For years I committed to writing a blog post every month. It was a way for me to connect with my community, to share a perspective or experience from my own life and to have an outlet for expressing myself. (If there’s one thing I love, it’s stepping onto a good soap box and having an audience to receive it.)
After COVID hit, the space I held for the collective became increasingly heavier. I lost my father to Colon Cancer on Father’s Day in 2021 and felt the grief, loss and challenge that everyone around me seemed to be mired in as well.
Over the next few years, life added additional challenges, being blindsided in relationships, the appearance of puncture wounds in my illusions of safety and security and my own experience with COVID during a trip to Europe.
Soon I found myself swimming in very dark waters without much access to light. I simply didn’t have the capacity for sharing more of myself when I needed that energy to make it through the day and function to the best of my ability to the things I was previously committed to.
Working with light is inspiring, creative, energizing and vibrant. But the truth is light workers are also shadow workers. And part of the human experience is moving through the dark nights that visit all of us from time to time. For how can we know light if we don’t also experience the shadow?
“Everything that gives of light, is silently enduring a burn.” ― Victor Frankl
I have become very intimately connected with this quote over the past several years. We can see the truth in it when we think of a candle or a bonfire. But it also applies to people.
Now, as I head into my Chiron return (more commonly known as ‘the midlife crisis’), an astrological transit that typically occurs around the age of 50 but can really be anytime between the ages of 46 – 53 and has us revisit deep wounds that we just haven’t been able to heal or have consciousness around it even though it deeply affects our life, I really see the truth of the quote.
According to mythology, Chiron was a great healer, wise teacher and one of the immortal Centaurs. Unfortunately, he was injured by a poisonous arrow by Heracles, his favorite disciple. He was suffering in great pain but he could not die. Finally, he gave up his immortality for the benefit of Prometheus who was also suffering, and Chiron was sent to the underworld. In the underworld Zeus had mercy for him and he raised him to the heaven.
In astrology, Chiron symbolizes our unhealable injuries and incurable trauma. However, if a person, instead of drowning in their own trauma, is able to accept the trauma and help others who are also suffering, and accept that suffering is part of life, then Chiron may be the key to wisdom, or even to an “Initiation Gate”.
The Chiron Return is a period when we examine so many aspects of our life having reached the midway point of our time here. We are drawn to reexamine our relationships, career, and the things that have provided meaning and fulfillment to us.
Over time what use to give us purpose and meaning may no longer do so. We are dynamic and ever evolving beings which means our hopes, dreams, creative impulses and desires are ever evolving as well. Yet we are surrounded by a world that encourages attachment, illusions of safety, security and sameness over movement, change, freedom and flow.
This transit is another offering from our Soul to take inventory of the things that matter, to be given additional opportunities to heal deep wounds, find the gifts hidden in them and be given another opportunity to align with our Soul’s intention for this lifetime.
The Burn is when we do the deepest shadow work.
The Burn is what creates the alchemical process for transformation.
The Burn is what pulls us in to the murky waters as we dive for light, begging us to be present to the deeper often unconscious layers of pain.
Often we have ignored, repressed and distracted ourselves from this throughout our life.
There is a reason we have epidemics of addiction, loneliness and escapism. Part of the journey of becoming more conscious is to do the healing that has blocked the awareness to begin with.
We can live from a reactive unconscious place as many people do or we can do the healing work which can be heavy and not enjoyable but yields light on the other side.
Typically we need a massive wakeup call (which is why there are so many transits that happen during this midpoint of our life) for us to be shaken up enough to do the work.
The wakeup’s can look like health challenges, relationships ending, the loss of someone close to us, career change, etc.
Resistance is a tricky thing. Our aversion to change is so strong sometimes we can stay stuck in a situation or pattern for years and years and years. Life has built in growth cycles that are much like the spinning of a dial to change everything up. This is welcomed by our Soul and cursed by our Ego. No one wants change forced upon them but often this is exactly what happens.
“I had to make you uncomfortable, otherwise you would have never moved.” – The Universe
Stagnation is a slow death. The things that wither and die on the vine get pruned. It works the same within us, within our energy field and our physical body. Disease is a function of insufficient or unexpressed vital force energy. Life is meant to be regenerative and in flow. This is the nature of the evolutionary process.
Coming out of my darkness, I set an intention for as much light, joy, fun and bliss as I could find.
And I found it! I found it within community. I found it with close friends and family. I found it within the small blissful moments of joy embedded in the everyday.
I signed up for a Peace, Love and Joy Retreat to Italy. I had the time of my life: free, unencumbered by any of the heaviness of the world, exploring and adventuring all the sweetness Italy had to offer with fun, happy, lively companions.
I radiated light and I basked in the knowing that I am both the light and the Shadow.
The human experience will give us both. And the depth of our pain equals the depth of our capacity for joy.
“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” ― Kahlil Gibran
The ability to hold space and feel it all is what makes this experience so incredibly rich and dynamic.
Today I celebrate my 48th Birthday on the Summer Solstice. A day known for the most amount of light as it’s the longest day of the year.
I celebrate the Light knowing all that goes into the radiance of the Flame.
If you are struggling or find yourself navigating a challenging time, please reach out for a complimentary discussion on how to reignite the light within.