He oozed arrogance, speaking as if liberation were as simple as making a choice , and shared little compassion for the tendrils of trauma holding us back from feeling at choice.
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His blithe disregard for the searing pain held in the human heart along with his hubris fueled his need to berate those in the audience who could not digest what he was saying, who showed resistance, who needed more than make the choice. Right, got it! This is not easy in a culture that prioritizes thinking and accomplishment over feeling and healing; that would rather have you fit in than feel.
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Choice depends on awareness. Awareness depends on light. And light depends on darkness. Going through the darkness takes time. Another teacher I did a workshop with is well known for his stance on environmentalism and deepening a sensuous relationship with nature. He has written a few celebrated books on how our perception of nature as a static backdrop versus a sentient and intelligent organism causes us to destroy it. I agree wholeheartedly. However, when I told him that our relationship with nature is dependent on refining our nervous system and opening the sensory gates blocked by trauma he quickly and arrogantly brushed my comments aside.
He had little respect for therapeutic paths and how the traumas inflicted onto nature are a mirror for our inner trauma, our inner nature.
He then told me how to live my life. My sensory gates suddenly opened wide allowing me to experience and perceive life with such clarity and understanding, transforming me forever. However, these gates eventually closed after a few months, but not all the way, remaining more open than they had ever been. They remained open enough to remind me of what I longed for—a deeper connection with life—, but also of the work needed to keep opening myself further.
For most on the spiritual path this is the way it works. That work is accomplished by both doing what brings us joy—chasing our dreams, attending ecstatic dance classes, spending time in nature, eating good food with friends—as well as entering the dark waters of our shadows and trauma, and refining our nervous system in the process. It is not one or the other, but both. Too much digging and we forget to live. Too much glossiness and we bypass the stark reality of our humanness.
We become like so many light seekers—ungrounded, flakey and guru-chasing. They unreservedly go around telling people this, and then quickly create a business to help others become awakened. They have found the light, they say, yet forget that all children are naturally in this enlightened state, and people have awakening experiences all the time. But to the degree that they make it so, they tempt themselves into bypassing the dark and into confusing awakened with awakening. They then stop doing the groundwork.
You never get there, much like how you are never fully authentic. You are always authenticating yourself. Verbs are better descriptors than adjectives in this ever-changing existence.
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You continue the journey into the light by sinking into the darkness more and more. And just when you thought you could not uncover another layer, there is one more waiting for you. The dark descent into the underworld of my trauma and grief has certainly been my journey. Through countless modalities of healing, from therapy, to osteopathy, acupuncture, plant medicine and much more, I have healed and opened, and continue to do so. I have grieved, vomited and shaken out ageless traumas. Stop it! This was passed down to us, prenatally and postnatally, unconsciously and consciously, for us to un-earth from within, thus un-earthing it from the world.
This is our responsibility now, our sacred inheritance not to carry but to release for our own sake, that of our ancestors, and those beside and ahead of us. It is ours to dispose of for ourselves, and the world. There is a point on our healing journey where we realize it is no longer personal. Our pain, the pain of our ancestry, is the pain of the world, and vice versa.
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Our healing is for humanity. We perceive the pain of the world clearer than ever, and feel it through our broken-heartedness. It can no longer be denied, and therefore we can no longer pretend that the pain of women in Saudi Arabia or the pain of children in Syria is not our own. It is a collective pain and we are part of that collective, the one body of humanity we are a part of. Healing then takes on a whole new purpose. We all stand at the frontier of the accumulated inter-generational and world trauma, of what could not be healed and has been passed down through the ages.
This compounded trauma is why the world is so troubled. And we are reaching a boiling point where each of us must do the work of going within, questioning ourselves, feeling, grieving, releasing, and recreating ourselves, and the world, anew. Having gone as deep into the dark as I have, I feel a depth of soul, sense of presence and clarity of purpose like nothing I have ever experienced before.
I have created room for light and life to take residence in my body and guide my direction into service. It is a different way of relating to the world, of living, such that I follow more, listen more deeply, and trust as I move forward along untraveled roads to where I am being called. It is less about making my destiny, and more about receiving it. By cleaning my inner house I love more because I have learned to love the unlovable within. I give more because I am less afraid to show and give from my true self. I invite people in more because I have less to hide.
I feel more—joy, sadness, anger, fear, wonder—because of years of setting old stuck emotions free. I empathize more because I know, I feel , what it is like to live without money, with pain, in isolation, without direction, for years, taken by the dark night of the soul.
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By cleaning my inner house I live because I almost died. I went right to the edge of my existence, and then beyond, again and again. I felt the crushing blows of what it means to be a human, broken-hearted, living with an unmendable heart, forever fractured, in touch with the painful fractured nature of the world, yet alive, bursting at the seams, as if light finally had found its way through my heart, through the darkness. This is the enormous reclamation project of our times, reclaiming the light through the darkness of our soul, finding ourselves amongst the needed paradox, the fusing, mysterious dance of light and dark.
Therefore, seek your teachers wisely. Even the ones who only speak in platitudes of light make a contribution. But I suggest leaning more towards those who can dance in their own darkness as well, who have the courage to admit their own frailties and fears, who exude humility or grounded humaneness, and who have the kindness, patience and skill to sensitize to your own. Remember, like a tree, you rise into the light only as far as your roots will take you, as far as you are willing to immerse yourself into the medicine of the dark, tear-soaked soil beneath your feet.
Therefore seek those who have the capacity to honor your tears, to hold you in them, to deepen your immersion into cold chambers of yesterday, and to help you rise anew, fed from the light of truth found only in darkness. Thank you for writing this important piece! You are welcome Crystal, and congratulations on embarking on your healing path with SE, which I have heard fabulous things about!
This is a wonderful article and it illuminates the fact that there are no quick fixes. Vince, I wanted to take moment to acknowledge you and say Thank You for your article on Darkness.
I have never read anything that has so eloquently described this process in the way you have done. It should be a book, and required reading. It was such a powerful article that I also shared it with my coaching clients, and it deeply touched them as well. Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. You want to be in a wonderful relationship that allows you to connect, grow, and mature with your partner. In just 6 chapters, get ready to watch, learn and experience how love has been my greatest teacher and become yours as well.
We all will love, we all will be hurt, and the most important things is how we choose to respond with our thoughts and actions. Sometimes we are You want to be in a wonderful relationship that allows you to connect, grow, and mature with your partner. Sometimes we are able to navigate the waters of love better by learning from the experiences of others This lesson is on the house: Tracy Snyder Pointer; "An insightful look into one's soul and the deep array of emotions being cultivated, as they travel through the journey of love.
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It brought to mind a quote from an unknown author: "Never forget what made you smile. Just learn from the tears that followed" Get A Copy. Paperback , 30 pages. Published October 31st by Balboa Press first published October 1st More Details Other Editions 1. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about My Greatest Teacher - Love , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about My Greatest Teacher - Love. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia.
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