2016 has been a year of dramatic changes. The list of unexpected, often gloomy global events we experienced in the past 365 days would be long and cumbersome. So let’s stick to the personal level. According to numerology, 2016 was the year of loss. What did you lose? Which events marked your year? What lessons did you learned?
For me, 2016 has been again a year-long lesson of impermanence. As it’s often the case though, it’s also been a year of great spiritual elevation. Growth can only happen when you leave your comfort zone, no matter if it’s your decision or the collective karma (more about this idea in a future post, it’s promised). The past year helped me to get a step further on my spiritual path.
At the end of 2016, I embarked on a journey back to the roots of my own identity. I went back to my home town and started from there. I stayed with people who once were the core of my every-day life, I visited places I used to call home. I realised how people had changed, my old belongings were telling me the story of the child, of the young man I once was. For 3 weeks, I dedicated myself to the practice of remembrance, the other, often neglected side of sati or mindfulness. I took the time to settle down to help my mind see things as they are. By observing the past, I made peace with my present.
There has been a collateral discovery, though. Some weeks later, I was having a talk with a good friend in a French café in Warsaw (yes, we do live in amazing times). It was a snowy day. We were sharing our stories – we hadn’t seen each other for more than a year – when a truth emerged we could no longer ignore: while facing the deepest sufferings in the past year, we both made the experience of our Soul. We both experienced the unspeakable feeling of finding our way home, while in the middle of our storms. We were given the chance to come back to the essential, reach in and touch our awakened heart, our boddhicitta. While faced to dukkha we both realised how much the process of healing is about the healing of your Soul. We had found our way there.
This – I suddenly recalled – is the real meaning of the word psychology. From ancient Greek: Psyché + Logos, the study of the Soul. Not the mind, not the heart (by the mind, no Asian language has two separate words for the two), but the Soul. I took this epiphany as an immense strength, on my path towards self-healing and in my mission of helping others do the same.
So let’s come back to (y)our Soul. As the title of a deeply inspiring film today suggests, let’s make sure we do not miss the opportunity to notice the collateral beauty in every single experience, of this present moment.
And suffering can become the pathway to our liberation.