The things we struggle with
This is a pattern I’ve seen time and time again, and I wanted to share it. I bet you’ve experienced it, too.
The pattern is this: There’s something I’m struggling with. I’m beating myself up for not having it done already. “Come on, it’s been a week/month/6 months/year/3 years already, why haven’t you gotten this done yet?”
I can tell you it’s not for a lack of trying.
I’ve made plans, I’ve executed on them, I’ve acted and acted and acted, yet it hasn’t really worked in the way I’d hoped, and it didn’t feel quite right.
The problem is, almost always it turns out there’s something blocking me at a deeper level than the one I’m looking or operating at.
In this case, I’m having trouble getting my deepest wisdom across. I can do it one-on-one sometimes when I feel safe, but I’m unconsciously holding back when communicating publicly.
Why? Because I’m scared.
At a level that’s normally just below my level of consciousness I’m convinced that what I know will cause my own death. Not because it’s wrong, but because it’s heresy. Because it’s going to upset people so much that my life is at risk.
Of course, I realize that’s not really going to happen. But unconsciously, the threat is very real indeed. Growing up, it was clear that my dad found these kinds of thoughts very dangerous. So dangerous, in fact, that my mom would hide her books and her views from him.
But it goes even deeper than that: It’s something that I seem to have a past-life history with as well. I haven’t had all that many experiences of recalling past lives, and each time I do, there’s always this thought that maybe it’s just something my mind is making up out of nothing. And maybe it is. I can’t know for sure.
But it makes a lot of sense. I’ve had this recurring image of being part of an indian tribe, as some sort of medicine man, and one one occasion speaking an uncomfortable truth to the chief, following which I was summarily thrown out of the tribe and left to die a horrible, lonesome death. Lesson learned: Speaking truth to power results in sudden death.
It makes sense, because the power this pattern has over me is so much greater than merely growing up under the same roof as my father should give me.
In any event, whether you include the past-life experience or not, by looking at it from the perspective of this deep unconscious fear, there’s no point in giving myself a hard time about where I stand. No amount of trying to push myself to do better and challenge my fear is going to help.
The only thing that can really help is softening my heart enough to actually shed some light on this deep fear, to be able to see it clearly, with love, with an open heart.
By appreciating the enormity of the task at hand - that this is not just my personal issue, it’s also a soul issue as well as a collective societal issue (think about how many places in the world where it’s still dangerous to speak your mind) - I can better approach it with the kind of compassion and time and space that this sort of work requires.
And as I slowly heal this deep and important fragment, things will start to get easy and light and playful and fun, rather than a struggle. And I’ll be healing this not just for me, but I’ll be doing my part to heal this for everyone else as well.
That’s what I mean when I talk about living up to our responsibility to take our own growth seriously.
I’ve seen this pattern again and again and again: Whenever there’s something I’ve been struggling with, it always, always, always turns out that there’s some deeper issue that I wasn’t able to see that was blocking.
Once that issue is identified, it can be healed - which may take a while if it’s deep. But once it’s healed enough for me to move past it, it suddenly becomes hard to imagine it was ever there.
If you’ve ever experienced something like this, give me a shout-out in the comments.