Jumping into the Abyss

image of man jumping between cliff edges

We can spend inordinate amounts of time, energy and money escaping into other realities to avoid the pain and suffering we feel, often at the core of our very being. Escaping can be accomplished through a variety of methods including the obvious – drugs, alcohol, sex, relationships, food and work. There are also sneaky little escapes that on the surface look like healthy behaviours e.g. exercise and entertainment (including texting and checking emails).

The cold hard fact is that often it’s not the actual behaviour that is dangerous, but the extent and degree to which we engage in that behaviour. Most of our escapes done in a safe manner, at an appropriate time and place, in a measured and controlled manner are probably ok. Alas as humans we often overdo it and can’t stop, seeking to blot out the pain, we lose control of the behaviour so that energy ‘has us’ and we ‘don’t have it’.

We would do almost anything such as engaging in dangerous and unhealthy relationships and addictions with food, alcohol and drugs, not to fully feel what we carry around in our bodies at a cellular level, every single minute of every single day of our entire lives.

By our avoidance tactics, we never really understand or resolve what it is that ails us. The Universe, being loving and generous, gives us ample opportunities time and time again to examine and heal ourselves. We find as we mature, repeated patterns of behaviour becoming recognisable. We pick the same type of partners over and over again, we make the same ‘mistakes’ over and over again and will continue to do so until we finally ‘get it’. We keep doing what we’ve always done until we change and try something different.

Often this transformational leap occurs when we are at our lowest ebb in life. The husband has run off with a younger version, the wife wants a divorce, we lose our jobs, our health is in crisis or some other humungous catastrophe has befallen us. We then have an ‘ah ha’ experience and realise that we could change. We become aware of an energetic cycle within. It may be a cycle of behaviour, a cycle of events or a repeat of a previous time period early in childhood. We think ‘Ah ha – I know what that is’ or ‘I’ve felt like this before’. This is the beginning of a new paradigm of life, a new way of being and a new way of perceiving. We are changing our belief systems. We are now finally perceiving reality.

But how do we get to this place consciously with as little discomfort as possible? When we realise that all too often we avoid pain, we can choose something other. We can embrace pain, consciously feeling every nuance. We can reassure ourselves by saying “It’s ok, I went through this before and I survived and I will survive this too. I to choose to jump willingly into the painful darkness of the abyss and I am changing”.

A Sumerian legend tells us of the Goddess Inanna who went willingly into the underworld and was stripped of everything she valued on her journey. She faced her dark sister, Erishkigal who murdered her and hung her like a carcass on a hook for three days. She was delivered into the light and realised there was no such thing as death, her Spirit lives. She makes her way back to the upper world and reclaims her birthright and identity. This story is an analogy for those of us facing a crisis point in our lives. We must dive into the darkness and surrender to the inner workings of our subconscious. The Goddess within will redeem us and carry her feminine strength from the underworld into our present lives.

For those male readers, you will need to contact your feminine selves more fully (for some of you this could be for the first time) and for those of you who are women, you must reconnect with the feminine instincts you were born with. There is no manual – this journey is on unchartered waters.

The feminine or ‘anima’ as Carl Jung liked to call it, is the intuitive, creative feminine being that we all have deep within. It is not the critical, judgemental and analytical mind who tries to think it’s way out of trouble. In the face of despair, there is a time for being and not doing. A time of connection to our deepest selves, listening to our instincts and allowing the healing process to proceed. This may involve temporary pain, as we cut down through our wounds to the source of our disease. We need to give ourselves time, space and peace to make this journey.

Once we have been to the very core of darkness, we can then begin our ascent into the light of freedom. We can forge a new identity, coming back stronger than ever before. This journey involves the death of the ego, what we thought we were and the birth of a new realisation of Spirit made Human. We come back to life anew, with new ideas and a fresh and more complete understanding of the world. We have the beginnings of wisdom and the scars to prove it. We control our lives consciously now and Karma no longer rules us in the same way as it did before our descent. We live again in the light of true knowledge.

Author: Rose Smith