Are you a spiritual seeker?
Do questions on the nature of consciousness, of spirit burn within you, driving you to search for answers, for meaning?
Yep. Me too.
I wanted to understand the weirdness in my life. The mysteries and deep knowing that I’d only found hints of so far. I was seeking that connected-ness to my Higher Self that comes from diving deeply into the uncharted waters of consciousness.
I went through phases: born-again, Wicca/paganism, even briefly with atheism and agnosticm. They all enriched my life, they all left their mark, and hopefully, at least a little wisdom.
Each spiritual exploration further convinced me of the reality and other-dimensionality of our soul. And all the inherent implications thereof.
Btw, you can call it soul, spirit, essence, or vital force. Use whatever terminology suits you, I’m not hung up on labels when we’re all talking about the same thing.
The thing is, you can’t find it by dabbling, and that’s what I was doing. Scratching the surface of the spiritual only gives hints. They can be wonderful hints. Dazzling and scintillant. They can be satisfying, and soothing, and they can answer some of those questions. These hints may be enough. Many find this depth satisfactory and see no need to delve further.
This is perfectly okay.
Real truths exist in these surface layers.
Strict adherence to dogma can be satisfying for some. Answers presented in a neat package by persons of some authority for easy consumption mean that your work is done for you. Many find this a satisfying journey’s end.
Except, some scratch a little too deeply, or ask too probing a question, and discover – more. What then?
This can feel like you’ve strayed off your comfortable path and are now standing on the edge of a towering cliff.
An incredible vista spreads out before you, but between here and there is a vast chasm. A few pebbles trickle off the lip, kicked by your shuffling feet, and you can’t hear them hit anything as they fall into empty space. You know you must go through that terrible chasm to get to those lands beyond.
Are you terrified? Do you scramble back to the comfort of the known? Leave those yawning depths safely behind you and follow the easy, comfortable path? Maybe you follow it a little more closely now too?
Now. You. Know.
It’s okay if you choose to walk away.
It’s okay if you choose to accept the knowledge, but not explore it.
It’s okay if you determine what you saw was just a mirage.
Only you take the steps of your journey. Only you decide which path you will walk. If you take only one thing away from this post I hope it’s this – It’s Your Journey! Never let anyone else tell you how to travel.
What if the Knowing calls to you? It called to me. I walked right into it of my own free will.
It sucks. It is unbelievably painful.
Bigtime. In ways that seemed to pop right out of my worst nightmares. I chose it, but not every one does. Some are pushed off the edge by life events.
Either way, there is the dilemma of how to get out of that chasm. You must now face the monsters living in the depths.
“Know thyself” does not mean you know what kind of music you like, or how you want your steak cooked, or even what sort of life partner you want. It’s not just casual advice. It means exploring all the darkest aspects of your Self, facing your deepest fears and exposing all to the light of your examination. It means bringing forward, and learning how to love the parts you have rejected. All. Of. Them.
This is “doing the work” or “doing the inner work.”
Shamanic traditions speak of the death, or dismemberment, of the Self, and yeah, it feels like you’re being ripped into little bits. It is not a journey for the faint-hearted, and at numerous points along the way I questioned why I started. I wondered if I could go on, or if I should. I debated if it was better to just hunker down and learn to accept living in the uncomfortable spot I found myself in. I sometimes wished I’d never started on the path.
Until I got through it.
This looks different for everyone. It’s supposed to.
All your experiences make you whole. When you reject parts, when you don’t acknowledge, or grieve, or accept those pieces of yourself that you don’t like, or want, you have only pushed them into that pit.
They are not gone, they’re simply waiting. They will come back to tear at you when you least expect it. You might not recognize them. They are consummate shape shifters, taking different forms but always shoving the same message in your face. The trick is to recognize the darkest parts of yourself, and give them the acknowledgement they need.
What will that look like? Only you can decide.
Whether the journey is chosen or not, true healing only happens when these inner wounds are fully cleared.
Spiritual journeys are painful. Healing is painful. Setting what is broken back into wholeness is never accomplished without experiencing the hurt.
Ultimately though, you have to love yourself.
Love yourself in all your gorgeous, healing glory.
Love your journey, even when it takes you into the depths.
Love who you are. Love who you were.
And love who you will become.
It’s okay if you walk the whole way alone.
It’s okay if you reach out to others for guidance and support.
Do what you need to take those steps and create your life.
You are the one in charge.
You are the one with the power.
Take it, shape it, and reclaim your sovereignty.
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