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A Prayer by Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Two weeks ago I woke up in, what seemed, a depression. My coffee tasted bland, the sky was gray, nothing appealed to me and even “getting things done” offered no solace at all. It had always worked before. But on this day, nothing was “working”: I felt empty and hollow, numb to the world and frightened. What was wrong? I asked myself over and over…

As I look back on that day, I have learned a great deal. The following five life lessons are my “take-away” from what I experienced:

One: stay with it. Trust your feelings and allow this “visitor” room. Don’t distract or cover up what is occurring with busyness.

Two: Rather than ask “why” ask “what am I to learn?” Be curious…invite exploration. Open to the possibility of this experience of grayness being a precious gift.

Three: Find gratitude. Even if it feels a bit difficult, dwell in gratitude for what could be a life lesson…something priceless.

Four: Trust that life brings us what we need (whether we realize our need or not). Trust that everything is an opportunity for learning and growth.

Five: Have faith. Believe that dark moments or days open to more light and life. We only have to stay on our path. And sometimes we must experience the darkness to find joy in the light.

For me, I have learned that I needed to be “hollowed out” for a new way to have room in my life. The coping strategy of “getting things done” needed to step back…needed to allow more room for something new. I am still at ‘work’ on embracing a new way of being in the world: a way that is more engaged and connected…more meaningful. As best, I welcome all of my experiences.

This poem from Clarissa Pinkola Estes spoke to me and softened my heart. As I read her words, I felt grateful. I am sharing it with you in hopes that it touches your heart as well.

A Prayer

Refuse to fall down
If you cannot refuse to fall down,
refuse to stay down.
If you cannot refuse to stay down,
lift your heart toward heaven,
and like a hungry beggar,
ask that it be filled.
You may be pushed down.
You may be kept from rising.
But no one can keep you from lifting your heart
toward heaven
only you.
It is in the middle of misery
that so much becomes clear.
The one who says nothing good
came of this,
is not yet listening.”

―Clarissa Pinkola Estés, The Faithful Gardener: A Wise Tale About That Which Can Never Die

And now it’s your turn: Are you feeling or have you felt an opening…an empty or dull feeling that could be an announcement of the possibility of a better way? A happier and more joyful way? Would you be willing to share your experience? Please feel free to comment!

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