In a mentoring adventure I am currently on a question was asked,
"When you are in the midst of the downward spiral, do you know the tide will turn? What would it be like if you could lift yourself up and gain the perspective that allows you to see the beauty of the entire process? Would that change your capacity to experience beauty in the heat of the most difficult moments?" (Robin Rice - Be Who You Are)
In the midst of a downward spiral, I know spiritually that it will turn, but there are times either when I can not or could not see it. There are other times when I can be the sacred witness to an event that truely brings home the beauty that surrounds us in every spiral.
When my dad was dying of AML, the last three months of his life I had the gift of being able to go spend time with him. The last three weeks I got to spend a majority of the time with him. It was one of the most difficult experiences that I have ever gone through; yet also one of the most beautiful. To watch your dad go through the last days of life, the stages of oxygen starvation and watch your mom say goodbye to the man she has spent the last 40 years with was beyond difficult. Yet, in the moments of lucidity that my dad had, it was absolutely without question some of the most beautiful moments of my life.
Being able to be a sacred witness rather than simply a grieving daughter was only one of the special gifts. I remember the last lucid conversation like it was happening today. I remember the last words spoken. I remember the last breath and watching the bliss as my dad crossed and reminded me of the rainbows.
Even at the celebration of life that was held for my dad, I was delivering his eulogy looking out at the congregation, the church overflowing with those who had been touched by my dad's soul. As I was finishing sharing about my dad someone whispered to me, "Carla come outside". Over the church was a double rainbow. My dad came to celebrate his life with us. It was beautiful in the middle of deep grief.
There are times when a downward spiral can feel as though it will never cease; when we can simply become the sacred witness and see the whole picture rather than our own emotional perspective the gifts can appear for us to open and savor.