WOW | Life Inspiration

COLLATERAL BEAUTY

We’ve seen each other through some ‘big stuff’, as we call them: new jobs and no jobs; love found and love lost; marriage, children, divorce, moves across countries and across the globe, ecstatic joy and gutting grief. But this one – cancer – definitely, tops the list of ‘least-expected-big-stuff’. Aurora is one of the healthier people I know. At age 42, she runs marathons, she climbs mountains, goes on solo bike trips through deserts, dances salsa, loves beer and mezcal, loves her job, her friends and her life.

How could cancer sneak its way under her skin?

I’m frightened. I’m angry. That my friend has to face so much unknown, so much prodding, fear, and pain. And I’m afraid of my own grief. I want more years with her. Many more.
And I’m amazed. That as death shows itself, and sits across from her at the table, she leans in. Aurora could look the other way and pretend it’s something else or that it’s just not there. And there are moments when she does; when it seems all too much to take – the doctors appointments, the surgery, the medicine, the questions, and the big question (will I survive this?). But inevitably she leans in again, calling forth her tribe of friends and family who adore her. Full of fear, full of sadness, full of courage. We follow her lead and lean in too, privy to the sacred that shows up when we meet the black hole of the unknown: Love.

Love. And I mean BIG love. Not the cute soft-hued commercial version of Love. I mean the fierce kind; the kind that shows itself as breathtaking synchronicities and things your imagination could never conjure up. I mean the Love that is raw and unadulterated: streaming tears and runny noses; body shaking sobs and deep belly laughs; long silences and sitting with the unknown without having to fix it. I mean love as life force. The same love that creates, sustains and transforms all that is….the air, water, plants, this body, your body, the stars and the Universe. The grace that opens our eyes to the joy and beauty that has always been there and has been patiently waiting to be seen and embraced.

These are some of the collateral beauty of loss and fear. When we lean in, when we dare to feel, rather than guard ourselves from life’s tragedies, we break open; and we find that with the pain comes Grace.

The wound is the place where the light enters you.–Rumi


LISA GAUTSCHI (Yogatara) is a Yoga Therapist and Spiritual Psychologist, and the Director of Isha Institute, Jhamsikhel – a centre for holistic learning and conscious living.
Contact: yogatara108@yahoo.com