by Freefall, Zen Gardner I was on a hike a few weeks ago and I came upon a woman on the trail. When we made it to the mountain lake, she began telling me her story. Her mother had recently died, run over by a truck at her jobsite. The woman had also recently divorced. After finishing her education, all that was left for her was to take a test in order to become a naturopathic doctor. But she no longer had the inclination. Obviously depressed, the woman said that all she wanted to do was hike. I told her that was as good a thing to do as any. My dog Jax, a Labrador retriever that accompanies me on all my hikes, agreed whole-heartedly, then jumped into the lake after a stick I had thrown in the water. I told her at the end of her sad story that it sounded like someone was trying to tell her something. She said that she knew this, but didn’t know what it was she was supposed to understand. If I would have thought of it at the time, I’d have told her this: “You must let go of the anger (resistance) towards what has happened to you in order for its meaning to be revealed.” I then started getting into the “End of an Age” discussion that we we’re coming into and she said something like, “I can’t handle that right now.” She then politely excused herself from my company and began hiking around the lake. The last I saw of her was when she was walking back to the trail as I was swimming. She waved good-bye. I don’t blame her. My heart center has always been my weakness. It’s the usual reason of shutting it down as a way of protecting myself due to a pretty difficult childhood. But it works both ways and I wish I could show more empathy for others than I do sometimes. On the other hand, I often get the impression that all most people who are suffering receive from friends and family is their condolences. Although this may make them feel better for a moment, I don’t see where it offers them any lasting benefits. I think about what chance this woman has carrying on after the collapse if it comes during her current state of mind. I don’t find those chances very promising. Whatever we are meant to do, whether it be standing against the coming storm or getting the hell away from it, the one thing that I can’t abide by is laying down for it. Our spirit was not meant to go out like that. Time is running out. Because of this, I believe that many meant to awaken are now suffering for a reason. They suffer because there is something they need to learn and unfortunately, pain is the only way to get their attention. It could be a last wake-up call. Are there exceptions to this? Do some suffer needlessly and for no good reason? I can’t answer that. Only the individual can answer that. But in order to do so, they must be completely honest with themselves by diving into the pain rather than fighting against it. For those who are suffering, now is not the time to wallow in your pain. Now is the time to open yourselves up to it, to learn what you’re meant to learn and become stronger because of this understanding. Hold on for a little while longer. You never know when the next epiphany will be the one that unlocks your door to eternity.