We’ve all seen this famous image. Is it two white faces looking at each other? Or is it a black vase? See how you have to shift your lens to see one or the other? It’s almost impossible to see both at the same time, isn’t it? But if you pull back far enough, you can almost see that both are true at the same time. It’s two white faces, and it’s a black vase. You can’t quite see them both at the same time. You can flip the lens of your perception back and forth faster and faster until they almost collapse into both at once. But you can’t quite do it.. When you focus on one perspective, it’s hard not to lose the other. Such is the mystery and wonder of holding a paradox.
Stuff hurts right now. A lot of stuff hurts. If you’re not feeling at least some pain right now, you’ve probably numbed out with an addiction, psychiatric medication, dissociation from your body and your emotions, or maybe even some form of spiritual bypass, like meditating to transcend your human pain. If you’ve numbed out, that’s understandable. You’re human. That’s what humans do when they don’t have the emotional resilience to handle a broken heart. Whether chemically or emotionally, you’ve closed your heart, so it doesn’t have to feel so much pain. But it also cuts out your capacity to feel joy, to play, to love, to laugh, to feel gratitude, to cry at the heart-opening beauty of a sunset.
I have a Comfort playlist on my iPod, which I listen to when times are uncertain, and I’m craving comfort. Several of you expressed gratitude when I shared one of them—Kacey Musgraves "Somebody To Love"—on my last blog "Give Yourself Permission to Seek Comfort Right Now" . So let me share with you a few more songs from my Comfort playlist, in case they help you navigate uncertainty, trust in a benevolent universe, bolster your resilience, and survive life’s inevitable times of transition with a cracked open, humble heart.
If you’re on the spiritual path, you know that this intense journey through the veils of the ego into the essence of the Divine within you is not for the faint of heart. If you have a spiritual teacher, mentor, or therapist, your spiritual guide will probably dole out one blow to your ego after another, and it can be hard on the human to endure these blows. If you don’t have a guide, if Life is your teacher, then your circumstances are probably bringing you face to face with all the ways you’re consciously or unconsciously harming yourself and others. What is revealed can sting. It’s not easy to have the courage to stick with it.
This week, I experienced a trauma that collapsed my story of self, yet a new story has not yet emerged. Charles Eisenstein calls this "the space between stories." Many of us are in this space between stories right now, when you feel lost, ungrounded, dislocated, as if your roots have been pulled up and you're not quite sure where to land. Everything you thought you knew—about yourself and the world—is now in question. Even our systems—the medical system, our political systems, the education system, the banking system—they're in the space between stories too. We know the old way is falling apart, yet the new way has not yet been born.