Truth is hard sometimes (in a good way).
For two weeks, I’ve been wrestling with some ‘truths’ about myself and my life. Truths that don’t feel light or bright or shot through with stars. At certain moments, I feel as if I’ve painted myself into a corner – as if I have to now be this spiritual teacher who is perfect and completely enlightened and therefore, flawless. Other times, I feel as if I’m shattering.
Both of these experiences are evidence that I am on the path – and right now the path just sucks.
All the issues that I’ve pushed to the back of the closet are UP and burning through my life for clearing. And though I knew this would happen when I was getting the front of that closet sorted out, it still sucks – and hurts and triggers all of my projections, all of my escape clauses; all of my stories.
- The story that I ‘should’ be younger, thinner, prettier.
- The story that I should live in a different house, a different neighborhood, a different country.
- The story that I should be married to a different man, someone more perfect (like me)(ha!)
- The story that I should have more education by now; that EVERYONE else has a Ph.d.
- The story that I shouldn’t be the ‘only one’ helping my aging parents move through these excruciating last years of their lives – where hospital visits are so frequent and so familiar that I know the routes, the parking attendants, the nursing staff, the cafeteria hours by heart.
- The story that I should have saved, invested, managed and otherwise controlled the money that has flowed through my hands leaving nothing but a pile of restaurant receipts behind.
- The story that all of this would have been possible if only I’d been born rich, had the nose job, worn my retainer, done my homework, gone to the gym more, studied with the right teachers, and you know, organized my office.
- The story of an economy falling apart.
- The story of a world that seems to be catching on fire.
- And the terror that triggers in me.
- And the feeling that this is all my fault – that if only I’d done my part, this wouldn’t have happened. That we’d all be sitting on marshmallows, sipping honey laced lavender tea if only I’d managed to get up earlier, work harder – if only I’d, you know, saved the world.
Of course, I also know that this is the portrait of a person standing at the edge of her power. A person (me) who is both terrified and also, incredibly ready, thrilled and unbelievably blessed.
I have started a class and it is filling with the most gorgeous and beautiful and brilliant and precious human beings and I want to be of service to them – real service, deep, meaningful cell-tissue service
The kind of service that creates a platform/foundation off of which they can launch into their full gorgeous-ity.
And there, while I am standing at the edge of this breathtaking journey, the ego-self sidles up, whispering about money and power and ‘getting on Oprah!’ The ego self is manipulative, persuasive and distracting. And as she is whispering things like, ‘Put on some makeup; lose a few pounds; keep that secret to yourself; don’t show them THAT part of your life!” I feel all the joy juice go streaming out through the bottom of my feet.
The ego self is trying to convince me to pretend to be something I’m not: perfect, infinitely wise, unflinchingly positive – as if who I really am would frighten you away.
But I can’t be that person.
a) It won’t work. I’ve tried it – and I know that that path leads (ironically, amazingly) right back to this edge.
b) I don’t want to be that person any more.
If I’ve learned anything from this journey it’s this: You like me the way that I like me: comfortable, open, real. Just like you.
My real ‘fans’ are friends; my real ‘followers’ aren’t so much students as colleagues, walking not behind me but beside me.
So, I put my work out there – I show you what I’ve got and life comes at me.
A wave of money flows through my life. It washes all the old crapola to the surface – debt, stupid mistakes, overdue bills.
A wave of attention flows into my life and that washes all my garbage about power and worthiness and being good enough out into the light.
A wave of enlightenment pours into my joy cup and whoosh, the very next moment, there is this trickster in my chat stream reminding me what a true teacher is – and is not.
As the waves recede, the flash of fame, the spiritual spark, and the money recede too, but now there is space, room to breathe, new freedom.
So this is what clearing looks like, feels like! I lean into it. I watch a new wave arrive, let it wash through my life, healing, clearing, making room for light.
I sit in my imperfect house, in my messy office, closets wide open and burning, surrounded by the objects I love, the people who matter to me – the sun rises over the treetops, my imperfect (remarkable) husband shuffles by in bare feet and pajamas, yawning. I am home.