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falling upward

Learning how to trust the falling process, to not resist, but open yourself to the awkwardness, the discomfort, the unnatural feelings stir within you…this has been my world the past few months. I’ve been home in Austin since late November and this is the longest stretch I’ve been home in over 2 years. Since the divorce I have been healing. One of the main ways I have gone about this process is through adventure, through travel and taking advantage of any opportunity to hit the road. The exploration has been therapy for my spirit and has aided much of the healing…or so I thought. In the past 2 years the longest I’ve been home were only a handful of 3 week intervals. As a result the last 3 months of being home has, in many ways bent me sideways. Literally the last few weeks I’ve felt dizzy on numerous occasions.

I’ve been reading several books during this time at home. The two main books are, Falling Upward by Richard Rohr and Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh. Both books are aiding this awkward journey that in many ways feels like a nose dive landing after soaring for much of the past two years. It’s like I crash landed and am picking up pieces, some that I’d like to keep and others that I’m content are broken and are no longer needed now that I’m returning to solid ground. However, this solid ground is not how I left it two years ago. I’m not the same person, yet there are remnants reminding me about much as it was. Picking and sorting through these pieces kicks up old energy, old memories and I’m discovering, they are doing all kinds of numbers on my unconscious.

As a result I’ve decided as part of the 40 day journey through Lent to write at least 3 evenings per week as a way to process, to let go and release all the stirrings going on behind the scenes in my mind. I’m wanting to clean out all that remains, to pull back the curtains completely, let the light in and sweep out any lurking shadows and cob webs from what was.

In Falling Upward, Rohr shares how falling is necessary for growth to occur. He describes how the first season of life is filled with obtaining things: success, goals, prizes, logistics that we describe as necessary for life. And then somewhere along the way we realize that many of these successes and met goals are empty, or at least not fully satisfying what our ego self had hoped or perhaps promised. As a result, if we allow ourselves to come face to face with this reality a falling occurs. Like gravity, pulling at us from the heights we climbed attempting fulfillment of some kind we begin to fall and we are deathly scared that our life’s seeking and racing about were all in vain, “How sure gravity’s law, strong as an ocean current, takes hold of even the smallest thing and pulls it toward the heart of the world…This is what the things can teach us: to fall, patiently to trust our heaviness.” Rohr quotes Rilke here highlighting how our falling is actually a necessary falling upward towards a higher ground. A ground where the ego self has been broken and the shadow self is no longer being hidden and the true self is brought to light.
I’ll dig more into this later this week. Looking forward to sharing more of this process over the next 40 days.

Big love,

Z

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About the Author

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Zane Wilemon is the Founder and Executive Director of Ubuntu. Zane discovered his life’s calling after purchasing a one-way ticket to Kenya in 2000. After living in Kenya for a year, Zane’s life was changed as he recognized that our lives are inextricably tied to God and one another. UBUNTU’s core value is to create opportunities that empower each other to lift ourselves beyond our perceived limitations. Zane is an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas and his Masters in Divinity from the Seminary of the Southwest.

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