Thursday, June 16, 2011

Akhilandeshwari, Goddess of Never-Not-Broken

This is an absolutely wonderful piece on the Hindu Goddess of Never Not Broken: Why Lying Broken in a Pile on Your Bedroom Floor is a Good Idea. ~ Julie (JC) Peters. I'd never heard of this goddess before, but her name alone enticed me. She's the Goddess of that moment when everything is in flux, our past answers have failed us and we lie broken in pieces on the floor. Brilliant.

She's a warrior goddess who rides the back of a crocodile. There's an interesting bit of imagery there. For all the crocodile's crushing jaw strength, how they actually kill they prey is by dragging them underwater and spinning them until they're so disorientated that they drown. The crocodile takes the path of least resistance.

From the Sufi (adopted by both Hinduism and Islam) there is the idea of the whirling dervish---spinning until you become so disoriented you're able to feel the presence of god. So it is that this warrior goddess rides a crocodile for it is in that moment of total disorientation that we have to try something new.

That moment forces us to break from the old and learn; it forces us to try. It shakes us out of our habits and allows us to see what is no longer useful or helpful. And with the warrior spirit of Never Not Broken, we pick up our pieces and forge on, born anew.

If I'm to follow the goddess's teaching, I need to look at those moments not simply as moments of catastrophic failure, but also as moments of unprecedented success. I can forgive myself the breakdowns because they were useful: I was able to see in a way I could not have previously.

Every moment that I've lain broken in a heap has not been without value. I certainly don't enjoy those moments, but man, that goddess is spot on. Every time I've had to remake myself, I've learned something incredibly valuable about me and my behavior. It's been grueling change, and not always in the right direction. But I've grown wiser and more mature each time.

There is value in being broken.

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