Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Leaving Behind A Muted World

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

"The collective denial of our underlying emotional life has contributed to an array of troubles and symptoms. What is often diagnosed as depression is actually low-grade chronic grief locked into the psyche, complete with the ancillary ingredients of shame and despair. Martin Prechtel calls this the gray-sky culture, one in which we do not choose to live an exuberant life, filled with the wonder of the world and the beauty of day-to-day existence, one in which we do not welcome the sorrow that comes with the inevitable losses that accompany us on our walk here. This refusal to enter the depths has shrunk the visible horizon for many of us, dimmed our participation in the joys and sorrows of the world. We suffer from what I call premature death - we turn away from life and are ambivalent toward the world, neither in it nor out of it, lacking a commitment to fully say yes to life."

- The Wild Edge of Sorrow by Francis Weller

Fully saying yes to life can be a very scary even daunting proposition. I am still learning to do it. I believe many of us human beings spend a lot of our lives learning to say yes in a resounding and full body way.

It has been nearly three years since I discovered a world outside of the gray-sky world I had been (unknowingly) living in for so many years. Even now I still have days where I look at the world around me and wonder how I didn't notice so much more of the vibrance and vividness of the world. It's not uncommon for tears to burst from my eyes when I find myself deeply enjoying a very simple pleasure such as a beautiful flower or a street so beautifully lined with green, leafy trees that I suddenly feel as if I am walking through a cathedral. The world outside our windows is suffused with such incredible energy, variety and color.

And yet so many of us are so preoccupied that we scarcely see what is around us let alone participate with that world beyond our skin. Unhealed, unacknowledged, unattended grief was my overarching preoccupation for so many years. And the grief was so close to me, so thick inside me, that it somehow blinded me to the beautiful world that does in fact exist. Paying no heed to our grief seems a virtual guarantee of cementing it in place within ourselves. Psychotherapist Francis Weller's words I have quoted above strike me as very wise. These words are the fruits of many years spent witnessing and exploring the wounded, dark aspects of humanity.

Spring came to Minnesota several weeks ago. I suppose there are several definitions the local population uses to demarcate the definitive end of winter and beginning of spring. Some might consider the full ice out of area lakes to indicate spring has arrived. Others might say spring begins when the last frost has come and gone. I personally think of spring as being "officially" here when the world has so greened up that your memory of barren trees populating a monochromatic world of browns, grays and whites begins to sufficiently fade such that you wonder how the world could look anything other than green.

Minnesota is an interesting place to have serve as a backdrop for a personal awakening. Seasonal variation is so intense here. Subtlety is not synonymous with Minnesota physical climatology.

I am grateful to enjoy the many blessings I have in my life.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I invite you to accompany me as I document my own journey of healing. My blog is designed to offer inspiration and solace to others. If you find it of value I welcome you to share it with others. Aloha!