There’s a poem by Jane Hirshfield called,
"Each Moment A White Shining Bull Steps Into The World." It’s the kind of poem that takes time to digest; so let me sum it up for you in one simple sentence:
A Whiting Shining Bull is anything that steps into your comfortable life and shatters all your illusions.
Picture a bull in a china shop, smashing every belief that’s precious to you.
Real love can only exist between a man and a woman
Security comes from a job, or husband, or . . . (fill in the blank)
If you’re good and follow the rules, nothing bad will happen to you
If you have children, you’ll never feel lonely
If you get a degree, life will be easier
The White Shining Bull tramples these ideas in order to make room for the truth. It breaks down old structures and shifts things around, creating space for something brand new. And let’s be honest, most of us don’t want that. We want things to keep running smoothly, in the same direction, forever and ever. But life never moves in a solid straight line and we know it. Life is about cycles. Beginnings and endings. The world turns in natural seasons of growth, death and re-birth Why do we expect an endless summer without rain?
Change helps us grow.
And yet we resist it with all of our might. Jane’s poem tries to change our minds.
“If the gods bring you a strange and frightening creature,
Accept the gift as if it were one you had chosen . . .”
I was in my thirties the first time I read these words. A strange and frightening creature had just stepped into my world. My husband (at the time) had fallen in love with someone else. Could I really accept this as a gift? As if it were something I had chosen? After years of fighting the White Shining Bull, I finally gave in and said yes. Instead of seeing my husband as the villain—(oh, society makes that so easy!) I opened myself to the lesson Life was trying to teach me.
Which meant looking at my own behavior, instead of pointing fingers at him.
And guess what I found: A shocking amount of emotional immaturity. I don’t say this to shame myself. Very few of us were taught the basic elements that create the foundation for a healthy, mature relationship. (Spoiler Alert: Our self-esteem and sense of worth have to be established by US) Instead, we’re taught that love comes from our partner and that it’s their job to make us happy. It's no wonder I had a childish fantasy of what my husband ‘s role was supposed to be. I thought that a good marriage meant enmeshment (two become one!) I didn’t know that healthy boundaries meant allowing the people I love to be separate from me. That feeling of separation felt so scary! I needed him close because I mistakenly believed my security, fulfillment, power (and financial security) CAME FROM HIM.
Wasn’t it his job to take care of me?
To nurture me?
To listen to me?
To entertain me?
To never have needs of his own?
Nope. Not according to my White Shining Bull. And as I opened myself up to the brilliant, white pain of TRUTH, I got it.
My husband didn’t leave me because of another woman. He left me because he could never meet my unhealthy expectations.
He left because we were in a parent/child relationship. He left because it was time to leave. The end of my marriage was the beginning of my emotional maturity. It was absolutely necessary for my new life to begin. That’s why in Jane’s poem, she advises us to spare no expense.
"Pay what is asked. When a gift arrives from the sea."
In my case, the price to be paid was my unhealthy ideas about marriage as well as my childish dependency on my husband. His leaving was actually the key to my freedom. That's the gift Jane is talking about.
Because the WSB always comes into our lives to teach us the very things our souls are asking to learn.
When Martha Beck found out her unborn baby had Down Syndrome, it destroyed her belief that a person's worth is based on what they can achieve academically. That moment put her on her unique path to self-realization and is the reason WHY she's now Martha Beck (check out her book Expecting Adam). Suzanne Giesemann's sudden loss of her stepdaughter and grandson was the catalyst to her astounding leap from Navy Commander to a Metaphysical Teacher. Her ability to receive highly evidential communication from the non-physical realm is truly a jaw-dropper.
The Universe is always working on our behalf, my darling.
So if a White Shining Bull shows up on your doorstep, try not to see it as punishment. Go ahead and cry if you need to. Beat your fists on the mattress until you’re exhausted. But when you're done, I urge you to get up, wash your face, take a deep breath, and then meet it with fierce, bold presence.
Because whatever shows up needs your attention.
100% of it. Yes, it will take everything you’ve got. Yes, it will hurt so bad it may almost kill you. but I promise, I promise, I promise . . .
It will change your life, if you let it.
And haven't you been praying for change? Haven't you been asking for guidance? Haven't you been yearning for purpose and looking for answers? Then accept the gift as if it were one you had chosen. Pay what is asked. Because in order to become who you’re really meant to be, YOU NEED THE WHITE SHINING BULL. Sending you so much love,