As many along a similar path, my journey with spirituality truly began in the darkest pits of my very own hell-where depression sat giggling in my mind as I tried to free myself it from its grips. I didn’t realize then that my mind had no power over the situation.
This stage of my life brought me all things spiritual-basically I have done almost everything you can think of when imagining some cliché new age hippy: meditation, yoga, cleanses, being present, clearing my clutter, shadow work, plant medicines –saying ‘Namaste’ at the end of every conversation (we’ve all been there okay.)
What I am only truly realizing now was that this whole process has been one of a slow catharsis that varies in intensity. One where through every practice I have been clearing the way for an unconditionally loving mode of being that rises above fear. I began to realize that maybe that’s all spirituality is: a process of catharsis-followed by replacing those now empty spaces with actions, people, emotions and thoughts that are in yours as well as others’ highest good.
It’s sort of like clearing your cupboards of junk food and replacing it all with healthy alternatives-albeit a little bit more messy and not such a linear and straightforward path but one of transcendent catharsis nonetheless. What is meditation if not an act of sweeping out all the junk in your mind-or at the very least being present enough so that you are aware of it all-which is, of course, the first step to taking any sort of enlightened action. What is a plant ceremony if not the deconditioning of spiritual or psychological gunk? What is yoga if not the cathartic process of unraveling the emotions stored deep inside your muscle memory?
This problem is that many of us freeze up at this point-we go to ceremony, do some yoga but still seem to repeat the same patterns over and over again. I have certainly been guilty of this. When we do this, we are replacing the junk food with even more junk food and really, what is the point of that? Maybe we use our darkness to protect ourselves? Maybe being stuck in our old pain coats us from the huge duty of stepping into our true power? Maybe we don’t really want to heal because of this? What I have found is sometimes it’s much more comfortable to be stuck in your patterns but I sure as hell didn’t come here for comfort.
This is where responsibility comes in. This is where your power lies-you have surrendered your pain, you have battled and bowed down to your demons- now what will you put in their place?
What I personally have discovered is love; A resting place in my heart where I, in every moment, strive to take action in service of it.
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”-Rumi
We don’t just clear out the garbage but we learn from the process. Perhaps those lessons are what we should use to mold this gorgeous emptiness? What would all that darkness have been there for if not to teach us a lesson of light?
The dance between surrender and power is a fine art, but one that is so sweet once you get the moves down. All you need to do is listen. We all have our own songs within us-we can either choose to dance to them in that sweet spot between catharsis and integration-or we can sit on the sideline as the world misses a piece of its harmony.