At least half of waking up
is learning and practicing
the art of grieving
and letting go.
Awakening is a threshing. This is a truth that can not be any other way.
We are the wheat and just so, the chaff of what must be removed by rough handling is also us, in every way that matters when it comes to experience.
Long seasons we strive, we weather storms and earn our right to stand tall in the sunlight, forging our ways of being and belonging in the world.
But we cannot stand idle in the same field forever. We came here for a purpose, and to meet that purpose we have to embrace a new way of belonging to the world, and to do that, we have to give up on the old one.
We fool ourselves into believing that awakening is all light and insights and stepping forward. We forget that the wheat must be cut down and that all the threshing which must follow, is not some unkind mistake, but the necessary removal of everything that keeps us small.
Only, what must be removed from us is not meaningless husk, it is as precious as our limbs and our flesh, our hopes and dreams are no less dear than children, and the parting is not without great pain. We invested ourselves, our hearts, so sincerely, into parts of our identities, hard won and anything but meaningless.
Everything we earn and value when we are small, comes under fire in some way when we begin to wake up. We lose relationships that cannot endure the heat of honesty, we even lose parts of ourselves that we believed defined us, and in the threshing, the husk is removed painfully in what feels no less than loss and wounding.
It is a fools’ errand to assume we can walk on, free and unburdened sparing no thought for the one that walked the hard and unforgiving road. Grief must be the constant companion of anyone who would be born deeper into life if they are not prepared as the Buddhists are, to part also with the sense of Self.
If we want to be awakened, and we want to actualise as a Self, we need to learn and practice grieving and letting go. We cannot be conscious and remain as we were, we cannot be loving and feel nothing in the parting and loss.
Of course it is painful. It doesn’t mean something is wrong. It means you know are growing and that you know how to love.