I had my oldest friend visit for a day as he flew into town on his way back to Shanghai. We figured out that we have known one another for 37 years now. I met him as an 18 year old exchange student to Western Australia and he was a brash 16 year old who had the courage to ask me out. He was telling me today that he was an introvert and I an extrovert. I laugh as I recall how shy I was and how much courage it had taken to become an exchange student, going through all the interviews that had been part of the proceedings. I knew that I was to do this and had made it happen. On the flight over, I told myself, no one knows you. This is an opportunity to remake your life. Be friendly and outgoing and say yes to everything. I had not dated at all in high school, I was the person all my girlfriends’ boyfriends came to for advice but not to ask out. He on the other hand was popular and very outgoing. He had no shortage of girlfriends.
I have lost many friends and most of my family on this journey to myself. At different stages, I became too out there, too much, too threatening a presence to be around. (I am so grateful for my sister, Peggy’s presence in my life). Yet this dear man and I have always been able to share our hearts with one another. He calls me his alter ego. He is an executive who travels the world designing buildings, I am the woman who lies on the grass singing to trees.
We enjoyed some interesting discussions today. We were talking about the nature of guilt and shame which I feel are wasted emotions though I spent many years under their rule. He believes that they are necessary. I believe in the transformative power of love and that to truly love and embrace ourselves is where our work lies. I believe that it is the biggest thing facing our society as a whole. We have been programmed to believe that we are guilty if we enjoy a good lifestyle as there are others who do not. We are to carry shame if our bodies are not fit, if we do not give our all to our work environments and so on. We have been taught to temper our joy, to play small. If we have transgressed in some area, we are always a transgressor. I know that the 12 step groups have helped thousands of people to recover from lives of addiction. Yet at each meeting, you state the words: “I am…fill in the blank: an alcoholic, a drug addict, a sex addict, a gambler and so on. We know the power of those two words, I AM. They are creative. Whatever follows is a statement to the universe. So we are taught that you must continue to live under that label and continue to attend meetings for your problem, even when it is a thing of the past. Our inner critic and societal regulations have kept us under lock and key. We have been programmed so successfully that we enslave ourselves and believe that we are free. It is easy to condemn ourselves, to find fault with some aspect of ourselves, to carry shame and guilt. It is much more difficult a task to love ourselves. This is where we become warriors of the heart. This is where the transformation truly begins.
A friend who is currently in a beautiful conscious relationship called in tears. She told me that she was so emotional. That previously she could set a day aside to deal with the emotions that the relationship brought to the surface. But lately, the emotions would not be contained. They were spilling out all over. She was crying for “no good reason” and wondered how he could continue to love her as she was a mess. We talked about all the releasing that we are all going through at present. People are finding their lives turned upside down. We are being forced to live more of our truth and all that is no longer serving us, is coming up to be released. It comes out as intense emotion. waves of sadness without a seeming cause, irritability, anger, and fear.
This is such a vulnerable time and a time that calls for great courage. We have to become warriors of the heart as this is the emotional heavy lifting. It is much harder than physical issues as it deals with our core fears of being loved and accepted for who we are. And the person that we most need the love and acceptance and gentleness from is ourselves.
As my friend said, “How can he still love me as I am such a mess?”. I said, ” Just witness how you are judging yourself. You are courageously allowing your emotions to surface and be released. You are doing it so beautifully. How could someone not love your heart? How could you not love your heart?”.
Indeed she had had the experience of feeling so sad and her partner actually waking up because he felt her sadness. He asked her what was wrong and she spoke of what she was feeling. She was crying and he began to laugh. As he comforted her he told her that he could only laugh with joy that he was with someone who felt things so deeply and expressed them.
Wow! This man is a courageous warrior of the heart. She has created a beautiful relationship for herself to grow her heart.
We do not recognize this kind of courage in our society. We have rituals and physical competitions where we recognize people’s abilities to push themselves through various outer endeavors. But we do not recognize the inner work that must be done to free ourselves from the programming that we have been subjected to most of our lives. It takes tremendous amounts of courage and inner strength to confront our inner demons that tell us we are not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, not wealthy enough……on and on the list goes. If we saw someone saying those things to someone we love, we would be upset yet we say them to ourselves all day long.
The other thing that is happening as we move through these transformative times is that we revisit our wounds. We think to ourselves, “What is wrong with me? I dealt with the pain of my divorce long ago and yet here I am again, back at square one!”
I read an explanation by the Eloheim that Veronica Torres channels. It created a visual for me that locked it in. She spoke of how Michelangelo worked on a sculpture. He began with a block of marble and crude instruments. He roughed out the basic shape that he saw in the stone. As he continued to sculpt the figure, he used finer and finer tools. He progressed from heavy chisels to files to sandpaper (probably finer files but for the sake of illustration let’s go with sandpaper). He would work and work an area, getting it smoother and smoother as he kept cutting away what was not needed.
We are doing the same. We are sculpting new lives for ourselves. We are cutting away all that no longer serves. We cut away and then go back in and cut some more with a finer tool. Again we see that there remains more to be let go of and we take up a more delicate instrument as we get closer to the beauty that we seek to shine forth. We are all moving into the sandpaper stage. We can rejoice and congratulate one another for our accomplishments. We can praise the beauty that we see shining forth as our divinity shines forth ever brighter. It is such a time of celebration. The only thing that we must do is let the old pieces fall away. We cannot gather them up and attach to them. Rather we must sweep them into the dust pile and ask the violet flame to come in and recycle them into light. We can love them for being a part of our life but recognize that they no longer fit our new sleek selves.
We can see ourselves as the little frightened 5 year old or the confused and angry 14 year old and the overwhelmed 32 year old, and we can love each of these parts of who we were. As we learn to show this gentleness and compassion to ourselves, it spills out to all those around us. When we encounter an angry person, we can see the frightened child and have compassion. When someone criticizes us, we can see the child who was criticized and feels unworthy of love and we can extend it.
As we open our hearts and are willing to enter in and do this inner healing, we are healing the world. We are the microcosm. As we grow in acceptance and knowing of our divinity and beauty, we create a world of divinity and beauty. It is such a glorious system that I find myself in awe of its simplicity and grace. I am so grateful to be a warrior of the heart and for all of you who are taking up the chisel and sandpaper and uncovering your beauty. We are so beautiful!