Marilyn Gordon, Cht
she was badly hurt in a car accident by a drunk driver,
Amy sat in her hospital bed with a patch over her eye.
Though she had difficulty breathing and felt the pain
of broken bones, she said that she was stunned at how
she was excited by life, excited to be alive. She was
feeling something new to her – the ability to live
on a level of openness and intensity and even joy. The
accident had literally cracked open her shell.
opening happens to many people – not only through
cataclysm, but also through the daily awakening process
that every one of us is undergoing. Everything, when truly
seen in its most transparent level of truth, has a particular
purpose in the scheme of things. Everything we undergo
and everything we feel is an opportunity for awakening.
When you look back at the events of your life, you may
see in hindsight how the pieces of the puzzle fit together,
how experiences that have grieved you or made you angry
or terrified were exactly what you needed to both deepen
you as a soul and help you to move on in your growth.
A relationship that ended might have been just the chance
you needed to move to a different city or to another person,
and to find something with which your soul is more aligned
– or at the deepest level, to awaken you to the
essential experience of your Self.
can pierce us so strongly that they actually blow us open.
Wounds of the heart, for example, can be just the piercing
we need to unlock our deepest feelings. It’s good
to honor these experiences of ripping away the obstructions
in our consciousness so that we can truly remember that
ultimately they’re opening us to God-realization
and higher life. At the same time, we don’t have
to wallow in any of our feelings. We can experience them,
release them, and transform them as we move to increased
levels of wisdom and light. We all have emotional patterns
that are scripts we came here to experience. Some of us
are very angry. Others are cowering and fearful. Some
are very controlling. Still others are filled with deep
sadness and grief. Some of us feel all these feelings,
though usually some theme predominates. Most of us were
born with these feelings (called “samskaras”
in Sanskrit), and we came here to transform them.
everything is a part of God. Everything is made of the
energy of the Universe, including all of our feelings.
Rightly understood, considering that everything is made
of the fabric of the Universe, there’s a great plan,
a built-in system of spiritual transformation and emotional
healing in everything we experience. Sadness can open
us to the heart of all of humanity. Anger can give us
power. Fear can protect us in many circumstances. Even
depression can show us the underbelly of its opposite
sunny reality so that we can balance the dualities of
life and eventually move beyond the duality to the Oneness
of all things.
main problem occurs when emotional experiences prevent
us from functioning – or when they linger on and
on. Yet even here there is opportunity for awakening,
as we at some particular time, come to an “Ah hah!”
of decision in which it becomes clear that we can step
into another level of seeing. It’s as if suddenly
(or even gradually) the sky opens up and another level
of living is revealed. We might see that through our own
suffering we can now feel profound compassion for people
all over the world who are suffering. We might feel a
profound wisdom that shines a laser beam on the meaning
of some experience in our lives. Maybe that divorce, for
example, is exactly what both your souls need for greater
growth and self-knowledge. It is more than likely that
the death of a dear one or the loss of a job or a physical
illness are all teachings, opportunities to move away
the clouds, to be more present and more awake.
Opening up the Frozen Pictures
At 31, Maria knew she needed to do something drastic.
She felt like she’d cut herself off from her feelings,
she really wanted to be married, and she was having a
hard time recovering from a massive blow she’d received
at age 16. That’s when her father had jumped from
a fourth story balcony and killed himself. She carried
around a constant undertone of sadness. She wondered why
her high school years couldn’t have been “normal.”
She never expressed any of her deep feelings to anyone.
She just acted as if everything were okay – and
so the experience hung on inside of her. She wanted to
know how this horrible thing could have happened to her
family. She knew more than anything that she wanted to
open her heart up and heal.
was carrying around what we call “frozen pictures
in the soul” – a freeze-frame picture taken
at a significant moment, frozen in time, eternally magnetizing
the same feelings that Maria felt in the stunning moment
years ago. She watched her mother come to terms with what
happened, but as for herself, she felt completely stuck.
Maria came to a healing session, she relaxed very deeply
and saw a picture in her mind of her high school track
and field. She knew that she was being taken back to that
time to visit that cataclysmic period of her life. She
experienced herself as being in a fog, going through the
motions and being overwhelmingly and all-consumingly sad.
When her dad jumped off that building, she shut herself
down. She was ashamed to admit to anyone what had happened.
But now it was very different. She was 31 and ready to
allow herself to feel and to untie the knots within herself.
In her mind’s eye, she saw the sixteen year old
girl that she'd been – sad and ashamed. This time,
she shifted the picture of that girl and allowed her to
say, “Help!” She allowed herself to be listened
to and understood. She allowed tears to flow. She allowed
herself to breathe, and finally her Wise Mind spoke to
her. It said:
okay. It was no one's fault. All people go through ups
and downs and sadness. Dad didn’t want it to happen
either – but he was extremely sad. His physical
thyroid problems ran in the family, and the problems overpowered
communicated with her dad: “I’m so sorry it
had to happen. I wish you could be here with me.”
In her mind’s eye, she and her dad showed each other
their love. Her Wise Mind again spoke to her:
with you on another level. Sadness has opened your heart
to another level of living. Don't be afraid to feel it
and write about it, and as you do, it lifts from you and
there is rebirth – springtime.”
word, “springtime,” came to be Maria’s
word of healing. She felt light and warm, good and open.
She knew that this healing had to have gone beyond her
intellect, to the deepest place in her soul. All her past
migraine headaches ended, and she entered a much happier
phase of her life.
The steps in deep inner healing as mentioned here are:
experience, release, and transform. First allow the experience
of your experience. So often we want to run away from
our experience. Our culture offers palliatives, drugs,
escapes, and entertainment so we don’t have to experience
ourselves. And yet, there is great value and richness
in allowing ourselves to come to know what is the true
content of our lives.
we can release the experience, using special techniques
or just awareness and breathing. And then we can transform
by taking a leap in consciousness to an expanded level
of knowing, in which we’re in touch with love, wisdom,
light, peace, forgiveness, witness consciousness, and
compassion. This ability to move our consciousness is
a gift we’ve all been given. It’s a seed inside
that can bear fruit when we take good care of the higher
gift of healing potential and expanded understanding.
We came here to know this other level of life, often through
our deepest trials, and to ultimately rest in the knowledge
that we are all made of the same Infinite Energy.