I’m not suicidal or homicidal, so no one panics! Yes, it’s time to die, but not in the way you think. Rather, the message is in the following:
The “old” you has to die so that the “new” you can be born. The first act of creation is always destruction. ~ Katherine Woodward Thomas
The above thought shared by Thomas really got my attention at the start of the week. Then, as if the universe wanted to make sure I didn’t miss the message, moments later, the following anchor quote to a blog I follow showed up in my email inbox:
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. ~ Lao Tzu
I recognize synchronicity like this, when seemingly coincidental events align perfectly with my thoughts. As Einstein said, “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.” It became unequivocally clear that this is the topic my blog needs to address this week.
Now, you may find Thomas’ statement rather jarring. At face value, it felt that way to me, especially since I’m a huge advocate of always honoring ourselves just as we are and just where we are in our lives. After all, that’s the cornerstone of self-acceptance and self-love. Why the duality of the “old” vs. the “new” us? And why such extreme action words as “die” and “destruction”? Lao Tzu’s version of essentially the same message is considerably gentler.
Semantics aside, the central message from both Thomas and Lao Tzu is to let go of our old programming, disempowering patterns of thoughts and behavior, and stubborn ego-based hang-ups that shape how we show up in life and how we create our reality. It’s important we drop our defensive armor to allow our real, authentic self—our soul—to come through and be expressed. The “old” us is the façade, the defensive self we’ve created over the course of our lives to show the world, while the “new” us isn’t necessarily new, per se, just our authentic self we’ve hidden away for safe keeping. Moreover, whether or not you like the characterization of “destruction” coined by Thomas, in order for us to create from the highest intention of our soul, it is necessary to surrender our defensive armor. This process can be rather painful and arduous, but ultimately liberating and transformational. It’s as they say, it gets worse before it gets better.
I started this year full of hope, excitement and anticipation for what was to come. When I did my visioning for 2012 on New Year’s Eve, I was told that things would happen fast, that I needed to be ready and to not resist. Immediately, my mind latched onto what “things would happen fast” meant vis-à-vis my hopes and dreams. I promptly rolled up my sleeves, and was ready to create and manifest in a big way. Now, in the fourth quarter of the year, I can honestly say that a great deal has indeed happened, and I have been on quite the fast, wild ride. However, none of it was in the least bit what I expected; the “things” that happened fast couldn’t be more different from the image conjured in my mind. I was led through deep processing and healing, revisiting some truly painful experiences I had inadvertently buried and crossing some rather difficult terrains. Going through all of that was necessary for me to dismantle my protective façade and to stand naked of defenses to fulfill my soul’s mission.
Oh, yes, part of me really resisted it all, as forewarned not to do. I spent a lot of energy being sorely disappointed that the vision I thought was shown to me didn’t materialize. One day, I even felt a deep and intensive soreness between my shoulder blades, as if I was literally stabbed in the back. The pain progressively grew deeper and more intense, and even my chest started hurting. As the pain and pressure between my shoulder blades got worse, I felt nauseous, and thought I’d pass out. That scary episode was a physical manifestation of my feeling the ultimate betrayal, that I didn’t feel supported on my path. That was how much I was hanging onto the picture I had created in my mind on how things needed to unfold—and how utterly betrayed I felt because it didn’t happen. When I stopped resisting what I was led to experience and let go, the pain and pressure went away.
That was part of the “death of my old self” that Thomas wrote about, which I needed to experience this year. I needed to be with the painful experiences that I had shoved down in the past to avoid feeling the pain before they could be released, before true forgiveness and letting go could be allowed. I needed to shine the light on old thought and behavioral patterns that had subconsciously developed to help me cope with a world that repeatedly hurt and disappointed me. These defensive strategies are no longer necessary, as the real, authentic me comes through to lead the way.
Before I completely bum you out with all this talk of pain and death, let me also be a messenger for the purpose of the pain. Tony Robbins said that our greatest pain is our greatest gift. It’s through experiencing our pain that we awaken to our soul’s purpose, that we come to know our authentic self and love the life we create consciously, by allowing what’s for our highest good to unfold without our control. To help illustrate this point, I’d like to enlist the wisdom of the late Elisabeth Kübler-Ross:
The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen. ~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
If we allow it to happen, pain softens and transforms us. It cracks open our human consciousness to the infinite beauty and love within us. In letting our old beliefs, programming and patterns “die,” we unleash the beauty and love in our heart to be expressed through and as us.
I invite you to join me in not fearing the “death of your old self,” such that the real, authentic you can lovingly come alive. The world welcomes your beauty. The people you’re meant to serve in this life eagerly embrace the fulfillment of your soul’s mission.
Before you go, please share your thoughts/feelings about letting your “old self” die and embracing your “new self” below in the comment box.
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