A time of bleakness can also be time of pruning… this pruning cuts away all the false branching where our passion and energy were leaking out. While it is painful to experience and endure this, a new focus and clarity emerge. The light that is hard won offers the greatest illumination. A gift wrestled from bleakness will often confer a sense of sureness an grounding of the self, a strengthening proportionate to the travail of its birth. The severity of Nothingness can lead to beauty. Where life had gone stale, transfiguration occurs. The ruthless winter clearance of spirit quietly leads to springtime of new possibility. Perhaps Nothingness is the secret source from which all beginning springs.John O’Donohue, Beauty
Beauty and loss are two intimate partners in the dance of life. There is the beauty of exploring new places, taking risks, meeting new people, forging new connections, and trying on new identities. With each change, we cross a threshold. Embracing that change is seeing the beauty that exists on the other side.
Across each threshold, there is shedding of the old and changing into something new. With all change, there is loss. We feel that loss and we reflect on it. We carry forward the memories of what once was. We learn to trust and to distrust.
In her memoir, Heartbreak, Florence Williams describes a beautiful and transformative metaphor that she used to heal after her divorce. She was able to picture herself as a tree. Her ex was a strangler fig wrapped around her tree trunk. Through the process of recovery, she was able to tell the strangling vine to go away so that she could continue to grow. After Florence ripped the fine away, she looked up and saw a canopy of leaves growing into the light.
With each loss, there is stress and potential for injury. How we respond to this stress determines whether we are able to embrace the coming beauty, whether we can truly move forward.
In parched terrains new wells are to be discovered.John O’Donohue, Beauty
The journey of life is a journey across these bridges, from world to world, identity to identity, purpose to purpose. It is a journey of reaching out and pulling back. With each crossing, there is excitement and danger, there is beauty and loss.
This is a website committed to helping us to understand beauty and loss. We will explore how to chart a way forward after incredible difficulty. We will learn to see that beauty thrives on the other side of loss. For loss and beauty, one does not exist without the other. Sometimes we get stuck in loss or we retreat from it. Sometimes we feel like something was stolen from us. We will explore how these concepts of stagnation and theft impact healing.
As we begin to understand this change, we begin to see that life is circular. Life has rhythm. Life is a dance. It has repetition.