being human,  breath,  embodiment,  learning,  spiritual direction,  writing

The Truth of Myself

I overshared today. At least it feels like I overshared. And yet it also felt essential. It’s been a hard week. I’m feeling lots of feels, the world’s weight and my past pressing in on me. “Must I be so dramatic?,” I think to myself. “Why can’t things be light and easy?” They are sometimes. Sometimes often. Sometimes not. Sometimes it’s all too much. And when I get this way, all I can do is express (through writing), which is exactly what I did this morning.

I’ve been back and forth with one of the teachers of my spiritual direction training program. I’ve been on the verge of leaving the program a few times now and we’re conversing about some work-arounds that might help me. After presenting me with options last night, I sat with them. And myself. I questioned my ability to keep going. I worried about what the others think of me. I reflected on the past that got me to this point, and I gained some insights.

Essentially, I chose to share a few of these insights and A LOT of backstory with my beloved teacher. I feel held and seen and cared for. I adore her. I don’t feel this way about a lot of people. Was it all too much? Perhaps, but it also felt like an integral part of her understanding, really understanding, where I’m coming from, and why I feel the way I do … I feel rude, needy, too much, misunderstood. I feel like people look at me and see one thing when there are lots of other stories locked inside. Other stories are actively playing out. Honestly I think that’s the truth for most of us. My problem is that I don’t express well verbally. I can’t easily share my truths. And I am always trying to make sense of them. I’m constantly asking myself why, but perhaps the better question is ‘why not?’ Why not be an open book? What do I have to hide? My story is my truth. It’s my life. It’s shaped me into who I am … in all of its horror and glory.

As I think about it, I believe I’m blossoming into the me God has called me to be all along … honest, truthful, vulnerable, articulate, deep. I often don’t share these deep parts of myself, for fear of rejection, weakness, too serious, too muchness. But it felt like a necessary step to establish deep understanding, and to begin to step into the wisdom that is emerging from the stories, instead of staying stuck in them.

Interestingly this story aligns with Holy Week. Life, death, resurrection. Order, disorder, reorder. It’s the pattern of life at its core but mainstream society doesn’t identify with it like more contemplative circles do. The Center for Action and Contemplation’s meditations this week have been exploring this topic, relating it to the story of Jonah. As today’s email writes, ‘the pattern of new life (can) only (happen) through death.’ We must descend before we can ascend; it’s a necessary pattern that is redemptive for all of us.

So I sit with the fears of my actions … actions I deliberately chose. Will I be rejected? Will she deem me unworthy of this training? Will she suggest that moving on might be the best thing for me? Will she think it was all unnecessary? Does any of that matter? I guess where I land is that it feels good to express these truths so I can move on, within myself, within my psyche. I must move on. I must keep going. I must keep stepping into the truth of myself, no matter how hard it might be to look at. I must allow these stories to form something new in me. I must voice them and I must let them alchemize me into something new.

Perhaps through these actions I will gain new insights. Perhaps it is precisely the death that must occur for new life to be possible. Perhaps this is ultimately my resurrection story, at least one of them. Most importantly, I know in my heart of hearts that the stories I told myself in the past are not true. They can’t be. I believe that with my head; it’s now time to believe it with my heart, and the all of me. This is my life. I am not effed up. I am also not special. I’m simply me. And I’m okay, no matter what, because I’m a bright shining spark of the Divine.

(Photo by Clicker Babu on Unsplash)