What is it that you were given?

Whenever I sit down to write with the intention of sharing my thoughts, I think about the possibility that my personal challenges and breakthroughs might not be that different from what others are experiencing around the world—which makes sense if we believe We are All One. And I do. The circumstances for our individual growth may appear different, but perhaps what is being learned is virtually the same, and we bring those gifts back to the Collective: What you are experiencing matters.

This morning I looked closely at what I’ve encountered these past almost twelve months. If I were to describe it in two words, it would be “The Opposite.” In fact, it feels like the majority of what’s come down the pike during this last year has seemed like the opposite of what my Ego or Mind hoped would come, even having taken into consideration that “2012” might be bringing with it a few rough patches.

I think one of the toughest parts about being Spirit cloaked in Human form is that we don’t have access to “the whole picture.” We’re only seeing things from a limited perspective, not from a vantage point that helps us to see how any birth, any death, any ending or beginning that elicits extreme growth and change is intricately connected to all beings, everywhere, encouraging their evolution as well.

This week someone wrote to me and shared with me that her family just went through the second anniversary of having lost her seventeen-year-old son to cancer. This kind of loss simply can’t be made sense of in the Mind. And if there’s one thing I believe so many of the losses we’ve endured together in 2012 have brought each of us, it’s that realization.

So where do we go to make sense of it all, when we are moving through losses greater than we imagined we would face?

In these days and times, maybe we can only look at life’s current challenges through the eyes of the heart. We begin to make sense of our current crisis, loss or change in the heart, and then the mind can begin to grasp the greater purpose with more space and ease. Unlike the mind, the heart is where I have always found spaciousness, and peace. But it usually takes dire circumstances to turn me in that direction…

There’s a poem that came through me in my early thirties, during a time when I had been opened by circumstances that left me more vulnerable and raw and fragile than I had any idea I could be. It was my first “Dark Night of the Soul” and something that simply had to happen in order for me to evolve further. The title of the poem is a question. And the question is What Is It That You Were Given?

What is it that you were given?
I mean from the loss.
what was taken.
That very thing you could never live without:
the person
or place;
secret or circumstance.
Now that It is gone
and you can no longer call It foundation—

what is it that you were given?

You know, and I know this:
there is a hollowing out.
Something comes and opens you up


And from that moment on
you are no longer immune to this world.

You wake, you wander—
every familiar now a foreign.
You walk as through water
until you make it back to your bed
and finally, even there, your sheets,
your own pillow’s scent—different—
as if daily someone repaints your room,
displaces something;
disturbs a cherished memento.

You see, sometimes we are emptied.

We are emptied because Life wants us to know




It’s not a very comfortable poem. I wasn’t sure what to feel once it came through as I sat reading it, tears streaming. But in that moment it felt like some Greater part of me that hadn’t yet fully come into this life, finally did. And it was as if all those precious fragments of light that had been separated and strewn across the universe through my grief were brought back together, and made into something New—albeit a bedraggled and bewildered New.

Dear, Precious One—what is it you’ve been given, through your loss? In my monthly newsletter, I posed this question and invited readers to write to me with their story; their discoveries; the Gratitude found amidst the Grief. This process was not meant to open wounds, but to help to heal them; to empower each of us to name The Gifts, as difficult as that is sometimes, and in so doing Name our Highest Self again, pulling It from the rubble like a Phoenix rises from the ashes. I encourage you to spend even ten minutes in silence, just listening; just asking the question, and allowing the mind to quiet in its resistance until you hear a different voice; the softer voice of the heart. Then, put pen to paper or fingers to laptop keys and write, without judgment or editing. What is It That You Were Given?

If we really are to know more Light and live our lives with yet more courage, and zeal and aligned in our own Truth, sometimes our Spirit knows what that will take—something the human would never knowingly agree to, I’m betting.

At the beginning of this article I shared two words that summed up 2012 for me: The Opposite. But I’ll close by offering two words that just two days ago came into my life for the first time. These two words are Baruch Bachan (bay-roosh bay-shan).

They mean, “the Blessings already Are.”

– em claire

(To contact em please write to her at: em@emclairepoet.com. To hear em claire read this poem, please click here.)

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