On the path of the heart, we will inevitably be asked to re-imagine and breathe new life into concepts and ideas that have lost their meaning along the way. Words like “growth” and “healing” must be seeded with a new vision and brought alive again in the fire of our maturing direct experience.
In many ways, the journey that is this life has very little to do with “growing." Perhaps this human passage is equally an odyssey marked by shedding and deflation, recycling and reorganization. What is it that is being “grown” within us, after all? Perhaps it is a growing of capacity . . . capacity for willingness . . . capacity for surrender . . . capacity to live with death as the single constant.
To what degree are we willing to rest in not-knowing what's next, but willing to let go anyway?
For many of us, “healing” has come to refer to a condition in which one no longer has to be in direct contact with the vulnerability of pain or fear. Healing in some instances can mean less sensitivity. As a result, many are only in touch with or interested in a small band of the available emotional spectrum. This is not healing or being healed for it excludes death. It resists the messy, stinky, sensory filth and rage of grief, loss and transformation. Conventional 21st century standards for healing generally do not honor the split nor satisfy the longing for wholeness that each of us carry.
Use your imagination. Imagine you own inner sense of the split; the separation; the tearing apart . . . that ache in your solar plexus or pelvis where you are insatiably hungry for a connection or belonging that was ripped away; torn from your grasp.
Use your imagination; be an alchemist . . . heal the split . . . bring your soul and your physical, human experience back together.
Using your imagination - enter into the chaos, the tumult, the screaming anguish. Notice that you can observe it all in your imagination. You can see the raw, red inflamed tissues, the heart broken in half or fragmented into a thousand pieces.
Use your imagination. Be present to the sensory experience of the disorder, the upheaval, the loneliness. Feel the grief in your bone marrow, the hopelessness in your bowels, the death in your blood. Sit there, in your imagination. Look around the inside of your inside. It's like a bomb went off and you've been running from the scene all your life, ears ringing and tears streaming, confused and afraid.
Grow. Grow your capacity. Sit there. Sit with your consciousness in your belly and look around. Let the dust settle and just observe. Use your imagination to hold yourself present, observing but not overwhelmed. This is the beginning of healing. You are growing your capacity to heal.
For shamans, healers and alchemists, healing requires a confrontation and exploration of the negredo, the darkness . . . an embrace of the blackness. Use your imagination. Observe the darkness . . . observe the disconnectedness and the urge to disembody. Use your imagination. Stay there, right there in the seemingly impenetrable.
Something new will emerge, but you cannot skip over this part . . . the death part . . . the dead part . . . in an attempt to create the conditions for the appearance of something new. Order, organization, connection, rebirth is coming. You will imagine it and it will come . . . but true and lasting, sustained healing will only arise from a direct, embodied, and compassionate confrontation with the death. Use your imagination. Bow your head to the internal trauma you are observing. Bow your inner head . . . and then bow your physical head and say, "OK."
Re-imagining what your inner landscape can be, or will be comes from sensing and feeling into the ash of the loss. Compost the ashes of the trauma. Sink your consciousness into the muddy earth of your bowels and blow the breath of life into the seed of the truth of you that has been waiting all this time.
Use your imagination. Visualize a safe container and safe passage for the rebirth and reorganization. Breathe safety and groundedness into every cell in your body. Insight and wisdom comes from your imagination. What is needed for safety and healing is already all around you . . . it is all around you and inside you: your fellow journeyers, the sun, the moon, the animals, and the stars. Use your imagination . . . use your inner vision. Imagine there are universes unfolding within you. Grow. Heal. Imagine.