by Jennifer on April 23, 2007

544The Victory and Art of Falling Apart

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

One spring three years ago almost exactly, we had one of our first sunny days and I sat on a wicker chair under a tree that hid me, and looked through the new green leaves at the world. Everything felt good into my bones, and I wanted it to stay that way forever. That was not long before I left my last part-time job, and fully surrendered to my true work, and I was exhausted heart, mind, and body from trying to belong in a world I did not. It was a day off, but I always knew the next time I would have to enter that office would come.

I let my eyes wander toward what had once been a garden on the edge of our land. When the owner had said it had a garden, I hadn’t imagined how many years it had been since someone had used it as such. The tall, old fence posts leaned like trees in the wind, holding sagging bits of various fence material together, and most of all holding in an incredible castle of blackberry bushes. Reclaiming the earth from beneath it seemed like an impossible task.

That day, however, my eyes rested on the far end of the garden and what looked like the pre-historic remnants of a life it once knew. Giant comfrey plants, a sky-scraping fennel, and an enormous rhubarb peered out at me where I had never seen them before…and beckoned. Somehow, in that moment, I saw freedom in that garden, waiting for me. I knew that somehow that garden meant my release.

One pair of clippers and I carved tunnels into a blackberry world with stems as think as small trees that became branches arching over my head like cathedral ceilings. I could literally walk through the tunnels I created. As I did so I recovered a rake, a bucket, a ball, two wasps nests, and finally to my great joy, a wooden bench at the center. I spent three weeks tunneling through those branches, and many more with my husband digging out the immense root structures everywhere under the ground. But that very summer we, who had never gardened a day in our lives, had tomatoes, and herbs, and zuchinni. And every year since then we grow more and more vegetables every time.

The fence posts still lean and I love its wild edges everywhere and the half of the garden we leave just as it is. This year I am finally reentering…it is always a surrender inside of me to put my hands back in the earth and be so close to the plants again. It changes me every time. And to this day, every time I enter that garden it is freedom, and reminds me of the freedom I ultimately found as prophesied.

We didn’t get to clean up the garden at the end of the summer last year and everything stood just as it had been, frozen in time and disappearing into vines and tall grass…waiting once again to be reclaimed. And it felt so good to pull away from each plant last year’s growth, old and dry, and watch the plant come to life again with that freedom.

We all need those chances to shed the old growth, even if it gave us so much at the time, there is always new growth waiting to emerge that can use that nourishment still spent on sustaining the old. We can all use more freedom, and the more we have, the more we can give to that which makes us thrive. These are times which are incredibly demanding for many of us. If we are sensitive to the energy shifts in our world and cosmos at this time we are likely to feel quite often that we are literally losing our minds…and yet we are all taught to “hold it together” in order to function in this world.

Yes, falling apart can cost us more than we are willing to lose if we don’t have a lifeline. If you feel that you are in risk of harming yourself or others, of course please do reach out for help immediately. But if that is not the case, then it is likely that falling apart is your greatest chance of breaking free, finding out what is left afterward, and reclaiming what is your own. Reclaiming the gifts of who we are from who we were or think we should be, is like breaking a living being out of ice, and if we need to fall apart sometimes to do this, so be it.

In the ancient temples we did this on purpose…with purpose. A ceremony would be created to honor this passage, and the person would be given the space and loving guardianship to absolutely let go, to “lose” their mind and reconnect therefore with that which was much deeper within themselves, effectively clearing away the obstacles. Though most of us do not have the elements around us for these rituals to take place, we can still create the sacred space for them to happen. We can still give ourselves a day to totally let go, with no commitments, and explore through writing or being in nature, or sharing deeply with a true friend or friends. We can, in meditation, rather than avoid our feelings, allow ourselves to travel as deeply into them as possible. This is accomplished most profoundly by first imagining a safety net or lifeline to your deepest heart or a guide or being you deeply trust and relate to which may allow you to go deeper into your journey of releasing.

When I look back in my life, it is often the times I have been most challenged that the gems of my being not only came forward but were empowered. They first had to be reclaimed for me to be able to use them when they were called upon. These times call upon our greatest gems within, and we must set aside any old growth that hinders us to find freedom, sometimes by falling apart, sometimes by reclaiming our own sacred ground, in order to bring them forward with empowered strength and use them in the world. May your gems, both those in conscious view and those submerged, be revealed to you in great beauty, clarity, and power, so that you may reveal them to others…as the time has come. In love and total faith, Jennifer

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