Sunday, February 9, 2014

2012, Digital Alchemy, The End and Beginning

As I begun 2012 I had no idea the level of loss and heartbreak I would experience. Within the first 6 months I had attended 2 funerals, spent hours navigating the care of a dying relative and suffered an unexpected and deeply painful loss and betrayal in my virtual life. I had heard a lot about the Mayan predictions for the “end of the world” but only later did I fully realize it was not the end of the physical world, but of the world as I knew it. By the end of the summer I had lost my Father-In-Law and my children’s bereavement around the loss of their Grandfather was a more difficult than the experience of my own grief. Alchemy is a power or process that changes or transforms something in a mysterious or impressive way. The purifying flames transmute our life, allowing it to grow into something richly more precious and valuable. Experiencing losses like these are when most of us turn to faith, or belief or hope in something greater than ourselves to bring us through the intensely painful emotions that pervade our existence.

I began to explore the spiritual side of myself more deeply. It was a time when I questioned everything that I believed, and challenged my higher power to remove my doubts by setting my heart free. Many of my friends, online and offline were experiencing some pretty significant losses in health, relationships, and family as well. Each of us has lived to endure these heart-breaking experiences in profoundly spiritual ways. Perhaps this was “the End” of the 2012 prophecies.

By the end of the Fall 2012, I’d lost a very good online friend as well as trust in a supportive group I discovered did not serve my life purpose. Despite my lamenting (and at times overt denouncing of) the presence of any God or metaphysical support in my life, I continued to receive gentle guidance as I escaped into my online worlds. Facebook and Second Life became my refuge and I constantly awaited signs or messages via the people I had connected with there. There were times when my prayers were answered with a meme, or random post by a friend; a conversation on a podcast or in SL local chat. At other times it was a randomly received link, YouTube video or blog post. The best were those times when I would log onto Second Life or Facebook and received a message from a friend with a question about their own lives, the answer to which became guidance for my own. It was as if “the web” provided the means to connect with a network of people, symbols and potentials, I had not yet experienced in my life …at a time when I desperately needed answers… and hope!

Experiencing these amazing synchronicities as I moved into 2013 were difficult to deny, but I did just that feeling no sense of relief from what I believed were more burdens than I was deserving of. I started the year raw and in pain. As the seasons progressed I was online less as my tangible world was subjected to new experiences of betrayal, abuse and narcissism that forced a reevaluation of the way I viewed my life, my relationships and my Self. There was tremendous emotional pressure to become something else, although I had no idea “what’?

There were times when the pain became so difficult I wanted desperately to climb out of the valley onto familiar ground. I wanted to try to recreate the past, knowing in my heart that things would never be the same. No matter how badly I wanted to relive the memories of happier times, the reality is that once the experience was shattered, the pieces no longer fit together the way they had before…which created more pain.

In October I suffered one of two of the most devastating losses of my lifetime. My Grandfather, who has been a mentor, guide and loving male role model for my entire life, died unexpectedly after 3 days in the hospital for an abdominal aneurism. This was a turning point. I had struggled with lots of questions over the course of my lifetime, the most prominent in my early 30s when I began to seek answers about my true life purpose. The preceding 18 months, however, had provided experiences that caused me to question life itself… Love, Being Loved, Loss, Trust, Betrayal, Forgiving, being Forgiven…

Losing my grandfather caused every question to collapse into one… what makes me happy? It brought new meaning to my life and the way I view each experience. I am learning to ask this question constantly “does this contribute to my happiness?” and my answer now serves as a guide. It has not been as easy as it sounds as you might find if you have not yet put into practice this very simple moment-to-moment inquiry. Learning to answer truthfully, authentically has meant doing things I previously would have never considered and refusing to do things I once jumped into willingly. Each “yes” or “no” seems to be gently guiding me toward a life I never thought possible and although I have not yet arrived, it is the journey I am focused on now. I still hurt as I explore old and new loss, but the recovery time is much quicker each time. I learned tonight that an estranged half brother died last June. I mourn for him, but accept the loss because I understand that it will only make me stronger as I allow myself to experience my grief.

My recovery is ongoing, and I am still learning… but I am also evolving into someone I’d never foreseen. I am learning to love more authentically, to trust more liberally and to forgive those who have wronged me. I am learning that some relationships are brought into our lives to teach us how to let go, so that we are able to expand and make way for something greater as we seek purpose.

I am looking forward to all that 2014 will offer me, and release fear of the unknown opening the way to fully allowing my creative self to invent the life I have prayed for… to manifest dominion over the life promised to me when I entered this lifetime.

…and for that I am filled with gratitude Gratitude, GRATITUDE.

Ashe’.Selah <3



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