Falling Apart is Part of the Cycle of Life

Looking to nature helps me appreciate the cycles of life.

The lush abundance of a cool early summer with lots of rain, has moved into stifling heat this year and the grass is turning brown.

Over the past month, as my husband and I waded through medical decisions and his surgery approached, I felt more than a trace of desperation. I found myself falling apart in the face of the unknown. I didn’t know the outcome of my husband’s surgery and leaving my daughter behind as her new school began, to be cared for by relative strangers, felt like a terrible choice.

I appreciated the many good wishes sent my way through email, Facebook and the ethers. They helped to sustain me.

As happens in all moments of falling apart, the process did have an eventual end point as my husband emerged from a successful surgery and is recovering well. My daughter showed great independence and resilience, even while snapping right back into her basic “tween” attitude as soon as we returned.

As with all feelings and states of being, nothing is permanent. Not the dreaded pain and fear, nor the moments of joy we wish we could hold onto forever.

Falling apart is an essential ingredient in the cycle of life. The seeding or germination is followed by birth and Life! And then there is a falling apart (slow or quick), a death or endpoint, which in nature always leads to a transformation or rebirth. If you don’t fall apart, is there transformation?

One of the classic meditations in kundalini yoga, Kirtan Kriya, directly includes the awareness of this cycle of life. The Sa-Ta-Na-Ma meditation has been studied at UCLA and found to lower inflammation and improve memory. It is now being studied at the UT School of Nursing to understand it’s possible impact on cognitive function after chemotherapy.

Kirtan Kriya is a powerful meditation for clearing your subconscious and bringing you into the present moment. With each 4 part phrase, you acknowledge the beginning, middle and end of all parts of life and your experiences.

Here’s a link to practice it with me:http://www.kellyinselmann.com/monday-morning-videos/meditating-on-the-cycle-of-life/

Or here for an audio recording: https://www.therapistuncensored.com/tu52-bonus/

As I begin this week in an improved frame of mind and with stronger energy, I’m grateful to the part of me that was willing to allow the experience of falling apart.  I’m going to need the strength to fall apart again and again.

Resistance to acknowledging your feelings of fear, sadness, grief and anger, can freeze your feelings and make you feel numb inside. It also, at least in my case, keeps me from acknowledging that I need help and asking for it.

Falling apart is uncomfortable but essential.


On Falling Apart

“How can we pull ourselves together when we haven’t allowed ourselves to fall part?”

Elizabeth Goble

My husband’s cancer experience is giving me the chance to revisit how my 6 Principles for Emotional Recovery and Resilience (6 Principles) work. To be honest, things have been hard. We are getting ready to go to Houston for a series of surgeries while my daughter starts middle school in a new environment where she doesn’t have friends yet and we don’t have any systems in place.

The disruptions and surprises keep coming and the underlying uncertainty is a challenge. In this moment, I’m reminded that I don’t have to fight against allowing the experience to affect me, my schedule, my goals, our relationships and my life. I’m aware of surrendering my tight grip on trying to be in control and I’m back to basics with Principle #1: Getting Honest about how the cancer experience is/has impacted you. If you don’t let yourself fall apart physically and emotionally, you simply remain frozen, incapable of moving past this.

Right now, my cancer experience is affecting me and I have to make a lot of adjustments. There are some professional and personal goals that have to be shifted. I’m tired and worried about my family. I’m falling apart so I can put myself back together. I’m feeling some relief in admitting that, to myself and to you.