The World is Dead, completely gone;
Yet I will Live, serenely on.
I acknowledge that this doesn’t really make any sense and that it ends with a preposition. It’s a horrible poem! Yet, I received these words like a sudden cerebral or spiritual download when I was but seventeen years old. The circumstances? One of the most important people in the world to me was really disappointed in and angry with me, and rightly so, because I was being cruel with my words to someone who really needed and wanted my love and approval. In those shame-filled moments, hearing the testimony against me, I wished away my entitlement to emotions, caring, and vulnerability as if my life depended on their absence.
I tried for years to analyze this poem. What could it mean? My obsession with interpreting it faded as years passed, but my curiosity about it never did, as my mind would hit the playback button and bring the poem and the experience once more into vivid reality. Why on earth would these words be so important as to re-emerge over and over?
Nearly thirty years later, I’ve discovered my truth in them. They relate not only to my personal journey, but to our collective human journey as well. They portray a transformation in progress, bringing death, if you will, of personal and collective ego with the birth of spirit-identity.
I have had three really significant “noble friends” or “troublemakers” (terms borrowed from Carolyn Myss and Pema Chödrön respectively) in my life. I have certainly served in this role for others as well, including these very same people. I’m referring to those who serve our spirit development, often in uncomfortable ways. They show us the aspects of ourselves that need work, or they challenge us to come into our power, or they offer other trials like that. Each of my noble friends has taught me about fierce love and then betrayal. With each, I had profound moments when I have fallen out of their favor, when I have sought their love and approval with all my heart. This approval seeking often came from an egoistic tendency more than from a longing for soul-deep connection. However, the fact that I’m a natural people-pleaser has made these experiences incredibly painful for me.
In each instance, I have experienced a bit of death, or transformation, from my people-pleasing, approval-seeking ego-self into what I call my spirit-self. My spirit-self strives for a unique voice and altruistic role in the world, for discovering and living the divine destiny that no one else can fill, whether or not others approve of what I’m doing. Fulfilling these needs and desires requires risk. As I enter my life purpose, some people resonate with me, my life, and my energy, and some really don’t. I learn not to take it personally. I learn to live serenely on, increasingly detached from the collective world of ego that I’ve known, even as I become fabulously connected – richly and meaningfully – with more and more people in my life.
Speaking of the collective, this transformational “rebirth” happens on the global level as well. What’s more egoistic than materialism, individual and corporate greed, corruption, and even throwing money at problems created by the ferocious avarice for money? As we witness the decomposition of egoistic aspects of life and the systems that support them, we have within grasp the opportunity to create ourselves anew, with spirit-driven ideals defined by our spirit-selves. We also have the opportunity to envision new systems and ways of constructing our cultures and societies. We have within us amazing capacity right now to serve as change agents. That change originates from within us, related to our own transformation. Yes, it’s in the depths of our inner world, where first there is darkness, and later there is light – the Hero’s Journey that awaits us all.
Although Ego and her best friend, Fear, still make routine appearances in my life, my own transformational journey promotes overall a sense of faith and trust in what is and what will be. This emerging faith in the face of my former fear-based thinking creates serenity and bliss, a profound sense of gratitude for all I experience in my life. This sense of well-being attracts even more of the same. I now feel fully prepared to step into an unknown future in perfect trust that all is as it must be.
Would you like to join me?
What from your past haunts you, and what’s the lesson here now?
How can you release what doesn’t belong to the present?
What aspects of your life are you rebirthing?
Who do you wish to be to promote your serenity?