After the RedFlame Initiates Destruction in your life and you Return to the Scene to see if you can rebuild what you had, you may realize that it isn’t possible. On the spiritual path, we are given opportunities to grow in awareness, often through painful experiences. During those times, we have the choice to go forward into the “dark night of the soul,” or go back, denying ourselves and Spirit. The path to spiritual growth is not all lights, bells and whistles. It can be excruciating as we encounter our ego on the path of pain and suffering. It can be agonizing as we are given challenging situations and choices.

Regardless of the point we find ourselves in spiritual practice, we continue to be challenged to uncover deeper awareness. And, one of the most difficult stages may be when we are asked to give up our sacred attachments that we may not have identified until they are exposed through the fire of deeper awakening.

When we are courageous enough to listen to the deep knowing, and go forward by giving up the attachments, it is the experience of death. Death of identity, death of security, death of hopes, dreams, feelings and thoughts that were part of our Self that needs to die. These are things that others identify us with – it is “who we are” to the world. If these things must go away, who are we? From a spiritual perspective, we know the answer. But, even with a long-term spiritual practice, these times can be challenging. For we often think we are beyond such experiences if we see ourselves as fairly “enlightened.” In actuality, it is important to embrace these times to move forward, not backwards into what we think is our spiritual identity – that is just an ego identity also.

Becoming Invisible is what it can feel like to let go of things we hang our identity on. I have recently had to let go of my career aspirations, labels of personal identity, friends, financial security, projects, opportunities for recognition, conference presentations, a practice helping others, book projects, and several personal beliefs about what I can do, should do, what constitutes who I am, and what it means to be compassionate with myself and others. It doesn’t make logical sense to throw out the baby with the bathwater, but a Deep Knowing has told me that it was all necessary. I must then do it, give it all up, freely, with no promises of greater things to replace those that were given up.

RedFlame DeepWater
Part 3

fireandwater

Becoming Invisible

walking-alone-in-the-dark

Stuck Suffering,
I see death is everywhere.
Death of things, hopes & dreams,
Memories of Identity
held so dearly,
Worn like a coat,
I thought would never wear out.
Good deeds & service to others,
beautiful possessions and good relationships.
The good & beautiful
taken by the flame equally with the bad,
left only with the truth of letting go –
heard in my heart, but not accepted by my mind.

I am overwhelmed with the view,
and I notice others nearby,
stuck in shock, crying & screaming
in their own pain.

WalkingDark3Unbelievable is the sight,
of others walking a nearby path,
walking right by, our pain and despair,
some blind and unaware,
others turn quickly to avoid seeing us.
And, those worst of all –
look directly & see, without flinching,
continuing to walk by, unmoved
by the pain & destruction experienced by all of us.
Was I ever like that? When I had it all? Distracted?

521860226_mMaybe help will come later –
for the others that stay,
but I must go…
I want to let go of my
care
for things so easily
destroyed.
It hurts too much to care deeply
and now there is nothing to
care about.
I leave – let go – I can take
no more pain.

Time to go back to the Dark Place,
I saw briefly.
Surely relief will be there
Away from this loss and ugliness.

Dark_Father_II_by_KarezoidGoing into the Dark Place, I realize-
I have become invisible-
to those who strive, succeed and produce.
I do not look the same-
to those who previously knew me.
I repel
those who look at externals & want a performance.
I do not know
how to engage
that energy, anymore.

I have nothing
left to offer
those I sought
to impress.
I have nothing
to offer
the smart & successful.
I have
no-thing.

UnloveableWill I be unloveable?
Un-cared for?
Un-cared about?
Who is left?
To care, to talk to, to engage,
Such an empty life.

Becoming Invisible,
Can I ever have
anything
to contribute
again?

For now, I will stay in this Dark Place,
where no one can see me.

The next poem in the RedFlame DeepWater series is called, Dark Places: Retreat.