This is a question that has come to me many times in different ways. What is the meaning of this life? Or rather, what gives this life meaning?
In my early twenties, I met my first spiritual teacher Eunice. She spoke of “being a soul in continuous life far from beginnings without end.” I had no idea what this meant but these words touched a place deep inside. I wondered—what am I? What is the movement of the soul? What continues? These questions illuminated a search that would not end until this place deep inside felt satisfied.
Twenty years ago, I met my root teacher Adyashanti. I was first introduced to his teachings through an audio recording on the trials and tribulations of the mysteries of Christ. At this time, I was amidst a tremendous challenge—attending to three young children, two of whom were born at one pound each with severe brain injuries. In listening to Adyashanti speak, I heard words that would alter my understanding of the meaning of life forever. He said something like: Nothing worthwhile comes into being without challenge. Resurrection does not take place without crucifixion. By standing in the fire of challenge, you are standing in love. If you stay, a transformation will happen. Love will wear your face.
Love will wear your face. What does this mean? Love will wear your face.
With the premature birth of my daughters, I had been given a challenge drenched with trauma, pain, and resistance–a package that I could not transcend or deny through any amount of spiritual practice. It was mine and it beckoned me intimately close as if to say, “Come on spiritual student of all the worlds’ religions and practices, what are you going to do with this one?”
In all of the spiritual circles I traveled I could not recall guidance on how to unpack the jewels hidden within challenge, of significant trauma. Like anyone else caught off guard by life, turned upside down and inside out, I was in a dessert of darkness—a darkness that sunk into my bones and cells leaving me without sleep for months on end.
One night in the pitch black, exhausted and fried to the max, I decided–this is not a life I can live. I could not find meaning in the birth of children that required 24/7 care. Like Christ, I felt abandoned, forgotten and alone.
Then something shifted. That place deep within me opened and spoke loud and clear: Stop! This is the life you are meant to live. I experienced a ferocious outpouring of light from this place within me and began to move in harmony with everyone and everything. Nothing was separate. My resistance to this challenging life situation began to melt. Fear was absent. The intelligence in my body felt alive once again. As my perspective shifted on the inside, everything shifted on the outside.
I was shown that I contained the keys to unravel this devastating package of trauma. All my inner resources ignited. I would not have tapped into these parts of myself had I tried to run from or transcend what life presented me with. I would not have uncovered the jewels beneath life’s hardships. As I unwrapped one layer at a time, more and deeper meaning became clear. I embraced the directive to slow down and cultivate an intimate meeting with every aspect of being human. My capacity, fueled by this inner light, grew in power, understanding, and joy.
I learned–beyond a shadow of a doubt–that all life has meaning. Our birth is a gift. It is our birthright to be here and to express our most authentic selves. We are given a multiplicity of gifts and experiences along the way. We do not get to decide the form or the package they arrive in. We may feel elated or devastated or anything in between. In receiving and unpacking what we are given, we ignite the depth of meaning in each and every one of us.
No one can tell us the meaning of life. Perhaps it is our job to welcome the mystery to unfold within and around us; to stand in the fire of love that birthed us; to open and intimately be with the gifts we are given; to ask the important questions such as, what truly matters, what makes my heart smile, what gets me out of bed in the morning, what brings a feeling of satisfaction? There is great meaning in questioning our answers, definition, and ideologies, and in endeavoring to cultivate kindness–especially to ourselves–and gratitude for all we’ve been given. We need to remember that we are never given more than we can handle. When we reach in and reach out we are given the support we need. We are not alone.
By staying with your life as it is and uncovering the jewels you’ve been given, love will wear your face.
~Prajna Ginty, MA, is a mother, a Hakomi-trained somatic psychotherapist, meditation teacher, and medicine woman trained in the Shapibo tradition. Her extensive professional practice in transpersonal psychology, depth psychotherapy, neurophysiology, yoga, non-ordinary states of consciousness, and plant medicine serve as a foundation for her work and uncover keys for healing personal and collective trauma.
Prajna’s journey raising her twin daughters with disabilities continues to illuminate life’s spiritual, human and psychic dimensions and shatter all ideologies. The intimate and challenging encounters arising as a single parent inform her life—teaching her to pause, listen, and embody ‘prajna,’ (heart wisdom).
Prajna teaches internationally, is broadly published, and authored the best-selling book Edge of Grace, A Fierce Awakening to Love. She offers public and private meetings in person and online, including a regular online meditation practice. Her main event is the shamanic healing retreat. These popular retreats offer a safe space to land within a fusion of silence, meditation, inquiry, movement, compassion, and plant medicine to purge emotional and psychic bodies, while nourishing original wholeness.
Prajna lives with her family in Santa Cruz, CA.
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