How often, as we embark on the spiritual journey, have we uttered these words as we find ourselves in a place we were so sure we’d left behind? Usually with a strong undertone of shame, disgust and self-loathing.
“How could we let this happen again? You need to work harder so we can be DONE with this!!”
Insisting that being somewhere other than where we are is where we should be, is a form of aggression that we often name as “motivation”. We do this to ourselves constantly, in ways we aren’t even conscious of. Some of these shoulds have a strong cultural When the brain is stressed, it looks for the problem to fight, assuming there is physical danger. Too often we are the problem, so we begin to fight ourselves, thinking we can bully ourselves into being something different.
Friends, the idea that the spiritual path is linear is one of the most harmful beliefs. Yes, healing and growth are real and true and make huge shifts in your life. You can reprogram your being and become more alive and powerful and compassionate. You will also have hard days. You will have days when you are here again. For me, shifting from the question of “why did this happen again?” to a question of “where do I go from here?” can change everything.
The more I teach, and the more I human my way through my days, the more convinced I am that we have to learn how to be on our own team. When I am against myself, all my worst thoughts of myself are true and no one can convince me otherwise. When I’m my own coach/mother/friend, suddenly the place I’m in feels workable. The question is no longer aggression towards expecting myself to be someone other than who I am, and more how do I work with myself to grow? If you have a young child who is learning to walk/talk/scribble with a crayon, we encourage them, even in their mistakes.
Some questions to consider when you find yourself in the same place:
What needs am I trying to meet by making this same choice? (I needed to be seen, to connect, etc.)
What was I trying to avoid?
How was I trying to protect myself? How can I protect myself in a way that honors my higher self?
How can I find ways to motivate myself towards change that feel kind?
How can I try something new/different in this situation? (Because we know the old way isn't working.)
Curiosity rather than aggression brings so much kindness towards ourselves.
As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts and questions.