For several months, as I woke up in the morning, I could feel myself coming back from far away… and a not too pleasant far away. Once I would open my eyes and realize I was in my familiar room, this location, these circumstances, this ‘my daily life’ story, clarity would begin to return. I’m here, glad to be here… now where did I go and why???
Not remembering dreams or any people that I met, just the mental activity and the feeling, I ask myself if I have been pulled into, or intentionally traveled into the turmoil-filled collective subconscious. It could be that, or it could be my own dross and I’m doing some visiting. In any case, when I realize that I’m still here, incarnated in this cool body, able to make the choices and do the journey, it’s a relief. The outcome of this journey is beyond beautiful, so all I can say is… Whew! It’s all good, let’s keep it moving.
Lately I’ve been talking about faith, seeing faith and trust in heart-centered being as essential for our own sanity as we experience the collapse of this world and the corresponding expansion of consciousness. It’s essential as well to get to know our shadow aspects; to bring into the light of awareness those many ways in which innocence has sought to protect itself. An Alan Watts quote works well to consolidate the feeling: “To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.”
Listening to and respecting the voice of one’s own shadow does result in a lightening up, making it a lot easier to float, but it is a process, and it does require faith.
We know that the global shadow is emerging rapidly and fully. I expect as the change continues we will see a depth and breadth of illness or insanity we could not have imagined. The impulse is to escape from it, and maybe some believe that through the spiritual journey we can do that – escape. But, the exit door is the Exit door. Since the journey really isn’t one of escape, but rather transmute, transform, evolve, rise above… let’s consider what Alan Watts has suggested.
The collective as water: we have heard many references to human consciousness as ‘waters’ and also to water as spiritual nourishment. Many years ago I listened to a lecture where the speaker referred to the sea, and our first breath as a bubble in the sea… when our physical life expires the breath leaves. That breath would be the soul entering human form. So whether we are a bubble or a wave, we can appreciate the image of ourselves as part of the eternal sea.
Since I grew up with the Bible stories, it’s easy for me to bring to mind the water references and consider whether they are prophecies of the expansion of human consciousness that we are now experiencing. For example, we have a story of when there was a great flood and the waters rose and covered the land, and the ark rode on top of the waters. We also have the parting of the waters making way for the exodus from bondage; the story where Jesus turns the water (within a vessel) into wine; and the mention of rivers of living water flowing out from the heart.
Taking a water perspective of the collective consciousness, and the transformative ‘bringing shadow into light’ part of the journey, I invite you to come a little further with me into what’s going on in my daily life story. I’ve spoken before about how spirituality is practiced in relationships and communication. One can isolate and meditate, cherish peace, enjoy nature and be in a beautiful frame of mind only to fall apart when someone or something we encounter is offensive or destructive. So, daily life is our learning environment, and the lessons are intensifying.
The world we want to see is life loving, inspiring, generous, creative, kind and ‘true to word’. If everyone we encounter is a like-minded person who has brought their own shadow into the whole, living as consciously and virtuously as they are able, there is peace and we’re creating heaven.
On the journey to peace: while we might like to think we ‘love all beings’, making love real for persons we encounter in daily life is a doozie to navigate. In a recent article I spoke about a childhood acquaintance of my godson and my son who had just been invited, temporarily, into our home. He had called them confessing that he was homeless, having spent his first night sleeping on the street. They responded that he could sleep on the cot for a couple of nights and I gave it the okay, while wondering… which one of us is he here for and what is he bringing.
If you’re a regular reader you’ll know of a few young people who came into the house for a time: a 17yo who had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and handed a bunch of pills; a woman who had been sexually abused and was at risk of turning to prostitution; another 17yo beautiful soul in pain who is now in jail. I don’t have a sign outside that says, “Bring your pain to my house,” these are friends of the three (under 30) young men who live here.
The new arrival has brought to the forefront a question that I believe many empathetic people deal with. He also brought much more, but first to the question: if there comes a point where, in order to preserve yourself, you have to take action that seems to harm another, where is the middle road – the one that allows you love and preserve yourself, and do no harm to the other?
Our guest quickly showed himself to be a master of ‘innocent victim’. Both the innocent part and the victim part are not made up. Innocent people are made victim all over the place, all the time. Our own innocence has also been harmed, so we know about this. While we may not be acting out the victim story ourselves, certainly we will encounter others whose treatment was severe enough and lack of healthy example great enough for them to be playing out the innocent victim role.
It is the intention of spiritual people to give help and do no harm, and that can be looked upon as weakness or an avenue to exploitation. The victim can also be very quick at picking up on our insecurities. So discernment is much needed, also feeling and intuition: the truth will be mixed with lies and that’s a given.
Within two weeks I ‘invited’ our guest to leave. I was kind of surprised at the intensity of my feelings while this was going on. His property was bagged and put in the yard. There’s no need to replay the details, only to say that the visitor passionately pled his case of ‘adverse circumstances, not my fault’. My son and godson asked if he could be given the benefit of the doubt, and allowed to stay a little longer: mercy, mercy… because he had nowhere to go but back on the street.
So he carried his bags back in. Later on, when remembering the confrontation, I took a look at the shadow side of my intense feelings. Many shadow aspects are now in the light of consciousness, working with me as respected parts of the whole. But in all these years of learning to love All of myself, I had never met Hate until this visitor triggered it to the degree I could see it.
Out came the voice… “I hate that shit,” with shit being the person who is disdainful of another, seeks and finds their vulnerability, and uses that in order to exploit them. When it is done to me, something pretty fierce arises. I suspect I’m not the only one who takes issue with this particular behavior. So there I was, recalling my very first observation about the young man: he is hiding his disrespect, I can feel it. Yes he was: he has an issue with entitlement and exploiting the woman’s giving nature. I had mentioned in the last article that his mother is a recovering addict who had supported her addiction through prostitution. Of course her life would affect his feelings, and it obviously did.
A few days later we actually had a conversation wherein he said was hoping to get some money from a woman he was involved with. For a moment he confessed that he was ‘selling’ himself and feeling uncomfortable about it. It’s an old story; men being used by women, women being used by men, people just simply being used. What arises in the person who has been ‘played’ is anger or hatred, insecurity, and even self-accusation. What arises in the person doing the deceiving is shame, and also self defense – it’s not my fault, life just f**ks with me, I’m trying, I’m angry, and you have what I don’t have.
I looked at him and listened, asking to be shown the divinity within, seeing the illness and what produced it, and also sensing that he’s telling himself the truth for a moment, and doing the best he can. It became clear that he truly doesn’t know a better way.
The question is, do I have an obligation, and the answer is Yes, I have one: I’m obligated to my own heart and the journey. We can be kind, encouraging and honest, we can engage in conversation, we can say a prayer for the highest good, lay down the rules, be true to our word, give him a time frame and that’s it. He’ll find a place to live and leave on good terms with the young men who invited him in, or he won’t and those same young men will ‘invite’ him out.
In any case, by emotionally triggering my shadow, allowing me to see it, respect its voice and begin to integrate it, he has helped me. There is so much to that hatred of being used… the blows to innocence and trust pile up over the years and the shadow grows deep within. I’ve often thought that the root of so much of the insanity of this world (or perhaps the root of it all) is the male/female balance unresolved. We have been unable to perfect and embrace our dynamic… but that will change as we continue on this path.
What spiritual teachers and my own life experience have taught me: masculine provides the forward movement of truth – feminine provides the wellspring of love that motivates the forward movement. This dynamic is within the human being, in the marriage of mind and heart, and without, in us and in all of nature. Within and without, our desire is to experience the harmony of ‘together as One’. Our desire for this balanced state has been messed with and manipulated within this collapsing world more than anything I can think of.
Moving back to our guest, I can say that he has made some positive choices, and he is doing the best that he can. He has noticed how he dishonors himself, and the consequences of dishonoring oneself. His disrespect, and even disdain for the feminine is real, but it is not personal. Knowing that – really knowing it – makes it easier for my shadow to come into the light and be integrated into the whole.
Now how do I get from this story of daily life back to the collective insanity, the turmoil, the water, and the bubbles and waves? Well, it’s not too difficult since those who need help, those who inadvertently teach us, come to us. Did I send a message into the waters saying, “I need someone to trigger this really deep shadow so that I can bring her into the light?” I don’t know… maybe I did and the waters responded. How do we keep from sinking and drowning in fearful or indignant reaction? In ‘spiritualease’ terminology we raise our vibration, relax, and float, or climb on the ark, or surf.
And finally, regarding the nighttime journeys, there is a realization that really brings me through turmoil, and that is the experienced truth that I am loved – so very loved. In times of profound ‘aloneness’ it is my own higher self that is radiating that love, and that is sufficient.
I am loved, and so are you.