I want to thank you so much for the wonderful article you wrote...
I felt it spoke to me personally about the stage of my own Journey. And, I had even just thought to myself that I felt "befuddled". That's the very word I used. When I came across your article and saw the very same word, I really felt a connection.
Thank you for reminding me that this "heavy spiritual labor" which I feel I am experiencing is actually valuable work and that I am flexing my "spiritual muscles" in preparation for a rebirth!
G. D., Boynton Beach, FL
Do you suffer more than other people around you? Does it seem like your issues are more complex and convoluted than anyone else you know? Further, are there few in your spiritual family who are in a similar situation? After years of healing, consciousness and spiritual work I've realized that the greater your burden, the greater your soul, its qualities, and its power. This isn't a "greater" in the sense that there's a judgment against others, but simply that your soul has been treading longer on the evolutionary ladder.
It's ironic how we can't seem to avoid hierarchical language, while professing equality and nonjudgment. My meaning however is that in yet another twist, those who seem to be facing insurmountable pain and challenges, are in fact the most gifted souls around. Outwardly they may seem to be absolutely falling apart. Inwardly and in the long run, they are true soul warriors of the Light.
This point was brought home recently with a First Level Reiki Healing student, who has had an unusual share of trouble and difficulties in life. After the initial phone conversation, I braced myself for a major catharsis in the upcoming class and kept my sensitivity level high. Yet almost immediately, despite her dramatic and horrendous life story, a togetherness and connectedness was apparent. Deep in her utter loneliness, her soul had everything figured out and her communication with herself was detailed. The outwardly alienated and troubled person had a rich, evolved inner life to which she was connected. Her beauty continued to shine and she has since shown remarkable accountability and responsibility to the healing art of Reiki as well as herself, progressing in a pleasantly surprising flow and harmony.
What is the reason for this paradox of colossal problems on one side and inner beauty on the other? How can both sides of this equation be present at the same time? I believe the answer is that the person who is being knocked down by life is the person that is in the final stage of illumination. The final stage may last a long time. It may be that the current life won't even bring the ripened fruit of liberation. Nevertheless, the final stage will culminate in success.
We often mistakenly expect that turning to spirituality is going to erase all difficulties. We make a bargain with the Supreme Being that the inner work we do is worth it because boons are granted as a result. It's a trade-off we're looking for. Indeed, boons are present and ever fresh. Yet, so are confounding dilemmas and disheartening turns and twists. The more we dig, the worse it seems to get. The more we release, the more there seems to be released still. Befuddling! We question the value of the great teachings that have touched us down the ages, and the modern methods that are so potentially helpful. We hear of a system or read about it and it feels right, offers hope; when applied it yields results. Encouraged we go on. Yet, the Sisyphus syndrome is lurking in the shadows and inevitably we fall down again.
This can play havoc with one's sanity, faith and courage.
Listen to this perspective for a moment. If you had a powerful blower that you used to keep an outdoor area free of leaves, what happens at first? All the dirt, debris and leaves are kicked up and swirled around, making an unsightly mess. You keep going because the goal is to clear the area. As you blow, each square inch is covered again and again. Stray and stubborn pieces need more time but eventually the area is clean, organized and clear.
When translated to healing work, this process is of longer duration with many more delays, setbacks and confusions. We're dealing with intangibles, even in healing the body and so much more in healing mind and soul. To be conversant in the inner dialogue is to have developed an intimacy with intangibles: symbols, visuals, feelings, themes, spirit forces, revelations and crystallized thoughts. These are of an entirely different order than processing information via the outward aspects of our five senses, which are then filtered through the rational mind. Intangibles are no less valid, but they are different and require specialization and cultivation. Our inner language has a logic. Relating to life with the intuitive side of our mind doesn't make us irrational, incapable or inefficient. Our rationality needs the balance of the broader, softer acceptance and insight of the intuitive. One is the completion of the other, ideally working in unison. It's only in a cold rational light that we can't reconcile painful messiness with hidden greatness.
Not convinced? Feel that you're a failure, a mess, and a burden to everyone? Can't see the silver lining on every dark cloud? Consider this: certain animals are chosen for certain tasks because they display a natural capacity. Horses, mules, camels and oxen exhibit a strength, hardiness and stamina that make them suitable for carrying and pulling heavy loads.
If your soul didn't have the capacity, you wouldn't be engaged in heavy spiritual labor. Actually the work of illumination that's given to all of us is equally weighty. Some are involved in the work and experience the effects of exercising spiritual muscles. Others, because they haven't yet awakened with choice, are seemingly comfortable and at ease for they are insulated from the threshold of pain that must be crossed to reach the land of illuminated fulfillment.
One other reason that we seem to be in an endless cycle of shedding darkness is that each success allows another layer to surface to be made whole. Once the cycle begins there's a soul momentum to reach freedom. It's self-navigated, self-timed and self-completing. Evolution is a cycle that's infinitely compassionate. Though horrendous fears and anguish may be present, with a glimmer of golden grace we are given respite to catch our breath and say, "life is good." Rest, peace, and love are built in so when the cycle goes to the next layer, we know it's worth the trouble. We're allowed to taste freedom as encouragement. If you need more substantial encouragement, know that when illumination is yours the cycle of painful uncovering will end. Then it's only a cycle of pure evolution. It has it's own challenges but the dichotomy and confusion are removed and golden grace remains the norm.
Let your soul lead you and be of courageous heart.