Losing Yourself to Life: Surrendering to the Ancient Cycle of Death and Rebirth, Dark and Light

Losing Yourself to Life: Surrendering to the Ancient Cycle of Death and Rebirth, Dark and Light

Maybe you are searching
among the branches
for what only appears
in the roots.
~ Rumi

“Remember, like a tree, you rise into the light only as far as your roots will take you, as far as you are willing to immerse yourself into the medicine of the dark, tear-soaked soil beneath your feet. Therefore seek those who have the capacity to honor your tears, to hold you in them, to deepen your immersion into cold chambers of yesterday, and to help you rise anew, fed from the light of truth found only in darkness.” ~ from Awakening to Darkness, by Vince Gowmon

The light of indescribable joy arrives in our hearts when we enter the depths of forgotten darkness.

Down, through the many doorways and dimensions of our being, we encounter suppressed fear, anger, hatred, rage, shame, a terrifying flash of implicit memory, heavy grief, an old, old pain. We make contact with distant parts of ourselves we didn’t know existed, parts once present in our consciousness until we tucked them away, far away, for fear of overwhelm and further hurt.

We did what was necessary at the time in order to cope and survive. But we cannot hide in the shadows forever. Life relentlessly invites us down, into the body, to courageously begin the long journey of reclamation. To dip our toes, slowly, into that old well of dark secrets that keeps our vitality trapped, our aliveness encased in a spell of thought; our perception narrowed onto who we think we are, what we think we want, and what we think life is about.

Lowering ourselves, like roots into the dim, moist earth, we find seeds of starlight waiting for us. If only we wait long enough in our descent, if only we give ourselves to the unknown, if only we feel fully and bravely enough, we discover, reclaim—allow for more of ourselves to come to light.

Those seeds of starlight find us in the bleakest of dark moments, when so much seems all but gone, offering us refuge, reminding us of our true nature. They come as messengers, healers, pointing to something we’ve long forgotten. They show us another way, tell of other stories, ancient stories, worlds beyond worlds, tickling the sleeping dreamer in us, the forlorn inner child, the more mythic part of our nature, inviting it all into life. Inviting us into remembering.

Indeed, in the depths of surrender, when the darkness of our most noble suffering comes to its still point, finally, we lose ourselves to life. The controlling mind succumbs, submits, releasing its tight grip of reality, what it can no longer grasp. The thawing body completes its final trembles, settling, for now, shaking free frozen, time-capsuled pain, all it’s ready to let go. The body-mind unwinds, empties, opens. Life rushes in. Space is made for healing and truth, for knowing beyond temporal knowledge, the instinctual awareness of a child, of nature itself.

Paradoxically, in losing ourselves, we meet ourselves. We meet life as life itself.

The veil, the spell of individualism, of separateness, is broken. And we wake.

The warmth of truth and light finally touches our cold, tired skin, lifting us up and out. We rise, taller than ever, out of the mud, like a flower blossoming into fresh wonder, a new version of our Self, into the light of a new dawn.

Having cheered us on for lifetimes, awaiting our arrival, patient joy finds us on the other side. The stars and heavens shine brighter because of our courageous work. Our ancestors sing in stronger unison. The ancients, the frequency holders, the overseers of life, recognize us for our noble efforts. More than ever, we feel our ever-widening kinship with all things.  

We shine radiantly, for ourselves, others, for life. We shine the infinite light of One.

And then it happens, again. We’re summoned once more. Life beckons us into godly descent, uncertainty, into the dark void where old beliefs and stories, identities and lines of ancestral trauma dissolve. And yet, with each courageous submission, the veil between worlds thins that much more. With each surrender we are held more deeply in love’s eternal embrace. 

Each cycle is an opportunity to travel deeper down and higher up, to rise further like a north star inviting other souls to follow, remember, to lose themselves to life. To live in greater harmony with it all—the good, the bad, the ugly. To die to, yet paradoxically live more fully, the ancient cycle of death and rebirth, dark and light.

To die to the Oneness we are.

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Check out Vince’s book: Wild Empty Spaces ~ Poems for the Opening Heart

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