Life’s challenges are opportunities for growth. This idea may be familiar to you, perhaps you’ve been trying it out. I had come to believe that I lived by this notion, although my conviction was thoroughly tested on the day my father announced he had terminal cancer.
There’s nothing quite like the impending death of someone we’re close to, for creating cracks in our psyche. In my fathers case his carefully preserved self image of being superman; never one to get sick, fiercely independent, always able to solve problems – was shattered, both in his eyes, and mine.
It was humbling to watch him gently collapse into a state of vulnerability. It was also hugely transformative for our relationship.
The ability to be vulnerable leads to healing. Most of us learn to conceal what we consider to be weak, or flawed. But this kind of character building, instead of rooting us firmly in the ground, sets our life on a base of insecurity.
My father’s outer shell was held together with pride. For him, succumbing to illness was a failure, but his diagnosis, although frightening, was more easy for him to bear, than the loss of his mental and emotional armor.
The real truth is that when we’re willing to reveal all of what of lies inside of us – the good and the bad – we shift away from trying to maintain an unbroken mask, and gravitate towards our inner core. This movement is the catalyst which ignites our potential for healing, and being an expression of love.
The ability to be vulnerable is critical to live a full life. Most of us are conditioned to conceal what are considered weaknesses, or flaws. But this kind of character building, instead of rooting us firmly in the ground, sets our life on a base of insecurity.
My father’s outer shell was held together with pride. For him, succumbing to illness was a failure and embarrassment. In some ways, his diagnosis, frightening though it was, was more easy for him to bear, than the loss of his mental and emotional armor.
When we’re willing to reveal what lies inside of us – the so called good, and so the called bad – we shift away from trying to maintain an unbroken mask, and gravitate towards our inner core. This movement is vital if we are to experience the potential we have for healing, and becoming an expression of love.
Vitality and aliveness bubbles up naturally when we drop trying to keep our life together. When my father opened his eyes after almost half a day on the operating table, his expression of astonishment stayed with him for the rest of his life. Doctors predicted that if he survived his surgery he’d live for another year, not the seven more that unfolded.
In every year that followed my father became softer, more open and loving. He reconnected with family members he’d been estranged from, and learned to lean into his partner, friends and family for support. He discovered the power in opening to both his fragility and his natural strengths.
Cracks in our defenses that break open in times of distress and intensity are openings that allow the light of our inner wholeness to begin to permeate our body and life. This light acts like a homing signal. As our heart begins to turn towards the light we begin to remember the divine source of Life. Gradually our creativity and even our personality mirrors the reflection of sacredness.
Then next time you feel broken, yield. Soften into the cracks. Your inner core of love will begin to stream into your body and life, delivering peace, radical physical healing and the ability to build bridges that fortify your connections with others. Trust that when your heart or body is breaking, it’s breaking open to the love you have always been.
Awaken your Heart – new program starting late October
If you’d like to discover your true nature, beyond your conditioning, defenses, or ego, come and take a look at Awaken your Heart. It teaches you how to open to the transformative power and intelligence of love that lives within you. Places are limited – which means there is a high level of personal mentoring and guidance. I’d love for you to join me.