Ain't So Scary

Lyn Thurman's Writing the Wisdom of Your Soul - Day #14 - Death

The appearance of the Death card from the traditional Tarot has never bothered me because it was introduced to me as being synonymous with change rather than any specific loss of physical life. In fact, today it feels more like an invitation. I have read (almost ad nauseam) about releasing that which no longer serves you, letting go of things that are weighing you down (hello again, Hanged Man), and turning yourself loose  from limiting beliefs that keep you small. I have grown a lot from that language, those structures giving me a solid framework for stepping far enough away from myself so that I could see where I was believing something that wasn’t necessarily true. At least in an absolute sense.

Now that I’m used to that paradigm, now that it’s almost “old hat” (and certainly beginning to feel repetitious in an un-useful way), I’m understanding that I’m coming to the completion of a cycle and I’m ready to start moving up the next spiral turn. I want to emphasize, because I think it’s important, that I’m not saying that the language of compassionate, intuitive “letting go” is getting old – simply that my contact with it, my immersion in it, my exploration of it, is ceasing to bring any new value to my life at this moment. It’s time for me to let go of “letting go.” That’s where Death can bring in the change I need – to open my life back up to interaction, knowing I can handle it now, that THAT’S where my next learning needs to happen.

I have been the kind of person that most people would call “outgoing” for most of my life. The last ten years, though, have seen that person torn apart and almost utterly remade. I am still very open and friendly toward nearly everyone I meet but it’s more tempered. I have more boundaries that are there for the good reason that without them, it’s likely I would try to give everything away and not retain enough for me to thrive. A bit of a martyr, you might suggest, and you wouldn’t be far off. But I have also pulled back from primary contact in many ways, more comfortable putting that layer of electronics between me and the people with whom I’m interacting via Facebook, blogging, Instagramming, and (heaven help) Google Plus-ing. It doesn’t feel right… Yet… I find myself stuck there while gazing longingly toward a future that I don’t really feel like I know how to manifest. Or rather, I know how I’d like to manifest but I’m frightened to try. It feels too tender, too scary, too fraught with peril and danger…

And that’s the problem with living a life without much in the way of actual danger, actual death. I wouldn’t ever suggest that I move from my safe little suburb to an area of the city where there is a lot of crime or an area of wilderness without the basic comforts – we can all agree that that would be foolhardy. But I recognize that, in the absence of real peril, I invent things to be frightened of. Just like all the rest of what we call the first world. I get stressed out when the paperwork I need to enter into a spreadsheet isn’t on my desk by a certain time of day. I feel unsettled when I don’t know precisely where I’m going to get my next meal (even though I’ve never gone a day in my life without food). My towels being folded “wrong” by my ten-year-old makes me a little twitchy. I get grumpy when a video keeps buffering so that I can’t see more than 5-10 seconds of it at a time.

Folks, I need me some Death, precisely because he provides a way through the roadblocks I’ve so diligently built to keep myself in a stasis that is smothering me. He brings new life, fresh air, another new beginning, a twist up the spiral toward a beautiful future. And he brings an infinite capacity for a grateful now. My unfinished business he shepherds in is the unfurling of my words and I cannot do that in fear. No, I need space for my words to unpack, set up their dwellings, establish their place, and flourish.

Mmm… I think we might just be getting somewhere, Death and I.