Stepping into the Unknown: We are experiencing a Global Reset that is Actually an Initiation
My clients have been asking me how to deal with all that’s coming up for them around the pandemic. In this situation, how do you avoid sinking into a funk or being overwhelmed by fear or that rollercoaster of emotions coming to the surface?, they ask me. How do you deal with the very real disruption of life — and the knowledge that our world has changed and will not be the same on the other side?
As I’ve been sitting with the situation in prayer and remembrance, I’ve felt strongly that this situation is actually necessary; although it is catastrophic in one sense, in another sense it can have some positive benefits. It is a kind of global reset that had to happen somehow.
Before I go any further, let me say that I don’t want to minimize or discount any of what is happening for you. You may be feeling fear, or the grief of having to physically distance from loved ones. The risk of losing beloveds is real – and it’s compounded by having to do so from afar, with no contact, and with no communal grieving. By any measure, this is a very difficult time.
The Virus Becomes The Medicine
As I was struggling to come up with a way to talk about the potential of this crisis for new growth and for transforming so much that needs to be changed, I saw an article talking about the virus being the medicine.
Yes, that’s it, I thought.
How can the virus actually be the medicine? It’s a bitter medicine to be sure, but what if it’s the cure?
One thing this pandemic has shown us is how connected we are. No one is exempt. It is literally global. That means every human, no matter where we live, or what our lifestyle or background is or has been, shares this experience. This shared experience can bring us together or tear us apart. I vote for it bringing us together — and there’s a lot of historical evidence that it can do just that.
As I’ve written elsewhere, time and time again, when the world seems to be falling apart, humans have risen to the occasion. Rather than giving in to fear and despair, we’ve used tragic situations, with colossal loss of life, to come together and create something new that is better for all people.
Going Through Initiation
My word for what we’re going through is initiation.
You’ve been through initiations, or rites of passage in your life: from child to adult, for example. If you’ve lost a parent or had a child, you’ve been through an initiation. If you received a degree, graduated, and then entered the workforce, you went through an initiation. There are all kinds of initiations that each of us go through in life.
All initiations have two characteristics in common: intensity and transformation. Initiations are uncomfortable. An old way of being has to die to make way for the new.
In between there is a period of uncertainty, where you don’t know what the future will look like. All you know is that you can’t go back. You must go forward. There is often fear, and grief, and a whole host of other emotions.
In the end you must surrender your hold on the past — surrender to Source or Spirit. At the conclusion of the period of initiation, you will step into the unknown world that awaits.
It’s a difficult period. It’s a period of fear and of hope. We all struggle with it because we all want some measure of control in our lives. We all want to know what is next. We all want security of some kind.
Initiations, however, pull the rug out from under us. All that was safe, secure, known is gone. We don’t know what’s next. We’re not where we were, and we aren’t yet where we’re going to be. We don’t know how long it will take. It’s even more disorienting to realize that we don’t (and can’t!) know what the future will look like. We will be forging a new path.
We Are Transforming
That space in between – that liminal space – the space in which we can’t go back to where we were, and we aren’t yet where we are going – is the space that is most uncomfortable, but it is also sacred space. It’s the space where transformation happens so that we can move into a new way of being.
Another metaphor for this time is the chrysalis. We are all in the chrysalis now. The caterpillar creates the cocoon or chrysalis of its own body, and then it melts into a goo, eventually leaving only “imaginal” cells. These “imaginal” cells come together to form the completely new structure of a butterfly.
This is the process we are in. This time, though, it isn’t just one caterpillar (or person), going through this alone; all of humanity is in this chrysalis together.
When we’re in this in-between state — when we’re in the chrysalis — the only thing to do is surrender. We can’t go back. While it’s uncomfortable, even painful, it is ultimately healing.
We – as a collective – are in this deep space of initiation and transformation. We do have some choice — but the choice is really in how we hold this time: we can hold this time as a time of fear and loss, we can try to shore up the old structures, or we can hold this time as the necessary initiation into who we are called to become. It is a shift in consciousness, and one that we’ve been in the midst of for quite some time.
Learning From The Past
For millennia many people all over the world have predicted that there would be a global shift in consciousness. That’s one reason I hold such hope and have come to view this time as an initiation or chrysalis phase — not just for us individually, but also for the collective.
History has also shown, however, that big shifts in consciousness and big shifts in power structures don’t just happen. Usually there is some watershed event that propels humans into a new way of being. I believe that this pandemic is that watershed.
The time is now. The pandemic just may be the medicine that is necessary for that shift.
I invite you to look at this time as a time of initiation. What does it mean to be in the chrysalis? What needs to melt into goo (to die) to be reborn into new life — in you and in the world?
This Is Sacred Time
Honor this time. It is truly sacred time. The word sacred means “set apart.” As we shelter in place, we are set apart from our “normal lives,” from what was.
I invite you to take this time of initiation — this time in the chrysalis — to slow down, to listen. Connect with the earth. Connect with Spirit or Source. Ask for help. Heal. Connect with each other (digitally and energetically). Do the deep work in yourself so you can then help others imagine and move into their own transformation.
Together let’s weave a web of love that will move us into full healing as individually and as a collective.
Holding you all in love and hope,