(“Duck those Ducking Duckers!”)
The deepest, most exquisite part of my gift to the world is my ability to work in and with the shadows – the pain, sorrows, traumas, fears and other areas of woundedness we try to hide from the world and from ourselves. In order to do this work with and for others, I first have to do it for myself. As life continues to remind me, our shadow work is never done. Even when we think we have sufficiently grieved a loss, healed a trauma, released a pain, there are remnants of it that will remain, waiting to surface again (most often when we least expect it) for another layer of healing.
Yesterday, I found myself in that place. An innocent article appeared on Facebook, an article I had seen a million other times, about Reiki being offered in hospitals. I don’t know why yesterday was different from any other day, but I read the headline of that article and I LOST IT! Are you kidding me? Reiki in hospitals? Knowing that at least half of the hospitals in the United States are run by the Catholic Church, I found myself enraged. Not because Reiki might now be available in Catholic hospitals (hurray) but because of the local self-appointed inquisition, the local Church and the local bishop and his cronies who made my life a living hell all because of Reiki. In my rage (grief) I posted on FB, “If Reiki is being offered in Catholic hospitals too, there are several bishops and members of the local self-appointed inquisition who owe me an apology and maybe some financial consideration for the hell they put me through!” And I meant it! Those duckers made my life a living hell and the PTSD I now bear is partly because of the soul wrenching pain I experienced due to their ministrations and constant harassment. The result of my “run in” with the Church was my leaving and wondering if karma was ever going to have its way with those ducking duckers. The truth I came to yesterday is “not likely.” “They” will go on living in their self-righteous, fundamentalist interpretation of Catholic teaching, making themselves and the people around them miserable with their constant scrutiny, while I am walking around free.
……and……there it is. I’m free. I am free of the outside perceived authority of the Church and the laws that men created to strike fear in the hearts of human beings so they could be manipulated and controlled. Fear of hellfire and damnation no longer plague my life. I no longer fear a jealous or angry “god.” I am no longer looking over my shoulder wondering if I am adequately upholding Catholic teaching so that my entrance into heaven might be assured. I am no longer running from the “snares of the devil” as “Satan” and I have become friends. (for more on why Satan isn’t who “he” was made out to be read HERE). And finally, I no longer fear death. When my time comes, I will greet Death as a welcome friend. I no longer fear death because when we free ourselves from the illusion of hell and the threat of eternal punishment, in death there is nothing to fear. This has been my “reward” for staying true to the Divine calling of my Soul, while those who continue to threaten and harass are imprisoned by their fear.
I share this story as an example of WHY I do what I do and WHY it is imperative that we meet our shadows face to face. Our shadows surface, not to haunt us or cause us pain, but to lead us to freedom. Every time our shadows come out to play, when we meet them (instead of running from them) and when we allow ourselves every single emotion and thought that accompanies them (ie: “duck those ducking duckers”) we find our way to freedom and release. It is only in being present to our pain that we can find its release. It is only in being present to our wounds and facing the tragedies of our past that we can be freed to walk the path of our truth.