Circumstances of life often have a way of stripping us of pride and ego, and when layer after layer are peeled away, it’s like peeling an onion. Dropping all the layers that we carry – all our preoccupations, our lists of the ways we’ve failed and the ways we’ve been wronged, dropping all regret and expectation, allows us to be born again into the simplicity of spirit that arises from unencumbered living.
No matter how we protest, life keeps coming, and we cannot stop the river of time and its cleansings that scour us into who we are. The current of life requires us to stand up again and again, and we are not defeated when we’re pulled and worn down; we’re just exposed anew at a deeper level. In this way, life keeps getting more and more precious. It’s a natural law like gravity and osmosis: stand up and be worn bare. It’s how everything in the way is thinned, so we can feel how thoroughly alive we are.
In this process we find that everything is lost and then rediscovered, hardship is followed by peace, suffering is followed by bliss. Everything is followed by love. Love follows even as we search for it. It’s the truth we remember at the end of our lives, or perhaps at the end of the life of a loved one. It’s the truth we see when the superficial preoccupations compete for our attention and rob us of our life force begin to melt away. When the core is finally reached, everything becomes more real, everything is felt in a new and deeper way.
No matter what occurs in our lives, we can become better people because of it. If we had not stumbled, we could not have gotten back up. And now that we’ve gotten back up, our backbones are a little straighter and our step has more of a bounce. When we’ve suffered and transcended our suffering, we emerge with a sacred knowledge embedded in our cells. There is nothing more illumined than the new personality that emerges when the old one has been laid to rest.