I was reminded today of something a friend told me many years ago when I was first beginning to explore a spiritual path. He said, "Your deepest wound is your greatest gift."
It's easy to forget sometimes when we are going through tough things that there may be a purpose for the challenge beyond our small lives. The ways of the Kosmos are mysterious and often beyond our ability to grasp. But I firmly believe that we are given challenges in whatever form they come so that we may learn from them. In doing so, especially in facing our deepest wounds, we develop our gift to the world.
I've written many times on this blog about my efforts to break down the barriers that prevent me from accessing my vulnerability, and with it my emotions. I think of this as my deepest wound. Over the past couple of years, I have made a lot of progress.
Today I was given an opportunity to help someone else who is facing the same struggle, the same journey toward wholeness. She is at the beginning of an adventure that will be scary and challenging, and that will lead her to a deeper connection with who she is and who she can become.
But when it first begins, when that first rupture occurs and emotions flood into consciousness, especially without any framework for understanding what is happening, the experience is frightening. I was fortunate to have that framework when I began the journey. She was not so lucky.
But she was brave enough to reach out for help -- and I was able to offer the benefit of my experience. It helped.
I am so humbly grateful that I was able to help her through a tough afternoon. In that moment I was not me, at least not my little self -- I was an instrument of the Kosmos.
Today, I am grateful for that experience, for the opportunity to be of service. And I am grateful for the recognition, however briefly, that the world can be a compassionate and loving place and that each of us, through facing our wounds and developing our gifts, can be instruments of that love.
And through this experience I was reminded of what it means to be a friend, a lesson summed up in this little parable from The West Wing:
A man is walking along and he falls into a hole.
He sees a doctor walk by and shouts up, "Hey, doctor, I've fallen into this hole. Can you help me out?" The doctor writes out a prescription, throws it down into the hole, and keeps walking.
The man sees a priest walk by and shouts up, "Hey, Father, I've fallen into this hole. Can you help me out?" The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down into the hole, and keeps walking.
The man sees a friend walk by and shouts up, "Hey, Joe, I've fallen into this hole. Can you help me out?" Joe immediately jumps down into the hole with him. The man says," What are you doing, now we're both down in this hole." And Joe replies, "Yeah, but I've been here before. I know the way out."
What are you grateful for? How are you developing your gift?