Suffering it may seem
and so suffering it is;
but impairing it is not.
−verse 2 of Transforming Trueness (Repose)
The life sciences perpetually teach us about the natural, life-giving tension of transition, and therefore transformation. We observe it collectively in the transition of nature through the overall transformative flow of seasons.
Change, as we most often use the word in western society, is momentary−usually focused on some specific. Transition may fire off some change, but it is never limited to one specific. Transition differs from change in that, while fired possibly from a specific, it immediately begins to connect across the spectrum−across the internal and the external, across individual and collective.
Robert has been an important part of my work for years. He has sent many individuals my way giving me the privilege of Coaching in his diverse treasure of connection. He is a courageous individual who stands consistently firm in his brand of leadership love. But for Robert it has not been a steady, upward progress in his leadership journey or in his overall evolution as an individual.
Robert has suffered.
I admire much about this man. He has often felt guilty about the times we’ve talked through some of this suffering; a guilt focused on the mere technicality of not being currently engaged in a “paying” coaching process. For me these times of conversation were a smart business move as I simply cared for someone who has been a partner in building my practice. But mostly, and deeply, it has been about doing what I can for someone I love and respect.
So perhaps the purpose of experience is to wear us free of our names. −Mark Nepo, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen
The tension of transition may indeed feel like suffering. And if it feels like such, then for you it is suffering. And hence the pain in transition−it is not some thing being made different, it is You. We are always being shaped; shaped by forces internal and external and by influences individual and collective.
Change, some thing made different, is just that; specific and focused. Transition serves a broad evolution. Change is doing something in a different way. Transition is doing different things. So yes, transition is evidence of life flowing in and through the individual. And yes, transition does not always feel good.
Indeed, Robert has suffered; and many times he was his own worst enemy. However, not all causes of his suffering were self-inflicted. Through each suffering Robert’s spirit would reenergize as he would consciously root a bit deeper into the soil of his Trueness.
Yes, it can be painful to have the name we may have assumed in our life worn away. Or, as Mark Nepo suggests, we may rather embrace experience as the story of a larger, truer name.
Like Robert, your Trueness can keep each suffering from impairing you into a downward spiral of despair, never to return. If you do not stop the spiral, the world will be horribly cheated.
The reality is that we come through our suffering stronger, better, Truer; and all are blessed in the process!