“Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring out the false, ring in the true. Ring out a slowly dying cause, Ring in the nobler, purer laws. Ring in the valiant man and free, the larger heart, the kindlier hand; Ring out the darkness of the land, Ring in the Christ that is to be.” ——Alfred Tennyson
What Is Birthing As You in 2017
Wow! Can you believe it is speeding towards December 31 again. In a few hours before the first day of the new year in the United States, revelers will be celebrating the beginning of 2017 with friends, relatives, spouses, partners or by themselves in restaurants, bars, homes and many other types of venues.
The New Year marks a time when many of us desire change in ourselves and change in our lives.
The New Year is a perfect time to make these changes because it represents a new beginning, a clean slate, new opportunities.
We all know that our experience of life could be deeper and more fulfilling, so we make changes to move in the direction of that deeper life.
At the same time, for others, 2016 may have brought changes that were challenging and unwanted. When painful change appears to have been thrust upon us, new positive beginning’s often seem a distant possibility.
Collateral Beauty – What is It?
With that in mind, the recently released movie Collateral Beauty captured my attention. Perhaps you have seen it, I have not, but it comes at a time when I am in the process of creating an eBook on Transition and change.
The title reminded me of the term collateral damage” which refers to the ancillary suffering that often spins out from great tragedies.
So, perhaps you are asking yourself, what can collateral beauty mean and or look like?
Apparently, the film is intended to remind us of what the ancient mystics have taught down through the ages…it is the recognition that, from even the darkest of times, beauty, hope, recovery and even goodness can be found.
It also asks us to consider taking time to ask ourselves, what are the integral components of my life that comprise my experiences?
And to ask the existential questions of why am I here? What is my purpose? What is the meaning of life? What do I want? What do I fear?
Collateral Beauty suggests that we all long for love, wish for more time, and fear death.
The film follows Howard, a man, who retreats from life after the loss of his daughter. As you might imagine, in these moments of despair he has boarded a train of thought filled with debilitating anger and pain. He’s lost his way and is at the end of his rope.
As we know, it is more than appropriate to fully feel and honor our feelings. It is only natural to be overwhelmed with grief at times like this. Therefore the film invites the viewer to feel or consider our emotions.
And Howard does. He copes with his grief, venting his pain of disillusionment, emotion, and anger by questioning the Universe through writing letters not to people, but to Time, Love, and Death.
It doesn’t take much effort to relate to Howard’s state of mind. Think about it, when you are in the dark cloud of despondency, you tend not care about yourself or anything else.
A Time and Season For Everything
What we know is, finding and fully understanding the presence of beauty in life’s experiences, requires time and distance from the tragedies that affect us. We need perspective on the event, we need time for wounds to heal both emotional and physical, and we need the wisdom do you know what can be repaired and what can’t.
During my childhood, growing up in a small town, my family lived across the tracks. When we kids wanted to go to the other side of the town we would often take a shortcut and crawl underneath a freight train that would be sitting on the tracks.
We would believe it was safe as long as we didn’t hear the air released underneath the freight cars that indicated the locomotive was getting ready to move. Risky! Yes! But as children, we were often fearless and did foolish things..
When you think about a locomotive starting up, with all of the groaning, puffing, screeching and straining it does to get started, it is understand-able how much harder it is to shift something moving from a dead stop then to get it moving once it’s on its way.
Yet, Howard, like many of us, who in moments of unexpected change and loss, forgot that we are the holder of a Universal pass that allows us to board a train of thought that can take us more in positive than negative directions.
Can you see in Howard every wo/man? Isn’t it true that we’ve all had those moments? Maybe not the loss of a child, but some change that felt like loss. Loss of health, job, relationship, home, and yes, perhaps the loss of a loved one.
Isn’t it true that when we’re been derailed by a change in our life, we don’t want to hear anything about something of beauty that may be found in the challenge. We just want it to be over.
And yet, even though some scars may be deeper than others, and you may be forever changed…in retrospect haven’t you experienced that the gift of an ever evolving path of growth and expansion often shows up disguised as a crisis.
Another way of saying that is, it shows up as collateral beauty.
The shift or change in our life may not have been as deep and dark as Howard’s. And yet, I believe it is safe to say that most of us have had experiences and felt moments of despair where we have wanted to ask the Universe, WHY!
In those moments the true beauty in and as the essence of our life may feel absent and unavailable to our conscious knowing.
Asking Empowering Questions
Often when we are facing challenges, we, much like Howard, ask the Universe questions. Most often they are disempower-ing questions that keep us stuck, such as, Who can I blame? What’s wrong with me? Why did this happen to me?
Empowering questions have the energetic force to move us forward, such as, how can I go and grow through this? What can I learn from this? What service can I offer the world as a result of the lessons I am learning? What is longing to be birthed in and as me?
Paul in the New Testament expresses what may be the Universe’s divine urge that pulsates within us to become more of who we have truly come here to be when he writes, “Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives.” – Galations 4:19
The trailers indicate that Howard received unexpected answers from Time, Love and Death.
From Time he was told, “I’m a gift and you’re wasting it.”
From Love he was told, “The fabric of life is within you and everything. Open your self and it comes from all directions.”
From Death he was told, “Nothing’s ever dead if you look at it right.”
He begins to see how these things interlock and how even loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty.
What we do know is . . .Nothing stays the same. Every new crossroads means we enter into a new cycle of change – whether it be adopting a new health regimen, a new relationship with others, ourself, or a new spiritual practice.
I invite you to join me in releasing all your fears and insecurities. To open your mind and heart to the divine presence that pulsates within, saying “grow, grow, grow.”
Let us trust the process of change and inflow of divine guidance as we embrace the unknown of 2017. As we are changed, let us know and experience the collateral beauty that happens in, through and as our life
I offer you Psalm 37:23-24 to consider as you transition through change in your life. It is the New King James version and a New Thought interpretation:
New King James version: The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.
New Thought interpretation: A person whose spiritual practice is heartfelt will experience God’s guidance, and the support of the creative Law.
New King James version:Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand.
New Thought interpretation: Even when he forgets the Truth he knows, he will not remain lost and forgetful, his connection to God is so powerful it will bring him back to his center. And so it is!
As we know, we are what we think all day long. Let’s align ourselves with the Infinite Source of Life and let Life flow through us as right action and true expression.
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