The Devotion in Dying
Somewhere around my 36th birthday I crossed a slippery imperceptible threshold. Deposited on the other side, I found myself in a land where nearly everything that had previously felt like mine, now no longer fit. At the time I focused on the necessity of redefining my marriage. But truthfully, the redefinition of my marriage was only one (albeit impossibly painful) necessary step in a much larger process that had already begun, a process in which everything - now actively dying - would fall away, leaving only the barest of my essence; the core of me. Again, in retrospect, I have realized that this process of dying to everything I had previously used to define myself, every way of being in the world, was a necessary step in order to arrive at my own doorstep. It was necessary for me to let go of everything I had imagined myself to be, in order to finally come into contact with my Self. At the time I was in the midst of what felt like a maelstrom; more heartbreak, pain, fear and uncertainty than I can remember experiencing in my life. At times like this we don't have the luxury of having anything to hold on to. It seems the very medicine of this moment is the fact that we are left with nothing but our faith to keep us getting up each day. And in this place we discover the beginnings of our language; the voice and vocabulary that is distinctly and uniquely ours. This voice offers us nothing but an immeasurable, irrational hope, whispering, "one more step....just this one...now one more..." In these moments we are offered the profound opportunity to choose. No matter what the choice, the act of choosing is the devotional act. Should you be lucky enough to find yourself at this threshold, don't for a moment call it a mistake. Don't wish it away or judge it to be the sign of a life off kilter. If allowed, it will become the most extraordinary process that will ever happen to you. Do not medicate it, numb it or box it up. Rather, water it, feed it, sing to it at night. Make love to it through your fear. This is your chance (perhaps your one and only) to live the only life you have - the one that is yours alone to live.