Wherever you go, there you are.
— Zen saying
If we’re honest, the main problem in life is simply ourselves. I have a friend who has spent years traveling the globe in order to find the perfect place to live. He flies to Bali then New Zealand then Ecuador and on and on, always returning, never having found the perfect spot. I finally told my friend, “You know the truth is there is no perfect place for the simple reason that wherever we go, we take ourselves with us. And as we are not perfect, the ‘where’ will not be either.”
Your real Self has no hiding place no matter where you go. Live in Self and the place will find you. Live in Self and wherever you are will be home. This applies as well to finding the perfect mate.
Dare to be Vulnerable
Dare to let go of control and open to your own vulnerability. Often when we’re hurt, we no longer trust vulnerability and we create the habit of numbing ourselves as a way of self-protection. The thing is though, when you numb yourself or build a wall of defense, nothing gets through. It shuts you down and love, joy, a sense of adventure, etc., are also blocked. Love makes us vulnerable as it must do.
Novelist William Styron underwent a severe depression, and wrote a courageous book about his struggles, Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness. He exorcised his dark demon. I last saw William Styron at a chamber music concert in New York, and a gentler and more kindly man I have never met. Kind men may sometimes harbor the darkest of demons. Anyone on a committed inner path must at some time, in some way, face the demon or shadow within. Be clear that the shadow’s home is within, not without. Face your shadow and do the necessary inner work and Light will find you. Even breakdowns can be an opportunities for a spiritual breakthrough.
The best way out is always through.
— Robert Frost
- Visualize a metaphor (animal, bird, archetype, or object) that represents your dark side.Face your shadow in whatever form arises then ask the question, “What is the dark shadow side of my soul?” Write this question at the top of the page then listen to its response. Write down whatever comes — without judgment.
- After you have finished transcribing this message from the dark side, repeat this sentence as though it is a mantra, “I accept this part of myself without judgment.Though I choose to stand in the light, I will listen to the voice of my shadow and learn.”
- Finally write down what you feel you have learned in life by embracing your own dark side.
I am, you anxious one.
Don’t you sense me, ready to break
into being at your touch?
My murmurings surround you like shadowy wings.
I am the dream you are dreaming.
When you want to awaken, I am waiting.
— Rainer Maria Rilke
(Excerpt from Heal Your Self with Writing by Catherine Ann Jones, available at Amazon.com
in print, Kindle, or Audible.)