Celebrating Life

Today I celebrate life…my life, my children’s lives, the lives of those who have touched me, and the life of the earth.  Forty two years ago today, I entered this incarnation.  It’s amazing what can happen in forty two years!

I find myself filled with so much gratitude, even for the trials that seemed beyond understanding at the time, beyond my capacity, and/or more than I could bear.  What I see now is the strength, wisdom, compassion and love that have come from these trials.    I think of those who have touched my life in one way or another, in ways I cherished, and in ways that I couldn’t wait to move on from at the time, loving each one and knowing they are part of who I am today.

As I contemplated this coming time of Leo during this past year’s holy nights, I felt a strong message that it was important for me to have more “bite” in my life.  I wasn’t sure what that meant.  I contemplated the virtue for Leo, Compassion becomes Freedom (see Astro Sophia Zodiacal Virtues for this month), and considered that self-assurance is required along with compassion to reach a place of freedom.  For me this “bite” is that self-assurance.  Now that we are in the midst of this time of Leo, I can feel this “bite” growing within me.  I feel a movement toward a stronger sense of self, and deeper knowing of who I am, and a much stronger inner fire to serve.

With all of this, I find myself wishing to celebrate life with you…to consider how all of our trials and tribulations, all of the difficulties and brick walls we face, and all of the struggles and frustrations shape us and guide us to live the potential we came to this earth with.  How often do we ask of ourselves, am I living up to my potential?  Am I honoring the fire within me that is asking me to be bigger?   Can I look upon all that has happened in my life with gratitude?  Can I see how it has served me in walking my path on this earth?

More and more, I speak with adults who seem dissatisfied with life.  They speak of being confused, trapped or stuck, having no choice, feeling lost, being exhausted, and so on.  Enthusiasm and motivation seem to be unreachable.  A sense of well-being is missing. George and Gisela O’Neil, in their book The Human Life, speak of the time from age 35 to 42 in the following way:

“The greater the earlier achievements, the higher the positions held, the heavier the responsibilities carried, the deeper the plunge into an abyss of insignificance and inner exhaustion.  Vitality, drives and ambition all deflate, and the bottom is reached at the end of this period.  The senses no longer light up with fantasies, the body no longer supplies us with enthusiasm, the natural spirituality fades.  The future can appear black and without hope, as if life were coming to an end.  The soul undergoes a kind of suffocation, a sense of being overwhelmed by externals, by life-demands, the endlessness of learning, the routine of existence, the accumulation of problems.  It grasps for inner air.”

This certainly describes what I am seeing in many individuals, but what I find is that some of these individuals are beyond the age of 42 and still feeling this way.  I have wondered two things: 1) Is it possible that we get stuck in this abyss and struggle to move through it? and 2) Is this part of what humanity as a whole is experiencing right now in the course of our evolution?

I believe humanity is at a time of choosing.  We are being asked to choose for ourselves the path we will take…one of light, love and life, or one of deeper materialism and virtual existence.  In my own experience of just coming through this time from age 35 to 42, I feel that this abyss, this deep darkness, is exactly where we need to be in order to truly choose the light.   It is like an inner death experience, and as with all death, re-birth is imminent.  But can we surrender to the inner death?  Can we allow ourselves to feel the pain of the abyss?

Perhaps you are in this biographical stage of your life.  Perhaps you have come through it and have memories of this time.  Perhaps  you are still experiencing this sense of overwhelm and deflation.   I know what I’m speaking of doesn’t sound very cheerful for an article about celebrating life.  However, the context of this time in the abyss feels important to share for us to truly celebrate.  In my own personal experience, over and over, I have seen that if I can find gratitude in the trials, celebration in the struggles, peace in the chaos, then I can find the light through the darkness.  I can know who I am, embody that “bite” of self-assurance and find compassion for others in their trials.  From here, freedom comes.  What more could we need to celebrate!

Indeed, the fact that one can find themselves and discover more of their true being once the trials of this time have passed is what kept me going much of the time through these years, and what keeps me going when I face any trial in life.   I do find that I am better able to settle into myself now, to know who I am, and what my boundaries, gifts and needs are.  Knowing there was hope helped me, but celebration also helped.  I write in hopes that inspiration may flow as so many of us experience or have experienced this abyss.  We must know that the light is ALWAYS there, and that coming to understand the darkness is what helps us to know that light.

Every year on my birthday when growing up, I celebrated with my grandmother whose birthday was two days before mine.  We would always have red roses from her garden on our birthday table.  Now, I find that my work leads me to serve what Daniel Andreev speaks of as “The Rose of the World.”  The rose is rooted in Heaven, and is a co-creation with God.  The Rose of the World is a future Sophianic culture in which each petal of the rose serves the central heart of love, each petal being the various wisdom traditions, cultures and religions.  I also like to think of each petal being each individual, serving in their fullness the light of love.  Today, I celebrate with red roses and the hope of this future culture.

I know there will be many other trials in my life moving forward, and with each trial comes experience and profound wisdom, if one is willing to receive it.  I know I am not alone in these trials.  Humanity is facing them as a whole, and Spirit is always there to help us through if only we will ask for help.  I hope that you can celebrate today, whatever your life circumstance is in this moment.  My prayer for all of us is that we can find gratitude and love for all that is, and know that we are being given the opportunity to choose how we live life from here on, and to create the Rose of the World.  May God’s presence bring you peace, love, wisdom and illumination.  May you celebrate your true being!

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