I first want to clarify that I am a white-cis-hetero woman. I can not speak from the experience of all people. I will never be able to imagine or understand what it feels like to be in the skin of a underrepresented folk. When I share this wisdom about pain, I am speaking merely about what has worked for me and my own experiences. I honor other’s pain and understand what has worked for me very might well not resonate with you at all- I respect that deeply.
Pain is complex. Darkness is tender. Suffering is sensitive. To say that we can understand and compartmentalize everyone’s healing process is a bull shit lie and one trying to play ‘god’(fill in whatever feels the best for you). Everyone has a unique and individual curriculum for healing. I believe that the one thing that humans share in common is the ability to form a relationship with a power greater than ourselves. I believe that there is a force waiting to aide all that call for help.
Everyone’s conception of this force (spirit,god, goddess, the universe, source, divine, whatever you want to call it ) is going to look and feel different. It is up to us to honor what what works. For some people it might seem very distant and dry because of how deep their internalized trauma lies within, and that is totally okay. Some folks might want to deny it because of all the evil they have experienced, and that is totally okay too. I believe that we will organically get to a place, at our soul’s own pace, where we have no place else to turn to besides faith.
I believe that this force, no matter what we call it, always has our back and loves us unconditionally. This presence is always waiting for us to remember it. It is waiting for us to cultivate the willingness to believe that it will do for us what we can not do for ourselves. Having a belief that there is an invisible force that will help us is faith. Without faith this force seems as if it is dead within our consciousness. It is always there but it is our responsibility, because of free will, to remember it over and over again. In A Course In Miracles it states that miracles arise naturally from conviction. Rising from the depths of hell depends on how determined we are to know our true selves and take the action steps in order to rise. Rising from the depths of hell does not mean that we are always sprinkling pixie dust everywhere. Rising does not mean that we always have a smile on. Rising means that we are starting to become in touch with our inner selves- in which ever way that manifests.
I believe that darkness can either destroy us or be the catalyst for us to bloom. When we are in the dark we have no other place to turn towards besides the light. Healing can not happen with out darkness. Darkness illuminates everything that is not yet healed so that we can bring it towards the light. We cannot escape a dark room by keeping the lights off. We cannot shift a dark mind-set and perception of life until we decide to flip the light switch on. This light switch is a relationship and communication to a mysterious presence. The light switch will usually look like a lot of shadow work at first. Bringing awareness to the darkness is the light. When we decide to connect to this force we make the conscious decision that we would rather choose to see life differently and pretend for a moment that everything could be happening for us, rather than against us.
The beginning of my spiritual journey was activated though psychedelics ( which are no longer part of my path ). I experienced what felt like one-ness for the first time and the sense of awe and wonder for life was magnetized. My psychedelic trips looked like running around the beach like a topless mermaid- I felt so free. I decided to get sober and surrender to the image of the ‘liberating spiritual life’ that I fell in love with. I was immediately disappointed because I was not experiencing the same type of light and freedom. Things got dark really fast. I had to face all of the demons I was numbing my whole life and my mind felt like there were fire alarms going off all the time. I realized that I would never feel the natural ecstatic highs of life unless I surrendered completely to the work and accepted everything that came as perfect for my soul’s growth.
I want to make it loud and clear to you beautiful souls that spirituality is not about having colorful abstract psychedelic visions or feeling like you are floating on cloud 9. Spirituality is about learning how to open up your heart and live through love- which at the end of the day is one of the most painful processes of life because unconditional love it is the opposite of what we have been taught. Love does not always look pretty. Love is messy. Love is raw. Love is fierce. Love is strong. Love is sweet. Love is fluid. Spiritual leader Marianne Williamson states, “Love brings up everything unlike itself, so the soul can purge itself of our barriers to love. The grief, loss, shame, and rage we encounter can be devastating, but on the other side of the storm we emerge reborn.”
I write this with the intention for you to feel held and nurtured in whatever your experiencing. It is okay to feel whatever you are feeling. Your spiritual journey is not supposed to look like butterflies and rainbows, it is supposed to be dark and tough at times. Divine character is built through adversity. The only way to embody unconditional love is to face unloving thoughts or people. The only way to be patient is to be placed in situations that make us want to jump out of our skin. The only way to become empowered is to attract situations that make us want to contract and run for the hills. We embody our worth in situations where we feel the need to over explain ourselves but instead we assertively speak up for ourselves with less and less words.
I am not saying that you will never feel the breeze and ease of spirit. That is to come! If we did not look forward to a life of peace and joy then what would be the point of this all? Being at peace is knowing that we will not always be at peace. Wisdom is knowing that we can not expand without contracting. I am by no means saying that we are meant to live in darkness all the time- but without befriending the darkness your spiritual journey will never be genuine- the light will never truly come.
The greatest miracles are born in the darkness. The darkness is the womb of fertility. It brings forth new direction, passion and purpose in life. It is what gets us on our knees so that we can scream, ‘please something out there H E L P M E !’. We can not bypass what we are feeling, but we can rely on a power greater than ourselves to guide us and show us the way out of our suffering. We can ‘let things go’, ‘turn it over’, and ‘remember that everything happens for a reason’ only once we acknowledge, sit with, and honor our suffering.
Connecting to a power greater than ourselves is not about going straight to the light. It is about remembering that there there is hope today. Again, the process of healing will look so different for everyone. I acknowledge that for some it may be way more dark and complicated than others. The most important thing to remember is the slightest invitation to invite in your own conception of this force will bring forth the glimmer of light that you need to crawl from your knees into the tall sovereign human that you were born to be- this force of nature in a human body. I pray for you to discover the willingness to surrender to your own conception of this force today. It will provide each step that you need to take- it will show you the way.
Action steps: Contemplate what your conception of your higher power is and how you can connect more deeply on a daily basis to it. Commit to this connection.