Is there an old way of life – or an old system of beliefs – that must die in YOUR life?

During this current self-enforced hiatus of my work as a counselor and consultant, I’ve alternated between moments of great euphoria and dark despair. Euphoria when I am outside – in the fog, in the sunshine, in the woods, on the beach – and feeling myself in harmony with every living thing. Despair when I am experiencing a general dissatisfaction with life, thoughts that I am “doing” nothing of value right now and evidence that (now of all times) my daughter has relapsed into a severe case of eczema.

However, the signs are plentiful that, despite my vacillations and self-doubt, I am on the right path. Discussing this with a friend while at the beach, I was confronted with one such sign. The Grim Reaper (pictured above) stood right in front of me.

Despite its frightening associations in our death-phobic culture, The Grim Reaper  – number 13 or Death in the Tarot deck –  symbolizes profound transformation and an end of the old in order to make way for the new.

As I’ve told many people for whom the Death card has appeared,  being on one’s right path frequently involves letting go of one’s preconceived notions of what that path is, letting go of one’s old belief systems and ways of being, and essentially letting go of one’s previous life. In other words, dying.

So what is dying in my life?

For one thing, the previously unexamined assumptions that my “right” path would always make me look good, inspire everyone to like and admire me AND create desirable results in my immediate circumstances (especially the financial ones). In short, being on my path would be a combination of living in paradise and a liberation from all the “flaws” that make me human.

As those assumptions die, however, I am discovering that my current right path draws me ever more deeply into an experience of pure being – for all its pain AND glory. This path is not about doing something useful, functional or even comprehensible and it is not about being happy, masterful or attractive.

Instead, it is simply about being. And sharing that being as generously as I can. What follows from that I cannot say.