A little blissed-out from the New Year´s meditation with Deva Premal & Miten I sit down to write the first of a new series of articles for Healthy Neurotics. I hope you will continue to join me as I share the focus of my inner work in these posts. Sharing the journey and finding witness is one of the greatest gifts we can give one another. So for my sharing and your witnessing, I feel profound gratitude.
Indeed, somewhat to my own surprise, I find myself brimming with joy and gratitude for the life that I have been given; despite the end of a marriage and a recent fire on the very houseboat that offered me such refuge from the marital storms.
Hmm… Blissed out and grateful or in deep denial, dissociated and on the verge of a nervous breakdown?
Balanced between my own ‘scientific’ Psychotherapeutic view on the human condition and the not (yet) scientific Spiritual I smile at that sentence. Does it matter? If I am in denial and dissociating, then we will find out soon enough and then that too will be an experience to explore with curiosity and creativity. After all, doesn’t dis-identifying from the so-called negative life events form the very basis for a healthy spiritual life?
Last night I attended a very traditional end-of-year protestant church service on a tiny little island to the north of the Netherlands. The priest and the ambiance took us back a good 40 years and yet his words were crystal clear. Preaching on Paul’s letter to the Ephesians they, both priest and Paul, spoke of leaving resentment, fear, and pain behind you and stretching forward to embrace the future in the light of Christ. Old traditional words for a Truth we have been hearing as long as humanity has had the self-reflective capacity to rise above her own insatiable ego-needs and stretch outward and inward into the Light.
From the ancient wisdom teachings, through the relatively ‘modern’ organised religions based on the teachings of ‘lit-up’ beings such as Christ and the Buddha, to the latest incarnations in transmissions such as the Gene Keys, the journey mirrors the shift from a collective external and specific group-identification with the Divine, to an internal, self-driven contact with the divine-that-is-you.
Same message, different packaging. We are living in a time where people either reject the packaging en masse or embrace it with the fanaticism that creates cruel havoc and loveless suffering in the world. But when we recognise the difference between the packaging and the gift we can see how a beautiful new process is evolving right under our noses.
Some people might have reacted negatively to the almost archaic other worldly setting of last night’s church service and would thus have been in danger of failing to hear the message. In the same way, people who dismiss as unscientific such approaches as Yoga, Gene Keys, and other new religious interpretations also fail to grasp the point. It is not the messenger, nor is it the packaging that matters, it is the message, and the message is wrapped up in you.
So what is the message?
Well, I can only share what it is for me.
But it is an experience that has been building like a small fire inside me since I was a little girl. And yes, as the houseboat fire shows, stoke it up and you might burn up more than you expected. But then again, phoenixes and ashes come to mind.
My experience of the past, not altogether easy year, has been that there is always Light to guide you. The light is inside you. This light, this divine spark is as much part of ‘’the you’’ as it is part of ‘’the One’’. It is one and the same.
Shit happens in life. None of our fear based controlling behaviours will stop the shit from happening. There may be little bits of shit in your life that will seem huge to you. And there may be huge bits of shit in other people’s lives that will seem almost negligible to them. Because your contentment is not guided by the lesser or greater amount of poo in your life…. It is guided by your attitude to it.
A dear friend has had the very worst happen to her and her family. A friend who also tries to live life on the many levels that we are capable of exploring. Without nullifying or ignoring the deep tragedy that has befallen her family, feeling and dealing with her own sorrow and that of her family members, she also expresses a deep understanding that she is now exactly where she needs to be in her life. And that all questions about past or future have gelled into a perfect moment of a purposeful now. And she feels fulfilled.
The experiences of suffering and the experience of inner contentment do not contradict one another. Indeed, at times they can deepen and enrich.
We may wish one another a Happy New Year. But happiness is a fallacy. True happiness is the result of contentment. And contentment is the result of letting go of all expectations that your life will be in a certain way: in my case, growing old with my husband beside me, and not burning down my boat because it had a dodgy fireplace. We thrive when we open up to the adventure that being alive really is, full of joyful curiosity and without fear, resentment or expectation. Living in this moment, and then moment by moment. If you live in the moment you live in eternity.
So is this some lobotomized dissociated claptrap or a burgeoning understanding of a small inner fire that has glowed in me (and in all of us) since time began. A fire that is the very substance of time itself.
Follow this space and we may find out.
And in the meantime, shine your light in 2016.
It is all we are asked to do.