What’s YOUR Ground Zero?

I’ve been reading Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth and there’s a part near the beginning where he talks about how often great loss precedes an awakening. And this afternoon I watched a movie called The Moses Code, a Drew Hariot/James Twyman film about the power of the name of God – “I am that I am.” It’s filmed like The Secret – interwoven bits of interview with several different and recognizable New Age, self-help voices. One of the messages of the film is about how we’re all connected – all One.

There’s one gentleman in the film who talks about his experience of being at Ground Zero just moments after the Twin Towers fell and how that experience was completely transformational for him. Despite the horror of the moment and the days to come, what he took away from his presence in that place and time was a transcendent experience of Oneness that completely changed his sense of purpose and place in the world.

So these two intellectual inputs – the book and the film – coming to me in the same day hammered home to me that Cameron’s death was my own personal Ground Zero.

When I learned of his death, everything I thought was real and important – all the drama of our relationship, my identity as “Cameron’s Mom,” all my beliefs about what was fair and just, my notions about how life was supposed to work, all my hopes for the future – were completely stripped away. My orientation in space and time, my ego, my carefully constructed sense of self were all suddenly and totally gone. What was left in that moment, in the very instant after the jail death detectives told me he was dead, was a sense of unbelievable peace and unquestionable certainty that all was well.

It didn’t take too long for the moment to collapse and the pain and all the questions to fill the void left by the stripping away of my known universe. But somehow that underlying peace remained with me even through my most painful struggles to reconcile myself to the new world in which I found myself.

Today, after a few years of working through this loss, I have a much deeper understanding of connectedness. I understand how much more powerful love is than I had ever previously imagined. I have moments when I can wrap my mind around the concepts of everything being One and all time being Now. I know things now, viscerally and unquestionably, that I didn’t understand before.

My connection to the world has shifted. I spend much more time now feeling at peace than feeling worried. And when worry does rear its ugly head, I recognize it for what it is and I am able to release it much more easily than before. I can let go of things more easily – whether they be tangible, physical things or beliefs and perceptions. I am more willing to live with uncertainty and to take steps into the unknown with trust. I have discovered that my Ground Zero experience, the stripping away of everything, offered me the great gift of seeing beyond the illusion, the maya, the constructed reality in which we live. The stripping away of all my “givens” allowed me to choose how to recreate myself or, more accurately, to remember who I am.

So, I’m wondering, what’s your Ground Zero? Has anything ever happened in your life that stripped you so down to the bone that you had to begin to re-member yourself one limb, one muscle, one cell at a time?

I can tell you that the experience hurts like hell. I can tell you that it’s also an invitation to a far greater expression of yourself than you could ever have imagined. I can tell you that, despite the pain, it is a gift beyond measure.

Wishing You Peace on the Journey. . .

One thought on “What’s YOUR Ground Zero?

  • April 13, 2008 at 9:10 PM

    Losing my sweetie was my ground zero, and I looked into the abyss for a long time, unable to get my bearings. I never had that sense of peace upon hearing the news. It was an unimaginable horror to me that day, and even now, the memory of that moment can take the starch out of my knees.

    I have an uneasy, fragile knowing that all is well, that there is no losing this game called life, and in the end we will all end up the same place, in peace and love. What scares me is what pain in this life may lie ahead of me. Since A died, there are few things that actually do scare me, but they are there.

    I have to say, I admire your sense of purpose. I don’t know that I have that, other than to keep breathing and take life as it comes. I have no drive towards anything in particular, though, and sometimes I wish I did.


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