For many years now I have been committing myself wholly to a process of inner transformation. On the one hand, it has been incredibly intense as I’ve opened to uncover painful memories and deeply-rooted belief systems. On the other hand, I am experiencing ever greater freedom, clarity and peace.
The fire of Life burning inside me is much more evident to others now that I choose not to linger in grey clouds of sadness and depression. I feel the warmth of this light as I spend time in silence. I marvel as bliss and joy well up, transforming ordinary moments.
I could never have anticipated these results. All I knew years back was that I no longer wanted to suffer, living on the brink of emotional eruptions while pretending to be someone I wasn’t. I grew tired of “fitting” into society’s molds, climbing ladders. I wanted to break out of the prison of expectations that held me captive. Through them I created for myself disappointment after disappointment. It was a way of postponing happiness to a future moment. Instead, I wanted to be happy, to feel well now.
Through these years, every day as I’ve awakened, I’ve been confronted by a plaque on my bedroom wall that reads, “All know the way. Few actually walk it.” I contemplate this thought almost daily as I get up and as I retire. I don’t want to be like everyone else simply intellectualizing the truth that can bring true inner freedom. I want to see this truth at work in my relationships, my work, my daily activitiesto live and breathe it, to integrate it into my very being. I desire to be a living example of what I believe. So the healing work began. So it continues.
When you ask for healing, be prepared. God will give you more opportunities than you can fathom. I am in awe at the way I have been guided step-by-step.
As I start 2011, I am continuing with my mantra, “Please, bring me to greater personal healing.” I want to be so cleansed and healed within that there is no block to God’s Love that yearns to express through my being. When we ask, we always receive. I am learning more and more to open my mind so that I can see and receive the unique provision.
A few years ago the answer came in the form of 48 hours of intensity. You could call it “temptation”psychological time-making, in the sense of picking up the baggage of the past and projecting worries for the future. I was given opportunity to revisit every major issue over which I have suffered to this point in my life. I uncovered remnants of inner pain; I re-confronted my most terrifying fears.
The 48 hours of deep learning kicked off when my daughter Maggie had an asthma attack. I was invited to entertain deep fears about her future well-being and to question my abilities as a mother. Only hours later, the member of a committee on which I was working accused me of over-stepping my bounds when I was simply trying to be helpful.
Rather than listening to her observations, I took them as a personal attack and found myself in resistance mode. I found myself acting out my old pattern of defensiveness. I have become acutely aware of this pattern and I watched myself as I over-reacted. Had I failed? I choose to say, “No.” While I couldn’t maintain total equanimity during the interaction, I gained valuable insight after the fact.
I learned much from those tense moments. I saw that I was making progress in relating with others. I remembered the importance of hearing their words as observations rather than criticism. I was making room for other people’s points of view. I was learning not to take them personally.
I share honestly with you to say, that those 48 hours stirred in me several days of intense emotion. It was dark and uncomfortable, tense yet not unhappy. I acknowledged that old energy was churning inside me. I sat with it in silence. I cried. I wrote in my journal. I talked to my closest friends to process my learning. I spent time with a loving mentor. I kept on living, one moment at a time. Gradually the inner storm subsided. I was left with a sense of peace. More personal transformation had occurred and I was grateful.
Here are some insights to help support you in your own journey of personal transformation.
1. Accept growth as a process. Some of us want quick fixes. True healing takes on-going, determined, willing focus. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t see immediate results. Change is always occurring even when we don’t seem to see visible evidence. As a mother helps her children dress daily, she doesn’t notice much change. Then one day she sees their trousers and shirts no longer fit. Their shoes are uncomfortably tight. She realizes that they have been growing incrementally all along. The same holds true for our inner growth.
2. Understand that you need to acknowledge your wounds and open them to healing. There will be painful times. If we want to heal, we must allow our wounds of fear, anger, and resentment to surface. It may be unpleasant to hold out an inner hurt for treatment, but those we hide within tend to fester. Accept the temporary discomfort and be grateful, knowing that you are on the mend.
3. Chaos is okay, it is a necessary phase of the growth process. A field must be plowed before it can grow a new crop. Let yourself be as you are. There were times in the past few years I felt as if I was falling apart. My house got messy. I needed extra sleep. I had to reduce my obligations. I allowed myself down time to cocoon and be reconfigured. Though it can be scary, feeling broken and shattered allows the light to pour into your life in new ways.
4. Daily work and baby steps add up. Remember growth must reach a tipping point before major change emerges and flowers bloom. Be patient. Simply keep renewing your intention to follow your Guidance to healing.
5. Be kind to yourself. Take time to rest. Eat healthy. Move your body. Allow others to help and support you. The more love you give yourself, the more gently the transformation will unfold. Celebrate every tiny, positive change you see.
6. Don’t be surprised when old patterns reappear. This is natural. As you watch yourself move through old cycles, take heart. Use each repetition to see them more clearly. Open to better choices you can make. Have fun as new patterns gradually emerge.
7. Don’t resist pain. I give thanks for tough, emotional moments. They are purposefully given to me to help me stretch and grow. As my mentor said to me, “Pain that lingers is an irritant like sand. It is working to form pearls of wisdom within you.” I love this perspective. I accept pain as one of my teachers. It guides me along the path to total wholeness.
I invite you to join me on this intense, powerful journey to clarity, creativity and personal freedom. Do you want healing in your family, in your community, and in your world? I do. Let’s remember that change begins within each of us. Let’s be the change we are seeking.
Your assignment this week is to say a prayer for personal growth and healing. You may even want to adopt the simple daily mantra, “I open to healing and personal transformation.”