Nathan Peterson

Shattering the Dream Yourself

When we experience a major, "life-shattering" loss, our life is not actually the thing which shatters--it's our picture of life which is destroyed. I believe this can actually be a very a good thing...

I lost my daughter. She was one year old.

If she had died at 90, my loss would have felt completely different to me. Why? Because 1-year-olds aren't "supposed to" die. Dying at 90, on the other hand, feels "normal."

Where do these "supposed to's" and "normals" come from?

They come from a picture that I hold, or held. In this picture, children live until they're old, only then do they die--anything else feels wrong.

But Olivia was not "normal." Neither her death nor her life matched my picture. Maybe that's what made her so beautiful... in order to know Olivia, I had to take my eyes off of my picture and experience her directly, just as she was.

What is this picture and where does it come from? It is an image created from all I have seen and experienced in life. This picture I hold comes from the world I know.

When we experience a life-shattering loss, we not only experience the pain of the loss itself; we also experience the pain of the picture we held--of the world we know--being ripped from our fingers. The loss itself hurts, but the shattered image of things as they were "supposed to" be can feel unbearable.

However, the world which is, and the world which is to come, is not the world we know.

It can't be. The world which is has never been. It's new. And in this new world, there is no "normal" or "supposed to." It is being made for the first time--it is coming into being before our eyes. It is alive. It is life.

Life is not "normal." Maybe that's the beauty of it. We have to take our eyes off of our picture of it and experience it directly, just as it is.

In every moment, we have this choice: we can tighten our grip and our gaze on our picture of the world we know, or we can release our grip and open ourselves to experience and enjoy the world which is.

You are not meant to watch the world through a picture.
You are meant to experience it as it unfolds.
And, you are part of what is unfolding.

In this very moment, you can let the picture go.

While letting go can feel terrifying, it leads to freedom. When the dream shatters, we can finally awaken to our* real life.*

One way for the dream to shatter is for major loss to rip it from our hands. But there is another way:** We can shatter the dream ourselves.**

You can let go of the picture you've been holding. It can happen in an instant. Just as quickly as if you were to receive that terrible phone call. Either way, loss is involved. Either way involves some pain. Either way is scary! But at least this way, you get to choose.

I believe this is one of humanity's most important tasks today: to release the dream, let it shatter, then look up and receive life, just as it is.

Let it go.
It will fall. Let it shatter.
You're free.

My hope for you over the coming week is that you will experience a major loss: the loss of the incredible effort of holding onto one's picture of a world they know.

#awakening #freedom #self-awareness #self-care