Circle of Life

crocus
Image by Identity Photogr@phy

It’s all around me: Death, birth, and transformation. Spring is pushing forth from the sleepiness of winter. New life comes into the world while other life transitions and moves on. The baby birds that just hatched outside of my front door have disappeared overnight which means something found them. The babies have contributed to the cycle of life before they even grew their wings. And so it goes with life, death, and rebirth. What sustains one life can be the physical end to another.

The circle of life and spring seems obvious as I watch the beauty of color unfold. The grayness of winter gives way to flowers, birds nesting, and even sunshine (a rare treat for us in the NW). As I watch nature wake up from the resting of winter, I wonder: Am I birthing a new phase of life? And, if so, what I can I do to make the process as graceful as possible?

One thing I am familiar with is death. As Oprah just said on her show yesterday, “each death is an opportunity to live more fully and be present.” I totally agree. Not only is death an opportunity to wake up and be more conscious and aware, but it is a necessary and unavoidable process. Not just physical death; each life event, transition, and major shift embodies a death of some kind. Even when change is something we are eager to embrace, there is a loss of some kind that requires an acknowledgment. A simple nod that says: I see you, thank you, I am moving on even when we are saying good bye to some aspect of our own being. Of course, there is an overabundance of circumstances that bring extreme pain and suffering, and I’m not minimizing tragic loss due to unforeseeable circumstances. Sometimes it takes time for crisis to recede or settling into changes to free up energy and transform. The time will come when we can make a choice. Will we embrace the opportunity to genuinely create the happiest, healthiest, and abundantly creative life available to us? Or, will we resist healing by denying death?

I do not think that death is a “problem.” It’s our resistance to loss, change, and acceptance of pain that creates suffering. Instead of allowing for discomfort, grieving, and fear of the unknown, we can easily choose denial and avoidance. Rationalizing our choices, we discount the consequences of long term patterns that serve to diminish our well-being and serve to oppress our souls. We trick ourselves into thinking that we are not responsible, we can avoid death, or some one or thing else will take care of us. Like the baby birds, we fail to develop our wings and take flight.

For me, the circle of life represents hope. Hope that we are ok, life will continue, and we all live on regardless of the shape and form we take. Knowing that life never really ends allows me to see death as an opportunity in spite of a sense of loss. If we let it, death creates space for our pain and fears to surface. This is how we grow wings. We develop a capacity to be present with ourselves, our lives, and one another.

hawk
Image by Alan Vernon

Loss may bring pain and suffering, but it does not have to be tragic. Change and transition can be something that births beauty, love, and light. As universal beings, we live on. All things live on, life continues, and death as a genuine termination of existence becomes an illusion. Nothing is permanent. When we allow the pain of loss to be seen, heard, and felt, we create the space, energy, and momentum for birth. When we consciously grant ourselves permission to change, we invite grace into the process. Instead of forcing labor, we openly surrender and let life flow through us.

As I observe the wonder and beauty of spring, I seek to cultivate my own inner birth and transformation. I plant the seeds of change within, pray for guidance that I will nurture and feed my soul’s presence in the most appropriate manner possible, and hope for a graceful birth. I allow for the death of aspects of my being that allow for transition and change. I hope that I can lift the veils of denial, grow my wings and take flight. I continue to float on the wings of grace with hope, love, and light.

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