Sorrow of the World
The concept of the sorrow of the world has been dancing in my head and
heart for days. Having experienced it personally and profoundly, it can be
a dark and seemingly endless place to find your self in. What I know to be
true is that the light never shines brighter than when it shines through the
dark. These last days have been a glorious example of that. We have
seen it played out on the national stage and I have seen it in my own life.
This weekend I had the opportunity to hold the space for a very dear friend
who had her own encounter with this deep sorrow. In the last year, she lost
a 16 year old pet, the one and only dog she has ever owned. This little dog
had the heart of a lion, and was with my friend through some very high and
very low points in her life. She was funny, enchanting, loving and
incredibly smart, truly a little angel on four paws. While her demise was
not unexpected at that advanced age, it was nonetheless devastating for
my friend. As any of you who have pets know, losing one can leave a hole
in your life and heart and the grief experience simply takes as long as it
takes. So it is the case for this friend.
In addition to losing this precious dog, my friend has had several other
personal upsets, including an unexpected job loss and a growing anxiety
over her mother’s aging and inevitable loss, both of which further
destabilized her equilibrium.
The last several months have been very uncomfortable for her, and she
has expressed several times to me how “lost” she feels. She felt
rudderless, she told me, and felt as if she couldn’t find her way through.
In my own hard experience, I have discovered that the lost feeling is one
that must be traveled alone, as it is a deep dive into your own psyche,
heart, soul and Be-ing. It is ultimately a place of healing and that can only
be discovered by yourself. However, in the moment, it can be
overwhelming. I remember feeling like I would never make it through the
morass of grief.
On Friday night, all of her sorrow came spilling out. It began with the loss
of her dear dog. Gradually, other elements began to emerge, like her
concerns and fear for her mother, leading to feeling lost in her own life.
Gut wrenching sorrow ripped through her, tears flowed and words became
even painful to utter. Her sorrow, her grief ripped up from the death of her
soul and ultimately crystallized around the fear of loss of her mother.
As I listened to all she had to say, and the layers of elements to her sorrow,
I began to see that this moment was so much more than a personal crisis.
And I say that not diminish the impact of these very personal emotions
within her at all, but to add a sacred element to this outpouring of grief.
Her heartfelt words expressed a soul-deep experience of being cut off
from everything. As I listened, I began to see how this grief arising from
the fear of losing her mother and the loss of her dog, of feeling lost and
adrift, was actually much deeper than that. That she was focused on her
mother only made it more clear to me. The mother is that place from
which we arise, we come into be-ing. It is our source, our world, our
identity and the feeling of being separated from that is devastating.
Separation is literally, I believe, the basis of the sorrow of the world, and
that this deep sorrow was truly what her heart was most profoundly
We all carry this sorrow deep within our souls and therefore we must allow
ourselves to go as deeply as we can, opening our hearts and souls to
allow this grief to pour through. We act as sacred channel for ourselves,
others around us, and the world. The light creates clearing and
Welcome this road because it brings you face to face with your divinity. We
are not our feelings, our emotions. They are naught but energy traveling
through us , and we are each a sacred vessel through which the light must
shine. This sorrow is not designed to break us but to heal us , and
subsequently the world. The light must return, and we are each its
ambassador. It sustains our soul and acts as mid-wife to the new world.
And so it was this Friday evening for my dear friend as I witnessed this
grief pour through her. I sat witness for her and held her in a sacred
vessel, allowing her safe expression of her grief and sorrow.
As it brought clearing to her, it did for me as well. In our lives, we will all have
opportunities to experience both our own grief and being the vessel for
others. Embrace these opportunities when they come, for they are gifts. It
is through this process of diving deep that we realize our own union within
ourselves, with the world, and with each other. Separation is left behind.
We create a tapestry of light, that begins with us and radiates outward.
She is not lost. She is not separate. When she opened her heart to allow
this grief to pour through, she began to regain her equilibrium, her identity,
her balance and her peace. She allowed the sorrow to express itself. She
allowed herself to open fully to this experience.
We are none of us lost. We are none of us separate. Embracing the sorrow
allows us to crack open, which allows us to become a more perfect
channel for the light to shine through. That is our sacred purpose, and so
critically important these days as the new world comes into being and to
paraphrase Leonard Cohen, the crack the sorrow of the world delivers is
the way the Light gets in....
***This guidance column was written by Jan Finley for TheCosmicPath.com. It may be shared freely, but only when the author’s name and website are included.