A well-meaning colleague with the very best of intentions has several times described what happened to me as a tragedy. Each time it made me uncomfortable but I couldn’t nail down why. Until now.
I finally realized that viewing these challenges as a tragedy leaves me feeling like a victim. It seems to suggest that the attacks, the ordeal of being publically shamed has irreparably damaged, derailed and diminished my work and my life. Well, in fact, for the first year or so part of me was terrified and tortured by that very belief. But not anymore.
What I’ve come to see is that the whole painful mess has been something of a spiritual intervention. It was the first time in my life that I really slowed down – because I was finally forced to. Not only was my work abruptly taken from me but I was so emotionally broken and exhausted that I finally surrendered to Spirit. I described the amazing beauty in that experience in one of my very first blog posts.
I feel so grateful, and a bit proud of myself, to realize now how much I’ve grown since those early blog posts nearly a year ago. And that is why I don’t view what happened to me as a tragedy. I have been a spiritual seeker and journeyer most of my adult life, but the ordeal of public shaming helped me to realize that in many ways I’d just been giving it lip service, skimming along the surface.
Though I’ve believed most of my adult life that we are spiritual beings in a physical phase I’d been letting the physical stuff dictate my actions, my thinking, my reality. Only occasionally did I dip beneath that surface and dive into the awesome beauty of deeper truths. Now that I’ve had so much time to explore those waters I realize how much I’ve been limiting myself.
I know it’s not irrational for my friend to view this situation as tragic. I also know it’s not irrational for me to sense the opportunities in the bigger picture and disagree.
I believe I was ready for this growth, this learning. Has it been hard? Yes! Life-changing? Yes. Gut and tear-wrenching? Yes.
Rich? Yes. Transformative? Yes. Beautiful in completely unexpected ways? Yes!
Definitions of tragedy include “a disastrous event”, a “calamity” and something that “has a sorrowful, disastrous conclusion.” I’m sorry but I refuse to allow what I am going through to come to a disastrous conclusion.
Did I want the pain, humiliation and bone-weary exhaustion brought on by the public shaming? Hell no!
Do I want to live the rest of my life immersed in this new, richer, deeper perspective on life? Absolutely!
Where’s the tragedy in that?
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