January 7, 2022

Why it’s so Hard to Leave Things that Aren’t Working.


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It can be really hard to leave things that aren’t working.

No matter how much our logical mind might “know” about the “right” thing to do, the deeper subconscious that lives in our body has a much more difficult time with it because so many of our unmet needs live there.

Leaving situations or relationships that aren’t working isn’t just about the person or thing, but also what we are afraid we must confront in its absence.

We meet the places we don’t feel intact, the parts of us that we have yet to love, the pain that hasn’t been metabolized.

We wrestle with our fear of death when we don’t feel safe letting go or trusting of the process of life.

It’s almost easier to stay and try to make things work, to “work” on ourselves to try to make toxic situations work for us, rather than to leave and face the death and completion of a cycle of life or love, both externally and internally.

It takes a tremendous amount of courage and inner perseverance to step through the required portal when life is telling us that we need to leave behind what we thought was serving us, what we thought was love.

Our inner ones put up a fight, dig their heels in, and try to get things to be okay again, when they aren’t and never will be again.

We haven’t learned that it is safe to let go, because we haven’t learned in an embodied way what it feels like to be truly safe—that we are held, that there is something else more loving and stable we can take refuge in that will carry us on wings of grace through the transformations of what is dying in our lives.

It’s so common for people to stay in situations that are dead out of a fear of grieving.

There can be no flourishing, no real loving, no reciprocity with the sanctity of life without grieving, without letting the dead or dying circumstances of our lives go.

This kind of psychological death is necessary for our internal transformation.

There’s only so much squeezing ourselves into more pleasing versions of ourselves in the name of “personal growth” that we can do before we arrive at the crossroads where we meet the spiritual path of death and rebirth.

Of grieving.

Of allowing the death of what we once loved to transform into new life.

If we look at a healthy forest, we see that its nature is to flourish.

The natural world is always thriving.

There is a constant ebbing and flowing, a letting go, grooves being carved and a reciprocity and exchange that ultimately serves the flourishing beauty.

Nature is always letting go into more of itself.

It’s always finding balance and healing, even in the regeneration of the dying things.

Stagnancy creates disease and imbalance in the ecosystem.

We are no different.

If we examine our life as a forest, we often see that we are kicking the dirt, covering over seedlings trying to grow, and angry that there is not more life on the forest floor, while we are simultaneously not caring for what needs to be composted, protected, planted, watered, nourished, listened to, fed, or buried.

We begin to rely too heavily on what we think things should look like or how people should be for our sense of safety and security.

We want to hide on other peoples’ forests or buy one already grown.

This is deeply aggressive toward life, and ultimately toward ourselves, because it creates a lot of tension when we try to be or feel or have something that isn’t really what is going on, or what is needed in this season of our lives.

We must slow down.

Safety happens in the slowing down, in coming into the present moment where the ground of our hearts often crack open to welcome us back home.

We can forgive ourselves, look around, and become curious.

What seedlings need protection from the cold?
What needs nourishment?
What needs weeding or composting?
What needs to be cleaned up or allowed more space to grow?

Roots take time to acclimate themselves to the soil.

We can learn to trust the growth process of becoming.

This is the co-creation, not from the top down (the air of the mind down to the hovering over the earth), but knees down, hands deep in the soil, tending, listening, releasing, forgiving, grieving, loving, creating, resting, living, serving…surrendering where we ultimately do not have any control.

It’s safe to let go once we discover where there is truly stable ground we can stand on, a ground that becomes the pillar of our own sanity and the source of our soul sustenance.

Slowly, step-by-step, as we encounter our relationship with the numinous here in the earth of our bodies, we begin to trust that the dissolution process brings us more love, deeper flourishing, and a profoundly more bountiful spirit.

It’s where we can transform this intergenerational transmission of grief and fear, of codependent patterns that have arisen out of a cultural climate that oppresses the feminine and profits off of our wounds of separation.

A culture that decimates forests and plants genetically modified plants that all look the same, while having a severe impact on the ecology.

This kind of culture entrains us to try to make the best out of our suffering, to stick it out, to “do the work,” and to measure our internal progress by the outer circumstances of our lives.

But, what if life isn’t exactly such a precise mirror?

What if what we have learned to neglect is the grief living in our broken hearts?

What if we have been trained to pathologize our fear so we don’t see that what we are deeply afraid of is not knowing love?

Maybe it’s not so much that we need to alter ourselves to get the things we want, but to mourn the things we never had so that we can be available for love.

More love.

Not less.


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