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.
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.
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.