The process of growth is, it seems, the art of falling down. Growth is measured by the gentleness and awareness with which we once again pick ourselves up, the lightness with which we dust ourselves off, the openness with which we continue and take the next unknown step, beyond our edge, beyond our holding, into the remarkable mystery of being.
photo emilio labrador
The one who learns to live with his incapacity has learned a great deal. This will lead us to the valuation of the smallest things, and to wise limitation, which the greater height demands… . The heroic in you is the fact that you are ruled by the thought that this or that is good, that this or that performance is indispensable, … this or that goal must be attained in headlong striving work, this or that pleasure should be ruthlessly repressed at all costs. Consequently you sin against incapacity. But incapacity exists. No one should deny it, find fault with it, or shout it down.
Carl Jung, The Red Book
How do we work with this tendency to block and to freeze and to refuse to take another step toward the unknown? If our edge is like a huge stone wall with a door in it, how do we learn to open the door and step through it again and again, so that life becomes a process of growing up, becoming more and more fearless and flexible, more and more able to play like a raven in the wind?
The wilder the weather is, the more the ravens love it. They have the time of their lives in the winter, when the wind gets much stronger and there’s lots of ice and snow. They challenge the wind. They get up on the tops of the trees and hold on with their claws and then they grab on with their beaks as well. At some point they just let go into the wind and let it blow them away. They have had to develop a zest for challenge and for life.
photo Ingrid Taylar
We can spend our whole lives waiting to start living, instead of loving fully, even though we are flawed. As Emerson reminds us: “Give all for love. Obey thy heart…when half-gods go, the gods appear”
Sit down wherever you are
And listen to the wind singing in your veins.
Feel the love, the longing, the fear in your bones.
Open your heart to who you are, right now,
Not who you would like to be,
Not the saint you are striving to become,
But the being right here before you, inside you, around you.
All of you is holy.
You are already more and less
Than whatever you can know.
Breathe out, Touch in,
Look, I want to love this world
as though it’s the last chance I’m ever going to get
to be alive
and know it.
Mary Oliver, October
Accept – then act
Whatever the present moment contains,
accept it as if you had chosen it
This will miraculously transform your whole life