#055 - The gentle path of healing

Photo by Mirciov Dan on Unsplash

When I was younger just getting into recovery and self-healing work I was very immature. I figured all I had to do was find the right mindset, mantra, prayer, or belief, work really hard at keeping it in my mind and all would be well. So I would find a really cool idea or phrase, which had given me some relief, and squeeze every ounce of serenity out of it till I was sweating and bleeding everywhere (metaphorically of course!). Then when it stopped working I would figure that wasn’t the right one anyway and go find something else. On and on this went, I moved on to people figuring there was something wrong with me and maybe they could fix it; partners, mentors, spiritual teachers, books by spiritual teachers hoping someone was going to make me ok. In the midst of all this I also figured if I could purify, change, hone, and deny my body then I would have the life I wanted, again, this backfired.

I worked all this, like I tried really really hard. And then life stepped in to help. It seems to happen that way, I run myself into the ground trying really hard and then a bit of insight occurs. Its not the whole shebang, like enlightenment or anything, just some little opening that shows me the truth of what’s really going on, the next step on the journey. As far as I can tell these wake ups can be soft, they can be literally traumatic, or humbling, any avenue that will work will be employed. I don’t have a big sense of the meaning or purpose behind any of it, but everything I have been through leads to the next thing. And the next thing for me has always been more gentleness.

Which given how I grew up was not something that made me happy. I wanted strength, power, and an ability to defend and fight. Not gentleness that was for sure going to lead to humiliation, disrespect, pain, and victimhood. I had gotten confused as to what was going to bring me freedom and peace, I didn’t think it was going to be learning how to let go and follow the subtle energies in my body or the world.

Of course we would want to know how to say “no,” how to set boundaries, how to work hard at something and feel the joy of success, to feel the core of ourselves as something we can trust in. But to stay open and flexible with ourselves, and others, as we navigate the world is the gift of gentleness.

Unfortunately, the healing journey will not look how you think it should, people will come and go, dearly held beliefs will be shattered, facades you present to the world will tear apart at the seams. This will happen, not because you did something wrong or because God hates you, but because the truth will continue to get your attention and all that stands in the way of it will shift. So go gently and consider it’s not about transcending this life, but about descending softly into the heart of it.