by April Bender
Without a doubt, one of the most creative and transformative movements we as human souls are blessed to experience is that of death and rebirth. This is a process that we are invited to engage in many times throughout the course of our lives to varying degree, as it is a process of growth and renewal.
Often these cycles arrive seemingly unannounced, catching us off-guard and thrusting us out of the safety of our well-crafted inner mansions of illusion. No matter the catalyst, they challenge us to examine our core beliefs, assumptions, intentions, expectations and ways of being in the world. This is because on many different levels, they no longer serve us (or the collective) and are inhibiting not only our growth but our experiences of peace, joy, freedom, and authenticity - qualities of our divine birthright.
The death of these old friends can leave us feeling unsettled, alone, vulnerable, fearful, anxious or angry, and that we no longer have control over our own lives. Many of the these fears and beliefs may have been put in place originally as survival mechanisms and we may be afraid that in letting them go we leave ourselves open to further harm. Depending upon how deeply such beliefs, attitudes and behaviors are ingrained, we may also feel that our very identity is in peril prompting us to ask, "Who am I?" And to further complicate matters, while in the throws of this sober reflection we often cannot yet see the beautiful rebirth awaiting us on the horizon. It is a strange and unsettling landscape indeed for those journeying through the shadows of the death.
I wanted to write about this topic because over the last year I've personally been moving through my own deeply transformative death and rebirth process. I wanted to share some of the insights and aha's that emerged for me in the hopes that they might benefit others who are also moving through this difficult process.
First and foremost, these cycles herald change and change can be scary, or more accurately put, the unknown can be scary. However, you are in the situation you find yourself in because you are being prompted to change and grow. The Universe/God/Creater, your soul and higher self have provided you a catalyst in which to do so. Perhaps it was the death of a loved one, the loss of a job or home, a physical/mental illness diagnosis or disability, some other form of ongoing suffering, or simply a feeling of restlessness or lingering discontent. In any event, the impetus is provided and awareness given that one cannot continue to go on in the same way - something MUST change. Of course we may choose to ignore the trigger and to put that change off, which only guarantees that another, larger trigger or catalyst will appear and in the meantime, we will continue to feel miserable, lost, or stressed. Earlier I noted that these cycles of death and rebirth often seemingly appear out of nowhere, but in looking back you can often note that there were subtler signs of needed change that went unheeded. So as scary as change may seem, you're better off embracing it because change WILL come one way or another and its best to work consciously and proactively with this process.
What changes in your life have you been putting off? What are you afraid will happen if you make those changes? What will happen if you don't make those changes?