Sometimes our lives are shaken to the very core to the extent that the foundation upon which we have built our lives is destroyed. Everything that we believe, everything that we think, everything that we assumed falls apart and we are left holding nothing but rubble. The sudden and unexpected termination of a romantic relationship, or a long time job, or the loss of a loved one without warning can be one of these life changing events. When we have this happen in our lives, it is very important to slow down, to embrace the emotions we are feeling and focus on building a new foundation.
While I write this, I am sitting beside a construction site watching men building a new foundation for an addition that will totally change the nature of the wellness center I am visiting. It will be evolving from a small and quaint retreat to a global presence that will offer programs to everyone that will change their lives. Everyone is excited about this transformation. In order for this to happen, the existing structure had to be torn down. A small wing with 5 rooms will be transformed into a much larger structure with 12 rooms, healing rooms, offices and public showers. Many have memories of the smaller structure and some may prefer the smaller structure at the end of the day. However, sometimes the divine steps in and shifts everything in our life to make us bigger, stronger and more loving beings. Depending on your trajectory, this can take years or be done overnight.
When you experience one of these incredible fortuitous events, it can be very daunting. We may have been very comfortable in our lives, in our 5 room building, never wanting to expand or be more than who we thought we were. If we are on a path that will need expansion and raising our awareness and consciousness, sometimes we don’t have a choice. Depending on whether you believe in reincarnation and soul contracts, or free will for that matter, we can understand that this is a necessary part of our spiritual growth and evolution. I believe that these events are preordained and something we agreed to experience in this lifetime for our betterment. After all, that which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.
I heard the story today of a man who could meditate for 12-14 hours without moving from a full lotus position. He did this every night. He would reach total Samadhi and was respected for his spiritual practice. He came to the ashram of a famous guru to receive his blessing to meditate for 12 years in order to attain enlightenment. Before he met with the guru, he turned to his roommate and told the roommate that the roommate’s dreams had been very harmful to his meditation and that the roommate had been very difficult to be with. Then he went to the guru. He was astonished when the guru refused to give him permission to attain enlightenment. When asked, the guru told him that his spiritual practice was excellent, but he had no love.
When we start to rebuild our lives, we have to remember to build the new foundation with love. Love for ourselves, especially. If we do not love ourselves first and foremost, how can we love anyone else? We can pretend, we can say the words, but like the meditating man there is no love in how we treat each other. We have to love in order to have a new foundation that will not fall apart the next time we experience life.
It may be helpful to use the word compassion instead of love. We need to have compassion for others and ourselves. We have to have compassion for those more fortunate and less fortunate than us. In our society, love sometimes comes with a sense of attachment, compassion does not. True love is freedom, not imprisonment. So have compassion perhaps, not love. Compassion is the glue that will hold the beliefs together that you use to build your next foundation. Use truth, peace, right action, kindness, service and other similar building blocks for your foundation. For those of us who are rebuilding our foundations, understand that we are not victims. We have chosen this path to become enlightened and transformational beings. Sometimes we are destined to become so big that the foundations we built early in life will not hold that big of a structure. So rebuild with compassion and enjoy your journey.