Last week I wrote on being “Awake at the Wheel.” Conscious wakefulness comes in layers, in degrees of learning and personal responsibility. After our initial awakening, after our initial “dark night(s) of the soul,” there are many new lessons and levels of development that we continue to meet as we progress upwards into new understanding of who we are and what we are doing in the world. Being “woke” is a process; sometimes painful and excruciating, sometimes awe-inspiring and joyful. The cyclical nature of our personal evolution brings us through old patterning again and again, until we understand the root issues and plant something new in their place.
We are in a constant state of transformation. Once we awaken, we move through the spiral of evolution into new versions of our self, versions that are more creative, grounded, loving and visionary. These versions aren’t void of challenges though. Opportunities arise that provide us with moments to see ourselves more clearly, pushing us to look within for deeper answers and solutions. Situations of this nature ask us to keep growing, for there is always a higher view from which to see.
This knowing doesn’t always leave us feeling confident. Speaking personally, I do like control. I like to know what’s happening. I like to know what I’m feeling, how other people are feeling, what the next step is and where I stand in any given situation. In life though, nothing is guaranteed. Change is constant and chaos is always just under the surface, tossing things about and giving us new ways of looking at things, new ways of responding and new ways to implement the lessons we are learning.
Releasing control is painful. It’s not even obvious how to release control, even if we want to! I contemplate this as waves of angst, sadness, desperation, confusion, love, hope and expectation course through me, plummeting me again and again. In the undertow of our emotional turmoil we come to acknowledge there isn’t much we can do, at least not at face value. We’re plummeted with the weight of each crashing feeling, tossed into the sharp edges of our ego and projections of what has been and what will be. Each smashing encounter reminds us of the many possible potentials that exist in time and space, and we panic in search of the breath that might take us out of the waters of infinity.
Nothing lasts forever. These chaotic waters come to rest eventually. The sun comes back to warm our exhausted spirits as we seek out renewed understanding of our self, of a situation, of another person. We come to terms with the knowing we don’t have all the answers, that although we think we’re determining the weather, we’re pretty much just along for the tide. It is in the catching of our breath where we gain greater gratitude for breathing, more content with stillness and more elation for simply being alive. While the idea of control sounds ideal… it is in the shallow waters where we cease to grow.