Into The Unknown: The Space Between Death and Rebirth
There’s always a space between death and rebirth where I find myself stripped of all the ways in which I have come to know myself. I loose a satiable taste for food, I no longer crave the gym, I don’t get excited when I hear my favorite songs. It’s as if the self I claimed to be melts away and I’m left naked, bare boned, and raw. My mind slows and draws blanks to any questions I am asked. It’s as if I have lost who I am entirely. What do I like? What do I love? Who am I? What do I do? What do I want? The endless void of blackness circulates within the space of answers and emptiness.
Luckily, I’ve become accustomed to this space time and time again. Yet, at first it can seem like a brutal rude awakening to a death more gruesome than actual death itself. Here I am alive and living but feeling as if I’m just a shell of human. In my first metaphorical deaths, I’d fall down the well of fear and right into the darkest waters of the underworld. I couldn’t understand what was happening and my mind self sabotaged me like a friend with a knife behind their back. I would spiral into the darkest pits of existence just to feel something, anything. I would dig myself deeper and farther away from the rebirth I so desperately needed and wasted away in the shadows of my yesterdays. I would search for answers for hours and overanalyze late at night. Was I depressed? Was I possessed? Was I even connected to a light? Was I not deserving of more? Or pleasure? Or being human? Did I loose my gifts, my connection, my sense of zest for life? What was this?
Questions. They seem to come into our minds the most when we are walking on the terrain of unknown mysterious territories. However, deep in the mystery was actually a transition. Yet, my mind, it spun and spun and spun. It showed me where I didn’t trust what I claimed to believe in so much. It showed me where I was afraid. It took my hand and led me to all the things I had shoved to the side and had yet to see. That’s the beautiful art of the transition from one phase into the other. I began to sink into it and let it wash me from the things I’d cling to for safety. Surrender became my new formula for transcendence. Once I let go, I saw clearly that this wasn’t a punishment, no. This was an art form. The art form of a great love that beckoned me forward into new skin, that held space for me to shed the old violently or softly however I chose. In the second I let myself meet surrender time and time again, it’s like surrender became the gift that makes my heart beat again, and my breath move deeper into my bones. It’s as if clarity rains over me the second I allow myself to let go. How strange? The most unnatural thing in my body, to release, to surrender, to let go is actually the thing that brings me home? What a concept. I’ve been through hell and back. Somewhere along the lines life became something I had to fight. You see, I became a warrior at birth. Fighting life itself to make it through. Through the tumbles, the punches, the bends, and the breaks; I thought resilience and strength were the greatest honors. To survive, meant to fight and to fight meant to be at war with life. Yet, here when every instinct told me to fight, to scratch, to kick, to cut the throat of life itself; I became tired, tired enough to put down my sword and my weapons and surrender. To my surprise, each time I did, I found life picked me up and cradled me as if I was a newborn. It let me suck on its teat, nourishing me back to the light that had once fallen from the sky. My eyes opened anew and I began to see again, but in a whole new way. I learned what rebirth was.
The biggest illusion I’ve known in this life is the idea that we are only born once. This idea that once we leave the womb, we never go back. This idea that once we leave our skin, death is an finite space of looming where life is no more. However, no one talks about the many times while being alive on this Earth, death knocks on your door and sucks life out of you. You become a walking skeleton in a world of nothingness. Then, life coils you inside of its womb. Things become interesting. You can’t seem to see anything beyond where you are in that moment. Then it births you again into the world revealing you anew.
There’s guidebooks, counselors, courses, classes, therapists, and workshops that all teach skills on how to give birth and how to cope with death. However, my eyes have yet to glance to anyone or anything that tells you about the space where they overlap. Most people cope by drinking, taking pills, they seek out professional help and are prescribed this and that to try and fill us back up with life and hush the mouth of death itself. Yet, we never speak of the overlap; we never dive deeper into the normalcy it is to die and recreate while still flesh and bone.
It takes time to navigate without a step-by-step how-to guide or guru breathing truth into the back of your neck. But it’s something I’ve come to allow, over and over again; something I’ve come to love; something I’ve found the greatest pleasure in. It’s like baby teeth. We’re born toothless (or most of us are let’s hope). We treat it as a mile stone when the first peaks of white ivory peak through our pink chubby gums. We’re birthing a new stage of our existence. Everyone celebrates around us, yet personally this doesn’t feel so pleasant. We get through it, we find a new experience by being able to eat more foods and try new treats. We grow, we evolve. Then we begin to loose those teeth. We don’t need them anymore. Now, we require something much more stable, something that will endure soccer balls to the face, laffy taffy, and our new anxious tendency to chomp on pencils in the middle of that test. We need something more. We shed these cute little teeth, for something that fits us much better. This time, the process is a little more exciting, a little more enticing. We know what to expect because we can communicate now, and we can understand others now. We surrender, and heck let’s be real most of us get some sort of money or prize for moving through this transition.
The space where death and rebirth overlap is often like this. Except it continues and it continues and it continues. You have two options: run; or surrender. If you run, I’ve learned you only end up in even more excruciating pain trying to fit into something that you’ve vastly outgrown. If you surrender, I find that life often meets you on the other side of birth with a prize for the transition, euphoria. Its an act of bravery and courage to face the very things that trigger the most primal essence of fear from within you. Yet, once you walk down one alleyway each one thereafter becomes easier and easier, until you begin to look forward to the quest of slaying five headed two toed dragons and having the city named in your honor after. Ok ok maybe it’s not that crazy of a prize and honor, but I’d like to think entering into the world as if you just arrived for the first time is a pretty cool sensation.
We walk around with all this stuff. We hold on to this and we cling to that, and eventually we become heavy, life becomes like quick sand as we try to move through the sticky thick mud. Gradually, we all reach a point where we sink. We can stay there, and many do with the mind running them deeper and deeper like I once did. Or we can let go, of all the heaviness; the weight; and let ourselves be stripped down of all these things, and stuff, and stickiness that’s kept us moving so slowly. That becomes addictive, and that becomes a euphoric experience greater than any high I’ve ever know. In that, you find freedom to expand.
You see, you’re not your hobbies, your taste in music, your regular order at the local coffee shop, you’re not the person who has had 8 failed relationships, commitment issues, and problems opening up and trusting. You’re not the degree you spent 6 years obtaining because you took the first two years to party and the next two trying to figure out what you liked just to settle for a major that would supposedly make you a lot of money. You’re not that favorite pasta dish you always order for take out, and you’re not the homemade cookies you make every time you’re stressed from never slowing down. You’re not your psychic gifts and awareness, or the star seed race you feel closest to. You’re not even your name. To think, everything you’ve known yourself to be is a lie; well that’s the fear we face. We then search. “Well if I am not this, what am I?”, we think. Often, we’ve become so rooted in a perception of life through our experiences that we equate this space with amounting to nothing. Yet, that’s often the biggest illusion that needs the breath of death in order for us to see clearly. It takes time, and each time we chip away at that nothingness idea and begin to uncover the truth. It’s like that video game, you hardly ever beat the new level on your first try. You go back and back and back learning each time the illusions and tricks of the game. Then, eventually, wahhhhh!!! You beat it!!! You did it! Does it stop? No! Now you’re having too much fun, and now you have to keep going through all the other levels.
Another thing I’ve come to realize is even the thing we cling to the most in this phase must die and be reborn, our spiritual connection. We become used to the way our connection to Source flows into our world. It becomes something that we attached to as a identity trait and a regular part of our routine through yoga, meditation, healing, and more. Spirit goes from something expansive and untamed to a nice little self care ritual kit with a purple bow tied around it. Spirit goes from something that has no limits to something that’s chalked up to crystals, breath work, spirit guide talks, and whatever practices we’ve shaped around it. It isn’t that those representations are bad, but they become limiting at a certain point, as we become comfortable with them. As we spiral into the overlap of death and birth itself, nothing can exist within a container and everything must lose shape in order to reform. So too does our connection to Spirituality. I have gone through this many times and the first time I was convinced I had somehow signed a contract to be enslaved by Satan on accident (I’m kidding, kind of). But I slowly realized, this was a quest no longer of the thrills and pearly pink gates of Spirituality, this was the road to Spiritual maturity. In this quest, time and time again I learn the more I come to know Spirit through one form or practice it will eventually be peeled from my hands and heart and turned over again so that I can find it once more but in a new light. However, in the space of death and rebirth, this often feels like you’ve been cast out of heaven and thrown to the cold wet pavement of a busy city street more so than a blissful liberation. As you move through that space of unearthing even the illusions of the believe of what Spirit is, you begin to see it can be fun, like a game of hide and seek.
Eventually on this journey, you breakthrough the illusion of nothingness and you see this voided space is actually the infinite essence of who you really are. You realize, this is YOU, this is SPIRIT, without the boxes, labels, smallness, and all. It seems to vast, wide, open, and unknown. Like the Universe! Because you are the Universe. In this moment, where death and life meet and you peer in-between them, you are all of existence taking in itself. The womb of creation. Then, you’re birthed, and you grow and you change. Maybe you don’t want the same things, maybe you’re personality changes, maybe your taste in music changes…. You get bored and restless with everything that used to be, and you start to turn into a expanded version of your now present self.
Pleasure seems to ooze from the smallest of moments, food seems to renew its taste as if you’ve never eaten a day in your life, flavor seems to explode with each bite as if it’s the most orgasmic thing you’ve known. The sound of the birds chirping outside your window each morning become a Grammy Award Winning symphony. Life becomes your playground again. You crave touch and find yourself picking up everything to touch it, smell it, hold it, and take it in. You begin to experience life again from the light.
Sometimes, life becomes so automated we have to let it all burn in order to be reminded of the sacred precious glory it truly is. The ability to breathe and feel air as it moves through our nostrils and rises through our belly into our chest and out of our mouth. The way the sun dances off the pond at that park down the street, as little rainbows hit our view in waves and sparkles glisten before us tantalizing our eyes. The ability to feel our feet meeting the ground underneath us with each step as our body someway finds stability to hold itself up and have us spring into forward motion faster than we expected. The ability to witness the love between two people and feel it ignited within our own chest. We take it all for granite, and sometimes life is loving enough to remind us, to rebirth us, so we can experience it all again for the first time.
So next time you find yourself knee deep in the swamp of life, instead of pulling out your sword you’ve been told to use too many times, give yourself permission to let go. Allow yourself to trust life and see what it reveals. The second biggest illusion I’ve come to know, in this idea that life can’t be trusted. However, when you sink deeply into the arms of its loving essence, you remember, you remember why you’re here. All the questions seem to cease and your heart tells you the story of all you need to know.
In a time and age where we enter a space of collective transformation, remember life is your friend, it’s a close companion wanting to embrace you with its warm loving arms. It wants to be there to catch you when you fall. It wants to show you and remind you of your truth. Surrender is the messenger of life itself, and it beckons a new dawn for every sob story or tragedy you’ve ever know. Just when you think there’s no way out, there is life chasing you down trying to show you the way. Give yourself permission to change, for it’s the nature of your truth. Soak in the space where death and life overlap and allow it to show you the infinite being you are. It’s funny how when you experience the vastness of your true essence, how all those doubts, worries, and questions seem to float away into the distance. Sure, they’re still there. However, you see now they’re not all that is there. When you let go and dive into the abyss of the center of life death and life, you dive into yourself. There are two things that are certain in life; and that is birth and death. They will always be here waiting for you, to expand you. They are your friend. If you find yourself in a deep space of the unknown, instead of anxiety and fear; allow yourself to now come to trust this beautiful overlapping of life and death as you are transformed.