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“May you have enough challenges
Telling your own story to yourself is the most powerful thing ever. Reckoning problems and successes as the same, most people in dying remember Love. People who love grieve. “To be a spiritual warrior, one must have a broken heart; without a broken heart and the sense of tenderness and vulnerability, your warriorship is untrustworthy.”
If a problem is deﬁned as the difference between an actual situation and a desired situation then What Do I Want is both your ﬁrst question and the one you must ask again and again. Your chances, your ideas, your problems are constructs which shape your values and build your character and inspire you to live your life and legacy. Your choices are your truth...neither right nor wrong but just your own.
You enter the forest at the darkest point,
We make our own problems when we believe our own lies, when we choose perspectives that do not serve our best interests, and when we fail to give our all. We make our own problems when we lose faith in ourselves. We make our own problems when we get attached to the stories we tell and the expectations we create for ourselves and others. Perhaps in life, it is not about trying harder...perhaps it’s about resisting less. “If you don’t want to be disappointed, don’t get appointed to a particular future.” Stephen Gaskin
Do not let loss drain the color from everything.
We all need loving support to be our best selves. We all need to be heard. We all need courage to stay curious. We all need rest from overwhelm. And we need heroes to follow when the going gets tough. “Happy people die whole...it is something that happens in us, through our active participation in life, through the choices we make during the brief interlude of our existence as animate beings in an animate universe. Wholeness itself is a participatory act — both a faculty of being and a function of becoming, to be mastered and reﬁned in the course of living.” Robinson Jeffers
Telling our story to others can be the most powerful thing ever too. Nick Cave, the wickedly creative and full human, rock star on stage and in the scrum of life, writes The Red Hand Files: “you can ask me anything.”
The following is Issue #126, November 2020.
Hey ﬁrst I wanna say really like your music i have lost my beautiful wife in cancer and my dear brother in covid 19 my question to you is how keep you going on after lost your son its hard sometimes to keep going on with life.
MATTI, STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN
There is little to say to someone who has lost a loved one that is of itself any real help. That has been my experience. Language falls short before the immensity of the experience of grief. There are simply not the words. My well-meaning and desperately worried friends would speak into my grief, using words that made no sense. They would tell me that my son lived in my heart, for example, but I genuinely did not understand these words because when I searched my heart I found nothing but chaos and despair. One desperate morning, however, I did the most simple of things and perhaps this can help you with the loss of your wife, and your brother, more than my words. I sat by myself, in a quiet space, and called upon my son by name. I closed my eyes and imagined lifting him from my heart- this tormented place in which I was told he lived- and I positioned him outside of my body, next to me, beside me. I said, “You are my son and now you are beside me.” These few words had a powerful , vibrational effect, and this simple act of imagination was the ﬁrst step in a process that would eventually lead me back to the world. By performing this act I was temporarily released from the rational world, a merciless place that gave me no peace, and given access to an impossible realm where I would form an increasingly resolute relationship with the spiritual idea of my lost child.
I began to feel Arthur’s presence. I talked to him. He talked to me. I took him with me wherever I went. I toured Europe and America with the ‘In Conversations’ show and he sat with me in my dressing room, or later at night in my hotel, or he escorted me onto stage and stood there beside me. I felt emboldened by his constructed presence, or perhaps true presence- who knows? What did it matter? I felt increasingly empowered, unafraid, as I allowed him to accompany me out of my boundless grief. Sometimes, on stage, I would look out at the audience and feel a collective spiritual inﬂuence attending to everyone. It was a deeply powerful experience and testament to the restorative force of our imaginings- that child of God, that divine invention- rescuing me from my catastrophic heart and in doing so freeing himself from the convulsion of my grief. Matti, forgive me if this makes no sense to you, but perhaps there is a way to summon your wife and dear brother and release them from your despair so that they can attend to you- allow them to become your spiritual companions in that impossible realm, to look after you in their imagined presence, and guide you forward until things get better. For they do, in time, they do.
Changing your thinking