Note: I wrote the following journal entry about a year ago after yet another devastating aha moment. Reading it last night reminded me of the feelings that were coursing through my veins when I wrote it. But at the same time, it helped me realize how much deeper my understanding of the growth process has become. Many authors refer to a “dark night of the soul” that takes place before the real work begins, but for me it has been a succession of deep painful realizations that have helped me shed my previous conception of life and self. I think it is important to realize that self-realization can be a painful process as we let go of who we think we are. But each step also gets us closer to peace and connection. And that’s the beauty of this work.
Spiritual work is rewarding beyond words but it is also heartbreaking. Deconstructing the ego means becoming aware of and dropping part of ourselves that we might be attached to or relate to deeply. The ego is built around early childhood experiences (the good, the bad and the ugly) or more specifically, it is created to make sense of these experiences. You see, children are highly adaptable because their psyche is brand new and capable of creating an alternate reality that shields them from traumatic experiences. The problem with this type of coping mechanisms is that its perverts reality and prevents us from leading healthy lives. Sometimes is keeps us safe and becomes an intricate part of who we are. Other times it manifests itself as the defeating voices in our heads that derail our progress, the gut ranching feelings that come seemingly out of nowhere and make our head spin. But if it is difficult to let go of coping mechanisms that no longer serve us and it is unbelievably hard to accept that some broken parts might never get fixed. For me, knowing that all I can do is love these parts of myself and wait to see what might come out of it, is tough. Understanding that what I resist and fear the most is the “work”, is heart breaking. But with every aha moment comes a little bit of extra freedom from the deep pain that created all this mess in the first place. So keep your head up and practice strong…there is a way out.
After note: Self-growth is a never ending process but as our perspective shifts, the weight that keeps us pinned down lifts and the journey takes on a different course. Slowly we settle into a comfortable routine that helps us reach higher ground. This work is by no means easy but it is rewarding beyond anything you can image. I truly hope that you’ll give it a try.
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