Resurgence

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Resurgence

Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamt — marvelous error!
that there was a fiery sun
here in my heart…
It was fiery because it gave warmth
as if from a hearth
and it was sun
because it gave light
and brought tears to my eyes.
-Antonio Machado

The definition of resurgence is to rise again, a lifting up, a coming back to life.

As I look out my window, I not only see, I also hear and feel the subtle resurgence of the life cycle beginning again. Spring, slow as rising sap, is making its graceful way through all living things, buds taking form, grass brightening, the mating dance of birds and frogs croaking in our pond.

There have been times in my life when I thought that spring, a natural resurgence, was happening in every living thing except me, that in some way I was outside the normal cycle of life, dormant, cold, and lifeless. Those times were the most painful I have ever known: the last months of my che- motherapy when I realized that soon I would be on my own without drugs to fight my cancer, my longevity in question; the darkest and most disconnected years with my husband, Kyle; and the first few years of agonized grieving after my son Matthew’s death. A part of me refused to be touched by the grace of new life and the renewal of spirit, and in my refusal I felt anguish, isolation, and anger.

Have you ever known such a time? Angry that others are flourishing while you languish, resentful that others can laugh when you feel such pain, envious of how easy it seems for others to get on with life, bitter that others have what you want and you don’t know how to create it, and certain that you will always feel this way? Often these are the times that we don’t want to recall, because the pain and suffering are so extreme.

As I refused to be nurtured by the natural cycles of healing and rebirth, holding on to my pain, I became organically aware of the deepest pain of all: denial of life and spirit, walking death. Here I was alive, but not living. How very egotistical of me to think I could control the very cycle of regeneration!

In its own time, gently, naturally, without fanfare or force, life seeped back again within me at a depth and breadth I had never known. It was as if a huge boulder had been lifted from my heart, mind, and spirit; colors were vibrant, music touched my soul, food tasted rich and luscious, and I heard the sound of my own laughter. How could such anguish lead to such joy and gratitude, such connection to life? I asked myself, “How I did I make the shift from suffering to peace?”

Instantly my answer filled me: surrender, yield, let go. In every instance of great suffering, the moment I let go of my expectations and “supposed to be’s,” my resurgence into life began. The moment I trust life, myself, and divine spirit enough to relinquish control over outside circumstances, I am free to discover my true nature. I am free to learn from events instead of fight, and I am free to experience life “now.”

As I look back, I realize now that each of these times has been the seed bed of a dynamic resurgence in my life, my life enriched, transformed by what I learned from going with the cycle of life, not fighting it.

Through my breast cancer, I realized how grateful I am for my resilience, how committed I am to live and be healthy and strong in my mind, body, and spirit.

Reconstructing my relationship with my husband, Kyle, taught me the power of unconditional love, starting with myself, and that being passionately alive is inspiring. I also learned the power of accountably and respectfully telling the whole truth, all the time.

The death of my son Matt taught me to surrender, to let go of attachments to life being a certain
way, and that thinking I can control events is a dangerous illusion. His death also taught me that there are no guarantees that I will be here for a long time, so to stop acting as if I had all the time in the world. Matt’s death taught me to be fully alive now no matter what the circumstances!

Reflections:

1. What are the times in your life when you have felt distanced from life because of difficult events or experiences?

2. How did you take care of yourself through these times?

3. What did you learn from each event?

4. How are you using that learning to live fully right now?

With love and gratitude,
Kris King

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