A client cursed me this week.
“Damn you, Holly!”
And then he looked at me sheepishly, realizing the potential impact of his words.
“Does anybody ever say that to you?”
I replied, with a delighted grin.
“No, most don’t say it out loud.”
As is often the case after a few sessions, my client recognized that we’d suddenly arrived at the crux of the shadow that had kept him suffering for a lifetime.
Just now, he revealed who he really was. Which meant he is free to do and be himself.
And he was annoyed. Not really at me. Nor at the discovery.
But that it had taken so long to find his true essence.
Because it was right there all along.
Except you can’t see what you can’t see.
His essence was covered over by the fundamental shadow that is the opposite side of purpose, who he is essentially. And until we release the shadow, the purpose most always stay hidden, or repressed.
His immediate response (to my grin) was relief, then a form of sadness that melded into a form of release.
I could see his shoulders relax as he metaphorically and literally put down the burden of his special form of suffering. His constricted energy shifted, and he became more open.
He could now be himself, finally, and live into a more fulfilled version of himself.
The irony of our difficult life experiences is that while we may suffer tremendously as we carry them around in our long black bag of injustices, they are the best resource for living into a bigger better version of ourselves.
Mostly, the challenges of life serve to mirror what needs to be illuminated, then resolved.
Life’s grit has an inherent grace to it.
If we look closely enough, we can see the parts of ourselves that normally remain hidden, and sabotage what we most want in our lives- success, happiness, fulfillment, internal peace.
It’s all available as we become more of who we are, and less of who we are not.
In my client’s case, the deluded mirror of self-deception only began to crack after he went through a divorce and was forced to leave a complacent and complicit life.
His illusion of “good enough” had to be shattered in order to stop the collusion with the illusion of who he thought he was.
Only when we allow ourselves to be cracked open, to experience the loss and grief and bewilderment at life’s seeming cruelties and ironies, can we let the light in.
Several recent losses of my own have created the “oh, and this” version of what needed to be revealed for me to resolve some outstanding shadow and let in some light. And relief.
Ah, the calm after the deconstruction.
The “pointing out” elicited by your life’s challenging circumstances lets you have new fresh energy pouring in to heal the old constraints.
The grace of this ironical plot twist is astounding.
That I get to have another challenge. Another hurdle. Another f**cked-up life experience by which to process what needs to be revealed to release and let go and move into ever more ease.
And more purpose and fulfillment and joy and enlivening….
It’s truly amazing what we get to be and do as humans.
I’ve never felt so blessed.
May your days be so graced with grit.
Dr. Holly Woods is the Author of the #1 Bestseller, The Golden Thread: Where to Find Purpose in the Stages of Your Life. Read it, you’ll never again think your life doesn’t matter. Holly is a purpose activator. She believes that touching the spark of your soul lights you up so much that you alter the world just by being in it. Holly earned a PhD in Human & Organizational Development, is certified as an Integral Master Coach®, Purpose Guide®, Professional Mediator and Facilitator, Master Energy Practitioner, and is a Stages of Consciousness developmental practitioner. Learn about Holly’s work at Emergence Institute. You can schedule a 30 minute Strategy session with Holly.