This weekend, I attended the Wheel of Initiation workshop created and facilitated by author, Julie Tallard Johnson who I am humbled to call my teacher, mentor and friend. The workshop provided an introduction to the process that Julie has shared with hundreds of people through her year-long initiation course, and is now available through her book, Wheel of Initiation published this fall through Inner Traditions. Along with the other workshop participants, I had the opportunity to name what Julie would call my “pain story,” and be open to claiming a specific intention for healing and releasing this story as a process of spiritual initiation and transformation. I share this with you in today’s blog.
Since I have made a vow to be as transparent and open as possible through this blog (without infringing upon your boundaries!), I have to make a confession. I have a pain story and it has taken me until the ripe old age of 46 to truly name, claim and be willing to let it go. My pain story is rejection. I don’t know exactly how, where, when or why it happened, but somewhere in my journey, I agreed to perceive and receive my life experience through the lens of rejection. By entering into this agreement, I got to receive every word said to me, every action done to me, every encounter as some form of possible rejection.
Here are a few examples of how this lens of rejection has operated for me: If a teacher did not call on me, it meant he was rejecting me. When it became obvious that I was not good at sports it meant I was no longer loved by my classmates. If someone acknowledged changes to my teenage body, it meant they were rejecting me. If someone questioned by theology or religious beliefs and it was determined that we differed in our beliefs, then I was being rejected by them. Living in the lens of rejection has allowed me to be the victim and to cultivate a “me and them” defense mechanism where those I have perceived as rejecting me become the enemy and I become the misunderstood martyr.
While agreeing to the pain story of rejection has served me on some level, I also have to acknowledge the ways in which it has held me back in my journey. As a teenager and young adult, living from this perspective seriously limited my ability to enter into healthy, intimate relationships. Living from this lens caused me to be rigid in my beliefs, opinionated and frankly, obnoxious. I spent most of my time living in the tension of some sort of defensive anger, always on the lookout for the next person or opportunity where I would be rejected. In truth, while this perception of rejection served me on some level and kept me safe from something…..in the end, it has only hurt me. The good news is that I now get to make another choice.
Setting my intention
The focus of the workshop I attended this weekend allowed me the opportunity to name this pain story and to be open to making a new agreement. We were invited to let go of our pain story and embrace a new agreement, an intention that will prove to bring healing and release to our pain stories, while opening us up to a life that is a freer expression of our most authentic selves. The intention presented itself to me is the following:
I Receive Everything as Love
Transformation through Intention
Just sitting in the energy of this intention has been a powerful thing for me. For me, this intention changes EVERYTHING! It changes how I have seen the world. It changes all those things I have perceived as hurtful, rejecting, etc. It opens me up to seeing life through a different lens. So, today, I enter into the Wheel of Initiation and allow myself to be open to all the ways in which this new agreement will transform me and my experience of life. And I offer a profound prayer of gratitude to Julie Tallard Johnson for facilitating this intention and for providing through her course and her book the vehicle through which this intention can take root and grow into my life!
What has been your pain story?
What agreement have you entered into that my no longer be serving you?
How might you be open to allowing that to be transformed?
What might be the intention that can heal your pain story and allow you to live more freely?
Authentic Freedom Ministries