Thoughts on Commitment, Justice and Death
It's that time of year.
The time of reflection. Of letting go, and letting die, all of the parts of our lives that are no longer serving. The parts that maybe we got a little carried away with (or in, or by) in the excitement of spring and summer blooming. It is a time of choosing, firmly, those things we are committed to. A time of remembering our big picture vision, and our deepest why. Of hunkering down and showing up to what truly matters.
Each year about this time, I learn to a deeper degree the importance of integrity. The importance of being clear in my communications with others about what I want, what I need, and what I am willing to offer. The importance of trusting in my own choosing. The cost of not doing so, it seems, gets higher and higher each year.
It is also a time of justice (or karma). A time of reckoning. A time of coming to face our deeper truth; our soul; the part of us that is connected to the larger web of Life. This is the part of us that feels deeply the impact of our indulgences and frivolities on ourselves, others and the world.
Autumn is a time of being stripped down and bared to the world in our raw humanity - destructive self-indulgent patterns, egoic manipulations, warts and blemishes, and all. There is no hiding from autumn's desquamation.
The process of receiving fall's truth often results in some kind of death, and a humbling of our egos. As I related to a good friend a few weeks ago (after receiving a dose of my own truth), truth often feels like a smack-down. Like we have been chasing the stars in some magical world and all of a sudden a force of Life larger than us flicks us out of the sky and says, lovingly, but firmly, "Get back down on Earth, Earthling."
We are left feeling defeated, exposed, and humbled. But also peaceful, and kind of relieved. More deeply trusting that we do not need to hold it all ourselves. Trusting that we can surrender to Life. Trusting that there is justice inherent in the laws of the natural world.
In this space of death we are always asked to let go. Things we were pursuing excitedly will suddenly fall away. Things we thought we wanted will no longer hold any appeal. People will leave. Opportunities will vanish. We will simply no longer have energy for anything that is not 100% true. And so we let go. Or it lets go of us. The letting go is not easy, but it is necessary. We must experience death.
In this space of death we grieve, and we also receive a gift - a gift of space. Space where we can feel deep into the cavity of our hearts and hear the calling, the longings, the deepest desires of our own soul. Space where we can hear with new clarity our truth.
Like the rock in the riverbed, water will continue to rush around us, but we will be settled. Settled in for the long winter nights ahead.
Stripped down, our truth is clear. Humbled, we have courage to speak it.
This is the space from which we can make true commitments.
So walk through these autumn months slowly, with as much intention and presence as you can muster. Allow yourself your grief. Spend some time feeling into the longings that emerge from deep within your heart. Honour the truth of what you find there. Slowly, with the heaviness of a heart that is settled, begin to speak your new desires and promises into the world.
Be sure, also, to take a moment, amidst the grief and the quiet and the revelations, to celebrate all that has brought you to this place of deeper knowing of yourself. Be endlessly grateful for the deeper vein of Life that flows through you - the part of you that intuitively knows and yearns to live from a place of Justice, and that calls you home again and again, to your unique conversation in the world.