What a difference a day makes! After surviving the spiritual ass-kicking handed to me by the universe this weekend, I now stand in a new place. I am able to see the world through a different set of eyes, specifically the inner wounds that were calling to be healed through the ass-kicking in the first place. It leaves me wondering, in the world of spiritual things, what comes first, the life experience or the spiritual wound seeking to be healed? In other words, what comes first, the chicken or the egg?
Now I know this is more of a rhetorical question, but it begs exploration. We all carry within us past hurts, betrayals, defense mechanisms, false perceptions and ego attachments. These inner wounds are what prevent us from living a life of authentic freedom – a life reflecting our original nature as men and women of compassion, contentment and joy. There are times in our journey when we consciously work toward the healing and release of these wounds. We seek this healing through learning, prayer and meditation and through the help of trained professionals (therapists, counselors and spiritual advisors). It also seems that there are times in our life when of their own volition, these wounds arise and present themselves for healing and release. “Will all my spiritual wounds, now stand up?” What makes these wounds present themselves for healing? Is it our own higher nature seeking to be known? Is it Divinely guided? Or is it all of the above and everything in between?
It also feels as if life, by its very nature, gives us opportunities to examine our inner wounds and consciously choose to be open to their healing. This seems to be what happened in my own spiritual ass-kicking this weekend. Life presented me with a challenging experience (a flooding basement). This challenging experience was a potential source for stress, anxiety and worry. I found myself responding initially from place of peaceful calm and trust (thanks to years of spiritual practice). That peaceful calm, however, eventually changed to anger, projection and blame. Soon, I was operating out of my traditional pattern of rage, cultivated through years of childhood practice and suppression of my own higher truth. Now I had the opportunity to make a decision. Did I want to continue in the old familiar pattern of stressful rage or did I want to allow the wounds that created this pattern in the first place to be healed? Well, initially I chose to stay in the familiar rage-filled stage, but eventually, I gave into the opportunity to allow these wounds to be healed and surrendered to the transformative process of healing and release. While surrendering to this process did not exempt me from the grieving that comes when we face our wounds honestly and allow them to be released, but it did provide the foundation upon which new life and new choices could begin to take root.
And here is the most amazing thing about this process, it seemed to unfold naturally on its own. Now, I know I needed to be open to it and on some level, I must have carried within me the intention to allow healing to take place, but I don’t ever recall saying to myself, “Well now Lauri, you have an opportunity to stay in this anger or you can choose to examine the wound that is presenting itself for healing.” It kind of happened on its own. But here is what I did do….I chose to stay present. I allowed myself to be and feel angry. I allowed myself to face the insight into my own inner wound. I allowed myself to grieve the release of a defense mechanism that had served me in the past and was now seeking transformation. I allowed myself to be open to seeing with different eyes.
The best part of all of this is the reward that comes with staying present to our own journey of inner transformation. The reward is a deeper experience of peace and contentment and a new found sense of hope in today and the days ahead. Now here is the irony. Hope is exactly what I prayed for while struggling through this process of inner transformation as experienced through a spiritual ass-kicking. At the darkest part of the journey, I remember taking time out to pray for hold. Actually, I’m pretty sure I was pleading and begging! And what came as a result of this process – HOPE! So in the end, I guess it doesn’t matter what comes first, the chicken or the egg, it is the gift that comes at the end of the process. Perhaps we can call it the omlette of hope! (OOOOH, do I have egg on my face?:)
Authentic Freedom Ministries