Brave warriors shining light in the psyche

Lighthouse in fog

Why can’t we ordinary humans move from the Holy? Why do we lose ourselves in the fuss, worry, anger, annoyance and judgment of life? Why do our emotions keep running the show when we least desire–why do we swear when someone cuts us off in traffic? Or snarl when someone attacks our cherished beliefs?

We can’t “rest in God”, I believe, because our nervous system/body still carries undigested unconscious pain. So the spiritual journey often becomes a path of opening to these deep woundings from life, birth, childhood, ancestral burdens, you name it.

You can open to holy moments, experiences of Oneness, God’s love…but that’s just the beginning of the spiritual show. The true nitty-gritty work seems to be about bringing compassion and awareness to the constricted inner patterns that haven’t seen the light.

Over and over again being with whatever pain or suffering arises. Even minor sensations of anxiety or nervousness. Desires surfacing to emotionally eat, drink alcohol, smoke. Feeling into what’s arising. Being with it. Sensing what fear exists hidden behind the pain like an exiled child. Until the light penetrates the pain and it’s finally free, gone, disappeared.

Red sky at night

It is so challenging to be with pain, both emotional and physical. I don’t usually share extensively about this part of the spiritual journey, even though it’s been key in my own life. We’re all in different places. We’re all called to lay down our baggage in different ways. Some of us are nudged to awaken to our true nature through easier paths. Some may even believe that it’s not necessary to move through pain to find true peace. I thought that once. I once thought positive thinking would lead to fulfillment. But it’s also about feeling all the repressed inner patterns that clench, tighten, contract in our bodies. Thinking may bring us into the realm of healing, but it’s feeling and awareness that seal the deal. It’s about embodying our connection with Being.

When a tight repressed sensation clears–oh heaven! What joy, indeed. We may not have even realized what we carried for 40, 60, 80 years. And suddenly it’s gone. Maybe after two months of feeling the contraction with awareness, maybe after ten years. But eventually it, too, sees the light.

Blinded by the light

Pain in our bodies–our necks, our hips, our shoulders, our gall bladders, our head–sometimes gesture toward these inner emotional contractions. It’s like the body can be a useful map pointing to hidden unconscious patterns of separation. (Although, let’s not be fundamentalist, there are many other factors connected to our body pain. Let’s use it as a guide to discovering hidden treasure, not as a slave owner with a whip. Sometimes our headache is simply caused by nasal congestion due to lack of humidity. Turn on the humidifier, no need to ponder back to childhood trauma. You’ll begin to sense the difference as you traverse.)

It’s a treasure when you find fellow wayfarers committed to this challenging path of shining light in dark corners of the psyche. I am so honored to know of a handful of brave beings doing this work–some of you are reading this post today. Your hearts are so raw and tender and beautiful as you fearlessly and fearfully travel down dark confusing wooded trails that cul-de-sac around and around in pitch black not-knowing until suddenly, just suddenly, the sun rises above the horizon and you’re free, you’re found, you’re so deeply at home within yourself that you laugh out loud at the sheer beauty of life.

Day 45 of a seventy-five day journey to connect more deeply with God, Spirit, Holy, Love…to explore “What the Heart Knows” during the waning days of 2020.

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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22 Responses to Brave warriors shining light in the psyche

  1. Stacy says:

    Wow. You hit the nail on the head. Dig deep
    Hidden places in the heart, mind, soul. Sometimes scary places. I’m on this journey, with help of course. Not easy at all. But the choice is to carry around the pain, or to work towards the light. I choose the latter, though it may take a lifetime.

    Thank you for sharing this part of the journey. XOXO

    • Kathy says:

      Stacy, I think we all need help when we’re on this challenging journey. And I’m not sure everyone is called. In fact a lot of people simply don’t understand why a person would turn toward pain rather than away from it. One of my most recent teachers experienced a four year Dark Night of the Soul before she broke open into the Holy and her hidden places were illuminated with light. Part of me didn’t want to share this, but it’s so a part of my life–and I know others might feel supported and encouraged if I shared. xoxo

  2. Kathy – this post rings inside me in so many ways. My head and heart are chiming! I’ve always believed in the value of positive thinking, as you know, but yes, we must also acknowledge the pain inside us to clear cobwebs and allow the light to shine in (a mixed metaphor, I think , but you understand). Last year I attended some energy medicine sessions – private and group. It was amazing, and I practice energy medicine taps every morning. In several of the private sessions, the energy professional (and she was extremely well-versed and trained in energy medicine) tapped on an energy “vein” she thought was blocked and oh myyyy, I suddenly burst into tears! It was so powerful. Lastly, your photos are gorgeous watercolors of life.

    • Kathy says:

      Pam, thank you for sharing that. I was not sure how many people would resonate with this post. Some people–like my husband–don’t even think this way. But there comes a time for some of us when blocked energy just must be cleared. Your experience with that energy professional sounds like it released a huge reservoir. Clearing the cobwebs…such important work! Thanks again for this.

  3. jeffstroud says:

    I’m going to re-read this slowly and consciously. (the blog)
    I could break this down while answering each of your questions as I go.
    Each of us has our own pathway in, our own desire or sometimes we are thrust into spiritual/Holy questioning which usually starts with “Who am I, What’s is my purpose in life, Who is this God entity that is thrown at us from birth, and so on.
    To answer your first questions, asking questions is the beginning of our journey to spirit. We get caught up in life because we are spiritual beings having a human experience. When we are given birth in this realm our spirit has forgotten everything. The questions arise out of our spirit beginning to emerge, we can ignore it, as so many have, or we begin to walk the path with continued questions. Questing…

    • Kathy says:

      Hi, Jeff. I thought you might appreciate this post. I do like to ask questions–not necessarily for me to get answers–but so the reader can answer these for themselves. I appreciate reading your answers. We do start by asking questions and beginning our journeys. Then that oh-so-human life can sometimes lead us into challenging areas. Thank you for reading and sharing your own path. xoxo

  4. Joanne says:

    I have travelled the questioning journey and have emerged on the other side – several times. Right now I am in a place of contentment, but I also realise that there are “things” outside of me that can throw my world into a complete whorl. For example, during the period of time when I didn’t blog – before beginning again recently – many things happened. In brief, my son had a divorce after finding himself in an emotionally abusive marriage, and events surrounding my inlaws before they both went into aged care horrified me. Both events cut me to the core of my heart, and undoubtedly changed me forever. But life goes on and I find it’s best not to dwell on situations that are out of my control and can’t be changed. So I don’t. I focus on the positive, and that works for me. I also realise it doesn’t work for anyone, and that what is the right road for one person to travel can be completely wrong for others. Whatever happens, we can learn so much from the things that life throws our way. ❤

    • Joanne says:

      The second last sentence should read “I also realise it doesn’t work for everyone …” 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Such wisdom, indeed. It sounds like you had to live the truth of the serenity prayer when those challenging and painful situations happened. To know what you can control and can’t control. Dwelling on situations that are out of our control with simply thoughts and emotions can be debilitating. So painful. I am glad that you found a path that worked for you.

      Like you, I don’t really ask questions any more either–except here on the blog to bring up new areas where people might ponder and consider other viewpoints. It’s strange when the questions die away and there’s simply living.

      With you, Joanne, in continually learning so much from what life keeps revealing day after day.

  5. A defining moment in my life came when I was 34 years old and my mother died of cancer. I couldn’t get out of bed for three months and my children (age 10,13,15) needed me. I needed my own mother. I finally said a prayer and picked a therapist out of the yellow pages and went into therapy twice a week for 2 1/2 years. (Prayer answered — she was exactly who I needed.) It was the best thing I ever did for myself, even though it was very hard work. It got me out of the cult my spiritual longings had misled me to, it taught me how to cope with loss and daily life and how to work through my profound grief. It gave me the tools needed to live a full and meaningful life. Of course no one is perfect after therapy but it sure is wonderful to have better tools to work with when life and those spiritual journeys present new challenges!

    • Kathy says:

      Barbara, it really sounds like your pain taught you that you needed help. What an awful time to lose a mother. I can’t imagine your grief. I am so glad you were able to get the help you needed to dive deep and then the tools to live a meaningful life. It sounds like you kind of went through a dark night of the soul that led to light. That your spiritual longings had led to this place where you had to confront your pain. Blessings and hugs and gratitude for your bravery to share this. xoxo

      • Thanks for understanding, Kathy. Your blogspace feels so safe but after I left my comment I did wonder what possessed me to share so much (too much?). I learned from my experience that sometimes a therapist is a better way out of pain than a spiritual teacher because even though a spiritual teacher may have one’s best interests at heart, they are still going to guide their students to their own chosen truths and practices. A skilled therapist will guide clients to finding their own spiritual truths. And will teach about appropriate spiritual boundaries. This is especially important if one is spiritually vulnerable, as I was.

        • Kathy says:

          Barbara, I was really glad you shared. Really glad. This is the kind of honesty we need to hear when a person is reading to be vulnerable enough. I like your distinction about a spiritual teacher versus a therapist. It’s so important that we find our own truths, and there’s times in life when we haven’t learned to be that sovereign.

  6. Robin says:

    Yes! to this: “When a tight repressed sensation clears–oh heaven! What joy, indeed. We may not have even realized what we carried for 40, 60, 80 years. And suddenly it’s gone. Maybe after two months of feeling the contraction with awareness, maybe after ten years. But eventually it, too, sees the light.”

    Remember my rabbit and turtle speeds? lol! I was just thinking that if I look back on this past year, I’ve been in rabbit mode when it comes to feeling through to the other side. I feel as if I dropped a ton of baggage, just in the last few months alone. And then, something comes up and I have dive back in. Knowing what treasure this brings, I’m less reluctant to do so now. ❤

    • Kathy says:

      Robin, so often I smile reading your comments. You do so get it about feeling through to the other side. And you have me thinking about rabbit and turtle speeds these days. xoxo

  7. sherrysescape says:

    You are a wise woman, Kathy.

    • Kathy says:

      Sometimes wisdom seems to come through, Sherry. Other times, it’s just me and the pygmy pony, as Frank Zappa sings. On those occasions there’s no wisdom here to be found!

  8. Lori says:

    This is one of the meanings (there are a few) of the novel I’m working on. There are three main characters who we watch struggling with their emotional issues and how it affects their spirituality. It’s a very complicated plot. I don’t know that it will appeal to many people if they don’t understand spirituality the way you and I do. So, it may not sell well, but I’ve felt compelled to write this story since the 90s. I’m finally getting it done (it’s done but going through lots and lots of edits).

    • Kathy says:

      It sounds like your novel is your holy calling, Lori. Sometimes we just know when we’re meant to create something through our typing fingers. Good luck with the editing! That is one of my biggest challenges…I can’t seem to edit much of anything except maybe a short blog. 🙂

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