All the neuroses, burnouts, crisis (small and big) I have gone through since I was sixteen can be seen as adversity. But I learned to see them as rites de passages which have brought me here.
I know our culture does not like us to put our weaknesses out in the open, but I believe we have to, because we are all weak at some point in our lives. You know why? Because it is exactly our weakness that will make us strong. We need these two opposites to grow, to understand, to be human.
Malidoma Patrice Somé wrote about the initiations he received when he came home to his village in West-Africa as an adult, after being kidnaped by a French Missionaris as a child. His story about his initiation has surprisingly resonated to my crisis, to my fears, to the deep realm you enter all alone in the midst of your darkest hour. Looking life in the eye, being terrified by it, but growing in a way that nothing else could have made me grow.
Malidoma Patrice Somé , Of Fire and Water :
“I call my initiations a radical healing. (…) Something like a new person was born in me. The region of my psyche that had been put to sleep at the schools of Western thought was suddenly restored. I was reconnected to the deep regions of my psyche and to all living things. I rediscovered my home in the natural world, which is the true home of all beings on earth. And I was reconciled to my family and to the village community into which I had been born. I was alive and in awe of what I felt. My indigenous life was allowed to resume. My initiation was followed by a quiet, seemingly uneventful year in the village. I began to grow accustomed to the slow and quiet magic of the village. With the entrance if the spiritual into my psyche, I began to see why the life I was embracing – so marvelously eventful on the inside- could be seen by a Western trained eye as unattractive. How does one judge what cannot be seen?”