I recently delivered Dying to Live in Singapore and I watched with astonishment as the participants moved from surface relating (everyday life) into their own private darkness (regrets, withheld emotions, and pain) only to pop out the other side of the practices into much more profound loving ways of being and relating (authentic heart-opened relating). Though I was leading the training, in some way I was also watching objectively the results of the processes we had created and formatted into Dying to Live.
Using the Denial Acceptance Spiral and the Lifeline Review Graph as tools to navigate our way into and through the darkness we actually took people into the pain and sorrow they were unknowingly carrying and had been lugging along for years. We gently and purposely lead the courageous participants through a combination of processes and techniques that moved them gradually from their outer shells into their private world of sorrow, regret and mistaken identities (disguises or false ego). From their worldly presentation right into their darkness.
We intentionally started with very practical aspects of end of life planning to break the ice gently though deliberately – to get the participants into the cold dark waters without them realizing it. Once into the pool we swam they into the important relationships in their lives, then bathed them in the family of origin relationship and then dove them into their very own private world. Without knowing it the participants were preparing for their own symbolic death.
As the processes continued to take us all deeper the room filled with an out pouring of anger, sadness, regret, shame, disappointment, and longing. We all sailed willingly into the darkness that we used to hide our shimmering light, the spark each of us had held safely hidden and protected for years and often for decades. In a very really way it was much like Neo in The Matrix diving into the darkness of Agent Smith then exploding the illusion of darkness into the light.
Once free of all the emotional and mental baggage we were all able to create new ways of living more loving and authentically as opposed to the habits of our lives we had created to keep ourselves safe from hurt and pain. The power created by releasing all our dark energy can now be used to live life more passionately, creatively and purposefully in ways that will have us die regret free.
The way to personal freedom is in fact to journey right into the heart of our own darkness. Indeed the only way out is in and through that which we are so afraid to revisit – the pain and suffering of not being seen and loved for the one we actually are. The result is very much worth the effort and the risk – a free, resilient, and loving heart. We are all truly Dying to Live!