“An elderly man, in the final days of his life, is lying in bed alone. He awakens to see a large group of people clustered around his bed. Their faces are loving, but sad, confused, the old man smiles weakly and whispers, “You must be my childhood friends come to say good-bye, I am so grateful” Moving closer, the tallest figure gently grasps the old man’s hand and replies, “Yes, we are your best and oldest friends, but long ago you abandoned us. For we are the unfulfilled promises of your youth. We are the unrealized hopes, dreams and plans that you once felt deeply in your heart, but never pursued. We are the unique talents that you never refined, the special gifts that you never discovered. Old friend, we have not come to comfort you, but to die with you. From “I Believe In You” as cited in “5”.
Sometimes we must take a chance, live big, decide what it is that will truly make us happy, and take a leap of faith. Those things that lie deep within our hearts are not always popular, or even accepted by others. We are our own unique individuals with the love and power of creation within us. As Elizabeth Lesser writes in Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow, "It may seem that living for rapture is a selfish act reserved for the elite, or that it's a fancy phrase for hedonism. But it isn't. Rapture is not a selfish emotion. It is pure gratitute, flowing freely through the body, heart, and soul. Gratitude for what? For breath, for colors, for music, for freindship, humor, weather, sleep, awareness. It is a willling engagement with the whole messy miracle of life. The world suffers more from unhappy, stifled people trying to do good than it does from those who are simply content within themselves. In the end, it is the people at home in their own human skins-people who love the wounded world and its broken family-who can move mountains when called out of themselves and into a work in the world". Lesser speaks "The journey from Once-born to Twice-born brings us to a crossroads where the old ways of doing things is no longer working but a better way lies somewhere at the far edge of the woods. We are afraid to step into those woods but even more afaraid to turn back. To turn back is one kind of death; to go forward is another. The first kind of death ends in ashes; the second leads toward rebirth. For some of us, the day arrives when we step willingly into the woods. A longing to wake up, to feel more alive, to feel something spurs us beyond our fear. Some of us resist like hell until the forces of fate deliver a crisis. Some of us get sick and tired of filling an inner emptiness with drugs or drink or food, and we turn and face our real hunger: our soul hunger. Twice-born people trade the safety of the known for the power of the unknown. Something calls them into the woods, where the straight path vanishes, and there is no turning back, only going through. This is not easy. It is not a made-up fairy tale. It is very real and very difficult. To face our shadow-the dragons and hags that we have spent a lifetime running away from-is perhaps the most difficult journey we will ever take. But it is there, in the shadows, that we retrieve our hidden parts, learn our lessons, and give birth to the wise and mature self".
"The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep." - Rumi