.

Today I am still dealing with some physical pain and financial stress. I still miss my kids when they aren’t with me. I never feel lonely even when alone. I don’t feel sad, or angry. I feel so much love in my life that those things like sadness, anger or despair rarely have room to exist.

I enjoy late night talks with a special someone (frankly, I enjoy those talks at any time of day), and the encounters with people I have never met, and the friends I love to hang with. I enjoy the promise of this moment and rarely think beyond it (although, to be honest, I smile when I realize where I think I am going). I enjoy my spiritual practice, sharing kindness and receiving love.

In essence, the end of the world as I knew it wasn’t such a bad thing. In fact, I feel fine. It was a great thing for me.

A wise sage once said, “most of us realize that the Sea is the drops of water, but how many of us realize that the drops of water are the Sea?

Well, it took a great challenge I wasn’t sure I would survive to teach me that very important lesson. I get it, and even as I take some beatings in this experience, I will always try to hold on to that wisdom.

Peace. Now enjoy this song since you all knew it was coming!

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~

Editor: Brianna Bemel

About Tom Grasso

Tom Grasso is a seeker, pathological meditator, a veteran firefighter and rescue tech, a poet, a blogger (new site), and creative wordsmith. More importantly, he is a father of three (meaning he is also a lecturer, teacher, chef, order taker, taxi driver, coach, mentor and aspirin addict) and has found great joy in sharing his life experience to the benefit of others. Tom is an abuse survivor and a reformed (though unapologetic) bad ass warrior who bares the scars of his adventures and the power of transformation in every word he writes. You can follow Tom on Tumblr , and can find his books on Amazon. You will soon be able to purchase Tom's short stories (and erotica) at www.tomgrasssowriter.com. Don't forget to like his "blog page" at Tom Grasso, Writer on Facebook.  

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8 Responses to “The End of the World Isn’t Such a Bad Thing.”

  1. Tanya Lee Markul Tanya Lee Markul says:

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  2. Sheila McVay says:

    Tom, Thanks for sharing your story. Mine is similar…a completely unexpected divorce, a cancer scare, an exciting but terrifying career shift, the loss of pretty much everything in my life that was familiar and comfortable. Like you, I have grieved the losses, but I have also found abundant blessings in the purity of the friends who have surrounded me, the solace of meditation, the blissful transport of asana, and the reshaping of my understanding of myself. The lesson I have learned is that if I can hold on to my center, it doesn't matter what else is happening. Great pain can be an amazing opportunity.
    Peace to you!

    • Tom Grasso tomgrasso says:

      Awesome for you Sheila!! What I have found is that the "center" has even shifted. Or, more concisely, my understanding of what my "center" is has changed. What was the center even a few months ago is no longer even close for me. That isn't to say that these ideals were not present, it is to say that I simply did not understand their importance until suffering revealed that importance.

      At least that is my experience. It seemed to take several hooks to the head for me to finally realize I need to duck :).

      Peace.

  3. Sheila says:

    My meditation teacher reminded of a lovely story that illustrates exactly what you are saying. It goes something like this: "A guru was trying to explain our reactions life's trials to his students. He asked them to gather three things: an egg, a carrot, and tea leaves. He then placed each of these three things in boiling water for 15 minutes. At the end of the 15 minutes, he removed them and asked the students to observe what happened. The carrot grew softer. The egg hardened. And the tea leaves transformed the water. These are our options when faced with fire and difficulty. Will we harden, soften or transform?" Simple but profound. Sounds like you transformed!

    • Tom Grasso tomgrasso says:

      Yes, profound indeed. So much so that the story got my mind engaged.

      The odd thing is that I believe I did all of those things sometimes all at once. The hardening and softening created the transformation to some degree. There were times I was as rigid as a rock, others softer than air. They all led to this present moment and all are, in effect, a mechanism of transformation.

      The important thing about that story is that none of the answers are wrong. Hard-boiled eggs are valuable, as are soft carrots and tea. Each has transformed and have some value to someone.

      Peace!

      • Valerie Carruthers ValCarruthers says:

        While hardening and softening are elements in creating transformation, they are also the byproducts of transformation itself. Consider that in Hinduism, it's said that the heart of a living saint is "hard as a thunderbolt, soft as butter."

        • Tom Grasso tomgrasso says:

          :)

          I've always been led to the Taoist description of water, both hard and soft at the same time. Water can conform to any container while breaking any rock…just like the Soul.

          <3

  4. Valerie Carruthers ValCarruthers says:

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Spirituality Homepage.

    Valerie Carruthers
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