I used to think it was all in being alive. Now I know it’s about living.
“what???” You might ask. Let me explain.
In July of 2013, I spent eight days in a beautiful retreat center called “Sanctum” near Caroline, Alberta. I was there with 26 other people who were all on a journey with me called the”Hoffman Process”. To sum that up in a few words, we learned to put all of our life in perspective, and to understand the forces that made us who we are. I won’t go into detail about the process right now, that’s not what this is about.
To get to the point, I was asked one time for a couple words about what the Hoffman Process meant to me after the fact. I said “it saved my life- I haven’t contemplated suicide since my graduation!” The day that dawned on me, it blew my mind to remember the thoughts that used to run through my mind, and how I hadn’t thought those thoughts in years.
But then, a month ago, I had a chance to speak a couple words about being a Hoffman grad, and I knew at that point that it was much more than just being on the green side of the grass. The longer I live in this post-Hoffman life, the more ALIVE I am. And FREE. Free of a lot of the bitterness towards others that used to occupy my mind continually. You see, I came to understand that just as life forces shaped me, and gave me some rather negative patterns- so also, the people that hurt me are acting out of patterns given to them by their past. Not only by my past, or anybody else’s personal past, but by the pasts of our ancestors as well.
It’s so incredibly freeing to look at somebody’s negative actions as bad actions, not necessarily proof that the person is bad. I have really gained an appreciation for the pain in others’ pasts, and understanding for the actions (done by others) that can really hurt me.
I’ve been through a lot of crap in my life, which reminds of this fantastic quote I’d like to close this article with:
“He said “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are REAL, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are REAL you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
from “The Velveteen Rabbit”, by Margery Williams