Thursday, August 2, 2012

Alchemical vessels for the transportation of love

I felt a wave of sadness when speaking with a friend earlier today. It is heart-breaking when we are unkind to ourselves, aggressive to our lived experience, and deeply judgmental to the way our precious and unique human journey is unfolding. We try so hard to be “spiritual,” more loving, courageous, fearless, free of anxiety, free of pain, happy, cheerful, at deep peace, and all of the other positive feelings and emotions that would be experienced if we were “truly” spiritual. We then become convinced that something has gone wrong if other, less spiritual thoughts, feelings, or emotions present themselves, if we get scared or lonely or sad or depressed. We are quick to be hard on ourselves for failing yet again, this time failing the new spiritual project we have taken on, the endlessly compelling project of creating a new and more spiritual “me.” We take on this new me-endeavor all in the name of spiritual realization or enlightenment or oneness or whatever concept we’ve become enamored with as of late. We all know too well how the ego will co-opt anything, especially and including the spiritual journey, to fortify itself and to divide  us against our inherent wholeness-- and its expression in our fear of intimacy with others. 

When we notice ourselves being unkind and aggressive toward our experience (often in very subtle ways), we might just consider the possibility that our so-called neurotic activity and organization is actually an expression of intelligence-- arising out of clarity and vulnerability-- not some pathological part of ourselves that we somehow need to go to war with and eliminate through some spiritual practice or magical divine process. Let us open to the possibility that these protective strategies arose out of necessity when we were defenseless little ones, unable at that time to metabolize the fear, trauma, and overwhelming nature of the reality of our sweet little hearts. Yes, let us see clearly how these ways of protection and narrowing our experience are no longer useful to us as adults, while simultaneously honoring their presence in our lives as loving protectors of our very survival. We can also respect what they are still giving us, as we are clearly benefiting from them in some way. Then, we can come to see that they are not enemies to be discarded in the trash heap of our new spiritual identities, but dear friends who we can see and touch and relate to with an open heart. And then we might wish them well on their future journeys, when the time is right, when we are authentically ready to part ways. 

In any moment, we can choose to be kind to ourselves, to be compassionate to the wholeness of our being, and maybe even become grateful for our neuroses for the care they have given us. And then in this recognition-- in this sacred metabolization of the entirety of our being, and not just the “spiritual” or “divine” parts according to our favorite religion, guru, or conditioned spiritual viewpoint-- we become luminous and transparent again, serving as alchemical vessels for the transportation of love throughout this Universe.