Spiritual openings can look different, depending on what catalyzes the breakthrough from the ego, to an experience of the Universal love inherent in everything, including ourselves. But the basic structure of what occurs is the same and I’ve noticed in my work as a shaman, that we can hurt ourselves and others if we fail to see the kind of spiritual mechanics underneath the process.
We know so much about atoms and cells. Maybe we need to love ourselves enough to peer into the emotional mechanics of human evolution. It can be so simple, it gets overlooked.
Stretching to Sprout New Life
Think of the seed breaking through its old container in order to sprout into new life. We do exactly the same thing.
Just like a seed, life asks us to outgrow our old containers, safe havens or familiar ways. Perhaps just like the seed pushing up against its own walls, we can feel trapped, unhappy, distraught, even suicidal as we find life won’t do what we want it to do. We can bang up against circumstances or people that throw us into pain and confusion, not realizing that life is asking us to grow beyond what we have been.
It seems that almost every person opening to greater spirituality experiences a significant betrayal as a kind of necessary step. This betrayal will come from another person or group, our own body, or it seems, from life itself. The pain of this betrayal will tend to weaken or open the doors of our egoic cage.
What a relief the opening is, as the pain transforms into all the euphoria and relief of a honeymoon. The thicker the egoic walls, the greater relief at being free. There is a felt optimism and a kind of cellular stretch, or expansion in the body, as the newly sprouting spirit heaves a sigh of relief at being free of the old shell.
This period is a delight and shows the individual what life can be. He or she needs to trust this sunshiny time because the clouds will come and it will seem this honeymoon was mere delusion or wishful thinking. In fact, trouble always comes after an opening. Often the more severe the trouble at this point, the bigger the transformation planned by the soul.
Shifting Into Trust
At the mere hint of the Christ consciousness, King Herod went round trying to kill all the male babies, so frightened he is of losing his throne. The ego functions the same way. All our fears and past beliefs can come up, trying to reassert their authority in face of new light.
We need to understand that and not take the clouds and darkness so seriously. If we know the new growth will be threatened, we can be steady, more philosophical, more trusting. This speeds our evolution. The more we can shift into trust, the faster we will see through the personal difficulties that are emerging and not buy into them.
Think of the metaphor of the seed, forced to consume its shell and push down roots. Just so with us. It is the challenge of the difficulties which forces us to develop roots into our Beings and begin our spiritual journey in earnest. We may want to gag when we begin to realize how poor the soil we were raised in. Not many were taught a deep trust in life or the importance of being true to their own natures. But these realizations push us into our new, more spiritual way of life.
Good soil, sunlight, water and lots of love help the new sprout. The same with us. The help of a knowledgeable teacher or the kinship of a like-minded group, inspirational books and practices all help immensely. But one of the most important ingredients here often gets overlooked in our technological society: Love and Compassion.
Many of us came to adulthood in culture that basically trusted objective, reductionist thought which tends to diminish our experience of ourselves. If we live in a random universe, anyone can be a victim and there is no inherent meaning in life. The result is thick egoic walls and a belief in power as force rather than inherent in love. We need to be gentle with ourselves and others rather than judging and berating, as these old ways heal.
The Foundation of Self-Love
Learning to love oneself creates a warmth inside that allows the walls to melt gently into the sorrow of the hurt innocence underneath. When that is felt and embraced by oneself or another, one’s vibration and awareness goes up and one feels lightened. Enlightened.
Without the heaviness of so much unfelt grief and separation and obstruction, one’s light can shine. Inevitably, both life and relationships soften. One grows sturdy enough to meet the inevitable challenges more and more easily until one day, one’s roots are deep and one blossoms.
We’re in an emotional revolution as well as a spiritual one. Instead of trying to crucify our own thorns, beating them with the very energy that created the defenses in the first place, we need to tap into the Divine and let it love us into truth. We need a big crop of spiritual gardeners, people big-hearted and compassionate enough to witness and nurture new growth in themselves and in others. So be it!