Burying and Planting the culmination of one love, one dream, one self, is the anonymous seed of the next. There is very little difference between burying and planting. For often, we need to put dead things to rest, so that new life can grow. And further, the thing put to rest—whether it be a loved one, a dream, or a false way of seeing—becomes the fertilizer for the life about to form. As the well-used thing joins with the earth, the old love fertilizes the new; the broken dream fertilizes the dream yet conceived; the painful way of being that strapped us to the world fertilizes the freer inner stance about to unfold. This is very helpful when considering the many forms of self we inhabit over a lifetime. One self carries us to the extent of its usefulness and dies. We are then forced to put that once beloved skin to rest, to join it with the ground of spirit from which it came, so it may fertilize the next skin of self that will carry us into tomorrow. There is always grief for what is lost and always surprise at what is to be born. But much of our pain in living comes from wearing a dead and useless skin, refusing to put it to rest, or from burying such things with the intent of hiding them rather than relinquishing them. For every new way of being, there is a failed attempt mulching beneath the tongue. For every sprig that breaks surface, there is an old stick stirring underground. For every moment of joy sprouting, there is a new moment of struggle taking root. We live, embrace, and put to rest our dearest things, including how we see ourselves, so we can resurrect our lives anew.

Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have


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