When Life Stops Us In Our Tracks

flame lily 6.1-29

Life has a way of stopping us in our tracks. Illness, loss of a job, the breakdown of a relationship, are just some ways in which it does this. Moments like these are inevitably dark and painful, yet they always have the capacity to give birth to light. It seems they all follow a basic pattern.

Firstly, they put us in a place of confinement and kind of prune us of all our distractions and running around. Our lives become small and restricted, and almost more focussed in a way.

Secondly, because of this confinement and pruning of distractions, they shift and enable greater attention, and begin to nurture us in to a deeper and intentional reflection, once again putting us in touch with what is essential and important in life.

Lastly, the moment always arrives when the confinement gradually, or sometimes swiftly, comes to an end and we find ourselves standing at a portal of light, ready to step out in to the gift of a new and deeper level of consciousness. The darkness and the confinement does its work and prepares us for the birth of something new and different.

This image I took in the Umbagowambo forest was for me a wonderful illustration of this.

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About Don

I love life. Sometimes it makes sense, other times not. Discerning its underlying patterns and beauty always provides great reward and meaning and is a passion I ineptly follow. I feel deeply attached to nature and love the sea with its distinct moods and colour and find walking along its beaches wonderfully inspiring. Writing, sketching and photography is a sheer joy for me and the blog is one of the places I am able to express these pursuits.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, Life, Nature, Photography, Poetic Imagination, Spirituality, Transformation, wisdom and insight and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to When Life Stops Us In Our Tracks

  1. So very true and we need to stay open to what life has in store for us. That picture is perfect for this post.

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  2. “…kind of prune us of all our distractions and running around.”

    I enjoyed the excellent word picture you painted in this post.

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  3. When we can experience different types of emotions, not just positive, we become attuned to our Inner Self. It is a wonderful feeling when we can shake the shadows and step back into the light. I too love your use of words; “pruning of distractions” really denotes the true nature of the thought process. Fantastic post, Don. Your photo is a perfect fit too. I can almost feel the coolness of the shadow then the warmth of the sun upon stepping out visually into the clearing. -Melissa

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    • Don says:

      Thanks Melissa. What you say about the coolness of the shadow and the warmth of the sun was precisely my experience when I stepped out in to the clearing. Appreciate your words and thank you for your comment.

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  4. Hudson Howl says:

    BEYOND

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  5. Very neat thoughts to go along with the just right photo today – lovely. Thanks.

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  6. Indeed, Don… the image demonstrates your thoughts very well…

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  7. Great post, Don. As the first reply says, we need to be open to all the steps you mention, otherwise we miss out on a great gift.

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  8. nrhatch says:

    Good thoughts. Reminds me of this quote:

    “Take a moment from time to time to remember that you are alive. I know this sounds a trifle obvious, but it is amazing how little time we take to remark upon this singular and gratifying fact. By the most astounding stroke of luck an infinitesimal portion of all the matter in the universe came together to create you and for the tiniest moment in the great span of eternity you have the incomparable privilege to exist.” ~ Bill Bryson

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  9. katy says:

    You have picked the perfect picture for your post Don.(or was it post for your picture } I can,t imagine wanting to linger in the dark when all that light is just a step away but for some folk that have been in a dark confined place for so long, that bright open space is just too much and the thought of something new and different is frightening.

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    • Don says:

      Katy, I wonder if we sometimes don’t push ourselves out of the darkness too quickly without hearing fully what the darkness has been saying to us. I agree, sometimes we can linger for too long in the darkness with all sorts of excuses of not wanting to enter the light.Good point. Thanks Katy

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  10. ladyfi says:

    So beautifully symbolic of the way grief, life, pain can stop us and then push us forwards again – whole and stronger than before.

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  11. I so agree with your thoughts here. It is hard, when in the midst of one of these episodes, to remember that this too will pass and that there will be light. I love the way your photo catches the light and the word image you created. 🙂

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  12. When our baby son (a twin) was undergoing heart surgery for the third time and our lives became ‘small and restricted’ I found a poem which gave me a philosophy to live by. ‘Look to this day…. ‘ You’ll find it here http://mybeautfulthings.wordpress.com/?s=look+to+this+day

    Your post and your answer to my comment suggest you may be in need of this poem right now. I send you love and strength. 🙂

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  13. A terrific post Don, and that photo you took in Umbagowambo Forest is fabulous. I especially love the heart shaped dark area in the center that gives it an especially intimate feeling.

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    • Don says:

      Appreciate you enjoying the post and thank you for your kind words. Thank you also for pointing out the heart shape. Never saw it before you mentioned it.

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  14. theINFP says:

    Reblogged this on the INFP and commented:
    Magical moments even during a period of painful adjustment

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  15. aaremo says:

    This is so true and beautifully expressed. This was certainly the case for me when a chronic illness ground my life to a halt and forced me to reach inward and make sense of this whole ‘life’ business

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  16. PaulaB says:

    Beautiful. After my Mom’s death we noticed for the first time the painting that was over her head. In the image there was a clearing, very much like the one in your photo. I have always thought of death in this way since. Thank you for sharing such beautiful thoughts and imagery. As you say just above here in your comment “there is meaning in everything”. Indeed there is, if we know where to look 😉

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    • Don says:

      Thanks Paula for sharing your experience. Very moving, and I hope the wound of your Mom’s death is slowly healing. Thank you also for your words of kindness. Meaning does indeed permeate life – sometimes not easy to see, and sometimes too painful to even entertain.

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  17. cindy knoke says:

    Reminds me of the meaning of the word crisis in Chinese ( if I remember correctly): Crisis & Opportunity. With all crisis there is also opportunity as you so eloquently pointed out in this post…….

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  18. Pingback: Versatile Blogger Award | Rafferty's Rules

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