“You must sleep in order to wake up. You must die in order to live; you must melt down to shape anew”. Nisargadatta
These words feel so simple, yet profound. How many stories have we heard of where people have had near death experiences that have literally woken them up to life like never before? I personally have experienced the difficulty of living unconsciously before there has been the impetus to wake up. I have learned at times that feeling broken is what eventually creates space for something new to emerge. Many times I have seen my ideas around a circumstance or a person crumble or no longer hold ground before a fresh insight has come forward.
Nisargadatta’s words also convey that life is cyclical. In a visceral way this wisdom is apparent in the experience of the breath. Just as the breath rises and falls, in life there will also be gain and loss, comfort and discomfort, praise and blame, joy and sorrow. To some degree, we will all be touched by these aspects of life. Still it is so human to resist one half of these experiences and to move toward the other. Yet I know that my deepest learning and growth has often come in the moments of challenge, loss or failure. More often the learning does not arise immediately, but in time and when I am ready. Sometimes the learning has simply been realizing that I can carry more discomfort than I otherwise thought I could.
These words by Nisargadatta remind me to flow with the fluctuations of life, to meet it with tenderness and curiosity, and to discern when skillful effort has become willful resistance to what is arising.
“You must melt down to shape anew”.
So the next time life appears to be melting, falling apart or drifting from the way I had envisioned it to unfold, I hope to remember that something new awaits. Perhaps, in part growth and in part grace in trusting life’s twist and turns.