Bringing our soul lessons through takes more than awareness. It is an active process that demands a courageous willingness to live our experiences right through to completion. This means staying with our feelings until they are truly done with us, no matter how uncomfortable it is. Although we may not see it at first, there is a method to our sadness.
The body is far more than just a vessel for the soul. It is the field where the soul's lessons are harvested. It is the breeding ground for the soul's emergence. Repressed emotions are unactualized spiritual lessons. In order to grow forward, we must bring our suffering through our emotional body until our spiritual lesson is birthed. We must cell our soul.
Unless your knowing arises from your felt experience, it is meaningless. Stay with the emotional process until your soul food is digested. It will be difficult at times, but the feelings will only hurt until they convert. Once they make it all the way through the conversion tunnel, the lesson will be revealed.
Great achievements that await us in the outer world are nothing compared with the glory of inner transformation. It is our capacity to overcome our inner terrain - the emotional baggage that blocks the path, the quicksands of shame and fear - that determines the course of our world. This is where the juice of life really is.
On the materialistic treasure hunt, satisfactions are fleeting. You get the thing, the satisfaction fades, and then you need some other thing. On the inner treasure hunt, your satisfaction builds. It's so beautiful to touch a new plateau of awareness, to view ourselves with a broadened lens, to shape ourselves with our own two hands.
You don't need to be a plane crash survivor, or a famous person, to have a story worth telling. Just look at the life you have lived - Are there not heroic aspects already inherent in your life story? Is it not something that you made it here while others did not? Have you not already overcome an inner plane crash or two?
Whether we consciously know it or not, we are all subscribers to the Universal Broadcasting System. The UBS is the dynamic and benevolent network of relatedness that brings lessons and messengers onto our path in an eternal effort to grow our soul to the next stage of consciousness. The universe presents us with endless opportunities to synchronize our path with our truth.
If we choose to participate in our unfolding, we slowly become our own beacon of light. Where most of us only summon a few localized 'coincidences' now and then, our powerful lighthouse begins to emit an entirely different signal. The whole system gets busy with us. We summon the lessons, the lessons summon us. Pretty soon, we cannot distinguish ourselves from what we have summoned. We see a web of benevolent intentionality everywhere we look, serendipity galore.
Success is simply the completion of a soul step, however unsightly it may be. We have finished what we started when the lesson is learned. What a fear-based culture calls a wonderful opportunity may be fruitless and misguided for the soul. Staying in a passionless relationship may satisfy your need for comfort, but it may stifle the soul. Becoming a famous lawyer is only worthwhile if the soul demands it. It is an essential failure if you are called to be a monk this time around. If you need to explore and abandon 10 careers in order to stretch your soul toward its innate image, then so be it.
It doesn't matter how much two people love one another if they are developmentally incompatible, or if there is not a shared willingness to become conscious. This is why they call it a relationship instead of a loveship. Love alone is not enough. If you want it to last, you have to relate to each other in ways that keep the ship afloat.
Too many of us move through our lives with our true selves buried below layers of repressed emotion. With so much energy channeled toward sustaining the repression, there is little left over for the deeper questions. The consequences of our evasion are profound. Our stockpiles toxify into a cache of weapons that turn inward against the self: quick fix, long suffering. As Rumi said 'Most people guard against the fire, and so end up in it.' This is the power of then. If we don't deal with our stuff, it deals with us. If you have one foot in the past, and one foot in the future, you are pissing on the present.
If there is anything to get used to on this path, it is repetition of pattern. The fall back to habitual ways is a natural part of the journey home. Like turtles, we stick our head out until it becomes too uncomfortable, and then we retreat to the familiarity and safety of our shell. The time we spend under the shell can be just what we need to integrate new experiences into our usual ways of being. So long as we persist in sticking our head back out a little further each time, we continue to grow. Three steps forward, two steps back, is progress.
For many years, it seemed easier to hide behind the proud armor of my individual achievements than surrender to my individual insignificance. Yet through a more unified lens, my ego started to lose its intense grip on my consciousness. It didn't mean that I had no ego, but rather that the ego was nestling into something bigger. It finally had some company.
I was awestruck by the depths of my shame, by the mother-load that obstructed my path. I had lugged this body around with me for 35 years without fully knowing, and the world seemed to reward me for not knowing. The more effectively I wore my masks, the better I was rewarded by a culture that celebrated the outer life. It was like a giant conspiracy to avoid emotional truth.
Many of us claim to have forgiven while still holding toxic emotions below the surface: the forgiveness bypass. The truth is that we cannot will ourselves into forgiveness. If we try to forgive before we have moved the feelings, inauthenticity blocks our path. We cannot be in the real, because we are not emotionally real. Our cells are still back there.
At first I compared my state to a nervous breakdown, but this wasn't quite right. In a survivalist culture, breaking down is a sign of weakness. Yet this coming apart certainly didn't feel weak. What seems like weakness to a survivalist is actually a sign of strength to a spiritual warrior who longs to be authentic at all costs.