“Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any misery, any depression, since after all you don’t know what work these conditions are doing inside you? Why do you want to persecute yourself with the question of where all this is coming from and where it is going? Since you know, after all, that you are in the midst of transitions and you wished for nothing so much as to change. If there is anything unhealthy in your reactions, just bear in mind that sickness is the means by which an organism frees itself from what is alien; so one must simply help it to be sick, to have its whole sickness and to break out with it, since that is the way it gets better.” 


I read Rilke’s letters the other weak and stumbled over these true words. I send them to a friend who is suffering from a personal crisis. Than I ran into a mother at school who told me she’s burned out and scared. I send them to her too. And then I send it to someone else. And again to someone else. I feel I could send it out into the world. So many people are in a crisis right now and are calling themselves ill, depressed, burned out. I have been there, more than once. I still go there now and then for a couple of days. But now I know I’m not ill, I’m not crazy and I certainly did not do anything wrong to get there. This is how we transform. These are the symptoms you have been ignoring pounding on your door : you are changing. You are evolving. Turn inwards to see what you truly need. Go find yourself. Your self-love. Your self-respect. Your self-trust. It is time to let go of everything you do not need, of everything that is not serving you. Be brave and take a new turn. What’s hurting you is the old and the resistance of letting go. And we all now letting go is the most scary thing there is, but sooner or later, it is more hurtful to hold on than to let go. Be brave!

Burn-out, depression, crisis : it is a blessing in disguise. It is an opportunity. It is a sign for us to stop and figure out what’s causing our imbalance rather than just masking, suppressing, or rerouting the symptoms. It’s a chance to choose a new story, to engage in radical transformation, to say yes to a different life experience. GO!

Butterfly painting by Albert Bierstadt 1893


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