I met a very interesting guy in Toronto a few weeks ago, Austin Repath, author of the Pilgrim Cards and other spiritual books. It was the unlikeliest of meetings…I wrote to him many months before to compliment and thank him for the inspiration I get from reading these cards. After that, every once in awhile, I would get a quick email from him.
I didn’t even make it to the first meeting, in fact I stood him up because I was caught in traffic! But we managed to reschedule. We sat for about two hours together and talked about very personal things–life issues that usually take months or years to get to with most people. There is something very different about Austin….wizened, knowing, and profound. I came away from that feeling changed somehow, like I had connected with someone or something much more powerful than the norm.
I have heard from him once or twice since then, and yesterday he sent me a long note with his thoughts on our time together, and the challenges I was and am facing. Challenges that I suspect we all face at various stages of our lives. I was very moved by this. His words have captured the essence of my difficult journey. And opened the door to healing. And somehow make me feel that it will be OK.They will roll around in my head for many weeks to come as I try to incorporate the depths and wisdom of what he has given me. I share it with you now in the hopes that his words may also resonate with you.
We sat over breakfast and your told me where you were in your life–unhappy split with your wife of ten years, your decision to leave your job, and the fact that you were about to turn fifty.
Looking at you, warming your hands around a cup of coffee, I saw a good man, in the prime of his mature life, hurting and at a loss of what to do next. You had the style and image of a man well able to get ahead in the world. However, I could see from the way you presented yourself that you were armoured with style and personality.
You did indeed create an image in my mind of a knight in shiny armour. One who had just received the healing wound that could make all the difference in the rest of your life.
I could offer understanding, advice, help you on your way. As I am much older–in my seventies–I knew of breakup and heartbreak. I knew what you were going through, knew also, that in truth the best I could be was a witness to a changing time in your life, one that could drag you down into cynicism, misogyny, and unhappiness for years to come. Or be with you as you endured a rite of passage that would give you fellowship with all who suffer and live from the open heart–the deeply and truly human among us all: a man on the street begging for some change, an older woman looking directly at you, a child sitting by her mother across from you. You sense a caring and a connection with each of them that was not there before. You begin to grasp that you are being accepted into a gathering of others who hurt, vulnerable to the vagaries of life, and yet are open to you and to life in a way your never allowed yourself to be. You see their innate dignity. You feel touched that you are one with them. This is your reward, and of course there is more.
Being much further down this road, some call life, I knew the lay of the land that lay ahead for you. I sat there trying to frame the words that would guide you forward, make your way easier. And yet I knew that although what I would tell you was the way it was, anything I said would not help you move forward. It might ease the pain and that might be sufficient, but it would be doing you a disservice.
Now a few days later sitting at my computer, I want to try to give you what I can.
Jonathan, it was good to be with you the other afternoon. I saw and could grasp the cusp in your life where you stood, anguishing not in grief or sadness, but in that place that seems given over especially for those who have lost love, been given the wound of a broken heart that no one can cure.
I know and you know in some desperate, hopeful way that one day this exquisite pain will wear itself out. I could tell you that one day you will look back on this time and realize that much of the anguish and pain that you are going through was unnecessary. This is helpful? I think not.
I could tell you that you are within a learning process, but learning in such matters is not what it is about. I believe that you are within the realm of possibility that even articulated will have little meaning for you. Right now is not the time for doing. Right now is a time to to trust and endure.
However, you do have some choice and some responsibility in the matter. For if you are patient enough and can endure, you might one day see this as a time of transformation. Think of yourself as in a crucible. If the term crucify comes to mind, you might not be too far off. If you are happy with the alchemical term think alchemical.
In very simple terms, something is happening to you. You are breaking down. Falling apart. Your task is to stay within the process.
I doubt if you could, but don’t jump out of the crucible. Stay within and let the lead of your being transform into, dare I say it, gold. You will come out of the process different. A bit like a creature of the sea who has its hard outer shell cracked open, you will feel soft and vulnerable. You will be the same you, but not the same old you. Some shell of protection, some outer layer of sophistication or stance will have been burnt away. This is the alchemy of such a moment.
You find that people are more open to you. You sense a way of being with others that is less manipulating, less controlling and more fun, more satisfying. You find delight in your own weaknesses that somehow seem playful and harmless.
People want to be around you. You are not sure why. You are safe to be with. You are not demanding, pushy. One day you connect with another and feeling the energy between you, you both you now realize what love is like.
And you would never had known this if you had not endured the cauldron.
Of course there is so much more. One’s life is an endless infinite series of such moments, but they become less painful, less traumatic. More important, you begin to realize that you have been initiated into the adult world of humanity. And you begin to see that life has given you….what some call grace.
If we are fortunate, life blesses us with this, the greatest of human gifts.
Blessings my friend,
Wow! What an incredible letter from a wise new friend. Thank you for sharing it with us. May all of us who are healing through brokenheartedness become alchemical as we transform our wounded cracks into golden vessels.
This is worthy of many a reread, as there is much wisdom here. Also may I add, that you are truly wise as well Jonathan, and that ‘like attracts like’. Blessings, Gina
Thank you Gina…I certainly don’t feel that wise at the moment, but eventually some of that may stick.
🙂 It does. You attract what you Are. And you are wiser than you’re admitting. 😉
Jonathan, thank you for sharing such a wonderful letter. Friends/spiritual relationships like Austin are truly rare treasures.
I agree with Gina that like attracts like, and that Austin is a reflection of your Love and Light.
I’m not sure if this will be helpful, but after my divorce with my first husband, whom I had two children with, I went through a rough period.
However, one day…as I began to see with clarity and an expanded heart, I was so grateful that we had gone different paths (for both of our soul growth), and I even started loving him as a soul brother.
Also, being on good terms with him and his new wife (who’s an Earth angel to me since she’s an amazing woman and very loving to my kids) also made it comfortable for our children.
Life will work itself out with balance and harmony as we focus on just enjoying, embracing and/or Being in the Moment of Now with gratitude and appreciation—neither dwelling in the past or worrying about the future.
I know…it’s easier said than done. But once we get the ball rolling…and just Be Courage, Inner-Strength, Determination, Persistence/Faith and Resilience…I believe it will become second nature. We will then Be our true essence/Unconditional Love Energy and Divine Consciousness/I AM Presence.
I’ve probably told you this before, but I would like to remind you (since I’m forgetful sometimes) ==> You’re a loving, thoughtful, helpful, intelligent, wise, humorous and handsome man, just to name some of your great qualities. REMEMBER that! 😉
I have no doubt that you will fully heal in Divine perfect timing (with Patience, Trust and Flow), and meet a new, romantic and spiritual partner who perfectly mirrors you (YOU who unconditionally accepts and loves yourself FIRST).
Thank you again for all your support and kind words.
Have an imperfectly perfect week J, and continue to Be your authentic, True Self. ^_^
Thank you Bobbie…you always know just what to say.
Thank you so much for sharing your letter form Mr. Repath. It truly was an incredible gift. I was so moved when I read it on Saturday and wanted to contact you in a less public manner than this site but could not find an email address, so I sent a message via Facebook. I have since learned that messages sent to people to whom you are not ‘connected’ do not show up in their inbox but instead in the ‘other’ box under messages (to guard against spam). I now realize that you may not be aware that it is there. I am sorry if this was an unconventional way to reply to the post. Thank you again for sharing this extraordinary gift of hope. — Dawn
Thank you Dawn for taking the time. It truly was a gift of hope.
What a beautiful letter, Jonathan. You have been fortunate to have meet some incredibly wise, kind, caring people. You must have an aura about you to attract such people. They are more than your typical “nice” person. They are truly special. And so are you for having them, and being open enough to accept them, in your life.
Thank you Teresa. Although it is tested at times, I do believe the universe conspires to help us. The challenge is staying open enough to see it, when sometimes all you can feel is anger and other emotions that get in the way.
An impressive exchange of insights and ideas. Austin Repath was already a Leader in the insight/ideas sector away back when I knew him in Toronto in the 1960s. It was Austin Repath who introduced me to the thinking of Allan Watts—the man who dispensed a neatly capsulized antidote for those (then and now) in danger of becoming too deeply mired in the so-called ‘drug culture’. “Once you get the message, you should best hang up the phone!”
“When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” 🙂 Thank you for sharing such an insightful letter from a truly wise man. We’ve been blessed Jonathan and may infinite blessings return to you! ☀♥♥♥☀NadineMarie☀♥♥♥☀