Especially if accompanied by waves of uncertainty, hopelessness, and confusion… more evidence that we have failed or fallen short, fueled by further imagination that psychic states such as contradiction, doubt, and deflation are not very “spiritual.”
What about the endless stream of “high” vibrations? The manifesting of more and more cool things for myself, that I’ve dreamed will make me happy? And the accompanying inflations of a happy-happy solar-based self-help industry which has pathologized the wisdom of the darker, lunar shades of the spectrum.
At times it will appear that nothing is happening, which can lead to a framing that we are “stuck,” “not doing it right,” or “lost in some sort of ‘low vibration.’” The mind has a nearly unlimited capacity to fantasize, especially in ways that enact early patterning of shame, self-abandonment, and misattuned empathic failure.
But before we turn from the non-conventional allies of confusion and doubt, let us slow down and reimagine. In a world that is fixated with doing, with answers, and with resolving the contradictions and wildness of the human being, we must remember that death is required for new forms of love and creativity to emerge.
As an experiment, you could say out loud, with the earth as your witness, “I don’t know.” And give yourself permission to not-know, for now, without any shame, judgment, or pressure to resolve the mysteries of the heart.
There is profound wisdom and creativity in the core of not-knowing, in slowness, in patience, and in rest, but we must retrain ourselves to receive that level of revelation. In this reception, we see that not-knowing is a perfectly valid, honorable, and authentic place to be, and not in need of transformation. It is a pure expression of life, in and of itself, exactly as it is. Its value is not in its transcendence, but in its embodied embrace.
Art by Anja Osenberg
Befriending Yourself - you are invited to join me and my friend Jeff Foster at our new online membership site at the intersection of spirituality, meditation, and depth psychology. Dialogues, teachings, practices, live meditations, and a moderated support community.
The next retreat - The Deep Rest Retreat: Slowing Down and Befriending Yourself in Difficult Times - September 4-9 at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado - registration to open soon
My most recent book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is available in both paperback and Kindle editions.
My next book, A Healing Space: Befriending Yourself in Difficult Times, will be published by Sounds True in 2021.