The small child longed to go Home,
but she did not know the way.
She could remember the sights
and sounds of Home and
she could remember her wonderful friends.
She was lonely here,
in this strange and barren land.
She longed so to experience all that was Home
Divine Beauty, and
Union with all life.
Here she felt separate.
There were great walls dividing
each portion of life.
And there was a smaller wall around her.
When she first came to this place
she was afraid.
She did not understand these
strange people or their strange ways.
Flowers, trees, and animals
did not speak to her.
And, if she tried to speak to them,
Therefore, she began to build
a wall around herself.
With every laugh and
every condemning thought,
a new brick was laid.
She could no longer speak to her
plant and animal friends,
no matter how hard she tried.
The wall became so heavy and high that
she could barely see the sun
or feel the breeze
or view the world around her.
She was alone inside her wall,
alone and afraid.
One day, when the sun was invisible
and the breeze nonexistent,
she decided that it was time
for the wall to come down.
Even if they laughed,
she could feel the sun.
Even if they condemned her,
she could see the flowers.
So she began.
At first, it was very difficult.
The bricks were cemented fast,
and it took great effort to
remove even one.
However, the bricks were
somehow connected and
as one was released
the others were weakened.
With the release of each brick,
the process became easier and easier.
As the wall became smaller
the sun became brighter
and the breeze more refreshing.
She had forgotten that
the world was pretty after all.
She had not realized that
for every one who laughed at her
there was someone else who cared.
She had not realized that
if she ignored the ridicule of others,
she could then hear the plants and animals
hungrily returning her call.
As she gained the courage
through removing her wall,
she became confident enough to face
what hid behind it.
Eventually, the wall
seemed very small.
Or, perhaps, she had grown.
It had seemed that,
as she removed each brick,
she had grown taller.
She wasn’t sure of this, of course.
It had just seemed that way.
In fact, she wasn’t sure of much.
She only knew that life was better.
She did not know what would happen
when all the bricks were gone.
But she did know
that fear had built the wall
and only LOVE
could totally remove it!
Childhood ~ A Life Begins and Soon Forgets
When we are born into out physical form we forget most of our greater SELF. Fortunately, our inner child holds that secret for us until we are ready to remember. But why do we forget? Most of us are taught to forget by the people in our world who no longer remember. And, often, we forget because of painful events that are too great for a child to bear. In the process of that forgetting we lose the happy memories as well.
We also forget because our emotional reactions to the world around us blur our memory and interrupt our connection to the portion of ourselves that remembers. Therefore, we must learn to hear, express, and release our emotions without judgment or criticism. This process often takes years, as most of us have learned in our childhood that it is not safe to be completely open and honest with others or with our self. We must learn to NOT judge our emotions or we will not feel safe enough to allow them to the surface to be healed and released.
TAKING THE FIRST STEP
We see the first step before us and realize that it is very familiar, like something from our childhood. Yes, that is it; this is the first step on the staircase that lead to our childhood home. Something had happened in that home, something that we have forgotten. Now the memory is stirring in our mind, flirting with our heart. We see our self as a child climbing that stair. Yes, there are many memories, some make us sad and some make us laugh. Most important, all these memories make us our SELF.
Personal History, First Step
TIME FRAME 1974-1979
My process of Awakening began in 1974. According to my ego’s standards, I had it all. I was married, which meant I was “good enough,” and I had two children who loved me unconditionally. Unconditional love, yes, unconditional love was a secret yearning that came from a memory of the time “before.” However, I had never found it on this world, this place in which I lived, but could never call Home.
I owned my house, I didn’t have to leave my children to go to work (a strong 50’s message), and I had lots and lots of time to look at my life. Or was it my life? No, it was everyone else’s life. It was the life that I was “supposed” to have. It was a good “outside life.” By that I mean that anyone on the outside could look at my life and say, “What a good life.”
But, what did I say about my life? I said, “Where did my SELF go?” Therefore, in order to find out where I had gone, I had to find out who I was. I had spent my life being who I was supposed to be and had never had time to be who “I” was. Early in my childhood I had neglected my inner life, my real life, my SELF. I had hidden my SELF away because it was too different from everyone around me. Being different was a very “bad” thing. If you were different you were NOT “good enough.”
I had grown up in the 50’s and early 60’s, the first wave of the Baby Boomers. I had been programmed well by my family and my society. I had lost the sense of who I was and had embraced the idea of who I was supposed to be. And now I had it all! I was miserable and lonely. I was lonely for my SELF. The only time I could be my SELF was with my kids and a very few friends. I was 28 years old and I was VERY tired.
I looked around at the life that SHOULD have made me happy. I had everything. I had a new home that we owned; a marriage, two kids, a girl and a boy, and I could stay home with the children. According to the 1950’s sit-coms, I should be gloriously happy. However, it was 1974.
Luckily, I was still cashing in on the tail of the hippie era. We had huge parties, two to three times a week, and our home was always filled with people and fun. When we moved into our new house, I planted the entire yard, from weeds to landscaping, planted a vegetable garden and made all the curtains, pillows, quilts. I was very creative. Now I needed to begin to create ME.
All my creativity aroused the Goddess within me and she began calling me to join Her. But, I could not feel Her love. All I could feel was Her intense loneliness. “Where am I?” I would ask myself, and “What is this place?” I have everything that society and my family told me to get, yet I am horribly unhappy. Why?
I began my search with my best friends, books. I searched furiously because I could feel the demon of depression closing in on me like a dark cloud. All that I had, all that I had attained, meant nothing to this demon for it engulfed everything in its darkness.
The doors of my unconscious were opening before me, and I could not close them. “Perhaps I should stop resisting and allow the craziness to overtake me,” I pondered. But two of my book friends, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, and Eden Express, showed me that insanity was NOT the answer.
Then I found another book, Richard Hiddleman’s 28 Day Plan for Yoga, which showed me another path, the spiritual path. Instead of giving in to insanity, I decided I would let go of what THEY wanted me to do. But I didn’t know how.
Luckily, my SELF had heard my call and gradually started altering my behavior. I had gone down to my deepest unconscious and felt the ancient pain that had been hiding there my entire life; in fact, my entire “lives.” Because of that journey, a glimmer of my spirit was able to filter through the vast network of walls and camouflages that I had built around me in 28 years.
At the end of each day’s yoga session, Hiddleman wrote, “Now, listen to your body.” I had no concept of what that meant. My body was not me, it never had been me. My body was the trap that kept me from going Home. My body was what separated me from…what? I did not know. I only knew that I wanted to feel connected again, connected to something INSIDE.
I continued to read every book I could find about yoga, yoga sutra, spirituality, meditation, everything. One book, and I do not remember which one, said, “When you step upon The Path, you must do so ALONE.” Well, I had felt alone my entire life so that was not too ominous for me.
In fact, the only time I didn’t feel alone was when I was with my SELF, the one I had abandoned to get married and live in denial. Fortunately, there were also my children and a few, very few, special friends. My spirituality had always been something I had experienced alone. Even when I was with my gregarious teen church group, I felt different and alone.
Then I met Mrs. Reed. My friend, one of the special ones, introduced me to her, and I instantly knew she was my teacher. However, I think it was about a year before I was ready to begin studying with her. I had to decide to make my spiritual growth more important than the many emotional dramas that filled my life. Practicing yoga is what helped me make that decision. Yoga gave me a taste of peace, and I wanted more!
After studying for awhile with Mrs. Reed about Astrology and the Ascended Masters, I gained the courage to go to graduate school to finish my major and get a license. I was beginning to awaken, and the Goddess told me that I could not be free in the world until I could support my children and myself.
Graduate school was a great mirror for my many unconscious fears. My first fear was that I was too “stupid” to get a MA degree. Therefore, my second fear was that I would fail the comprehensive examination. However, both of these conscious fears paled behind my unconscious fear, which was, “If I get a masters and a job, I will have to leave my unhappy marriage and be ALONE.” There is that word again. I thought I wasn’t afraid to be alone, at least not consciously afraid.
Because my conscious and unconscious mind were not in agreement, I had to create a cover story. “I know,” I told myself, “I am going to school to save my marriage.” In reality, the reason I was going to school was to leave my marriage, two very different opinions to be locked in one mind. Luckily, or unluckily, my mind was very busy learning many new things and worrying about “failing the comps,” which of course I did. But, that was much later.
My mind was a wonderful liar, and it believed my cover story. I thought that I was determined to achieve my goal, but which goal? Was my goal to leave the marriage or save the marriage? Was my goal to get my degree or fail my comprehensive examinations? Was my goal to follow my inner guidance as I had learned from Mrs. Reed, or was my goal to manipulate the “Higher Beings” to give me comfort rather than the truth?
My body was very confused and a very poor liar. My body knew that the first chakra’s adrenal glands were firing adrenaline into my system, that I was totally ungrounded, and that I was going in opposite directions with every thought. My body also knew that a war, about which I was totally oblivious, was being waged inside me. It will be “fine,” came a voice that I labeled as spirit. In actuality, it was the voice of denial.
Denial is a tricky deal. When you live in denial in your outside world, how can you determine if you are living in denial in your inside world? Was I saying it would be fine, or was my spiritual guidance saying that it would be fine? Well, I had a simple solution; I denied that I was living in denial.
Meanwhile, my body was in stop/go, stop/go, stop/go mode. I had five car accidents in one year. None of these were my fault. Denial! And while doing yoga, one stormy evening when I was alone, I wrenched my right knee. Now, that was an interesting message from my body. The right knee, the masculine side, which teaches us how to step out into the world, the shock absorber of “learning-how-to-go-out-into-the-world-to-take-care-of-yourself,” was giving me a message.
The right knee, which is on the right leg that pushes the brakes and the accelerator in the car so that you DON’T have five car accidents, was in great pain. Was my body telling me to slow down and watch where I was going? Was my body telling me that I was experiencing a great deal of psychic pain? Was my body telling me that I should bend my knee to my higher guidance and listen rather than direct?
No, I denied, my hurt was bad luck, just like the car accidents. But luckily my higher guidance was protecting me. I did listen to it sometimes. On the way to school I would chant “Blaze, Blaze, Blaze the Violet Fire, transmuting all shadow into Light, Light, Light”. When I tried to study in my tension-filled house, I would chant, “Nothing will disturb my harmony.”
My higher guidance even came to me in a blazing ball of golden light one night when I was ALONE. It was just before I was to take the comprehensive examinations. The golden light entered my bedroom and slowly approached my bedside. Had it come to warn me, to tell me that I was NOT in the state of mind to take on such a big challenge? I never learned the answer because I hid under the covers until it was gone. Oh, the joys of denial.
When I learned that I had failed the “comps,” I blamed God for “leading me astray.” But later, after I had taken the responsibility for my own inner battle, after I had learned that I created my own reality, and after I had learned that fear has as much power to create as love, I passed the exams..
FINAL INITIATION OF THE FIRST STEP
I can forgive myself for my youthful mistakes because now I see that it all was a grand drama, “all the world is a stage,” that would crescendo into my final initiation. Through the last year of graduate school, I had dream after dream of great disasters involving just my children and me, ALONE. We always survived.
I can look back at this time and think that I was having a nervous breakdown, or I can look back and think that I was having a spiritual initiation. I choose the latter. A nervous breakdown can be “bad luck” or “a major setback”, whereas as spiritual initiation is “a difficult transition into a better person.” Well it WAS a difficult transition, and I do believe that I became a better person. I became a better person because I learned some very important lessons.
When I got the grim notice in the mail that I had failed, all my illusions burst in one great explosion. I could no longer deny that I was miserable. Then, when my husband spent that night of my “bad news” away from home, away from me, I could no longer deny that my marriage was over. The next day, after one of the worst nights of my life, with my kids, our dog, and my school and spiritual books, I left. I left that house and I left that life. I would take the test again, and I would pass because I was no longer at war with myself.
My unconscious and my SELF had won. I learned that I was NOT stupid. In fact, I learned that I was smart and powerful. I also learned to listen to my SELF when it tried to warn me. But, of course, at the time I probably would not have heeded the warning if I had listened. I had to manifest my greatest fears so that I could conquer them. I had to fail in order to learn that I was strong enough to try again and succeed. I had to fail to finally break through my wall of denial to find the courage to leave a bad situation and face my fear of being alone. And, I had to fail in order to learn to distinguish between the voice of my fear and the voice of my SELF.
Through my behavior, I had proven what my SELF had always known. My first chakra had opened. What a ride! I learned to support myself for the first time, I created a new home, and I learned that I could integrate my masculine and feminine energy to create a NEW LIFE. I stepped upon the First Step to SELF. Now I had to LIVE it…
First Pillar of LightTHE FIRST PILLAR OF LIGHT
Our child has finally grown up. It has taken much longer than we ever intended. And even though we feel like an adult, we know that there is a center that is still soft and vulnerable.
If we were to give that center up, we know that we would become hard and inflexible. For in the center, we feel pain. In feeling pain we can remember to learn and grow and change.
Now, we have to learn how to guide our self, not just from our strong, adult exterior, but also from the soft vulnerable interior that is the center of our SELF. We have to learn to shield that center from the outside pain, while we still allow love to enter from the ones whom we trust.
This center is the threshold to our inner SELF. The inner worlds are now becoming accessible. We place our deepest love and trust on this threshold so that we can be protected and guided in every moment of our life.
Just inside the doorway to our inner SELF is a pillar of light with a shining crystal atop it. This pillar guards the First Step to SELF. The light of this pillar will always shine to remind us of the spiritual life-force, which continuously flows from our core into our physical universe.
We are ready now to enter the doorway, walk to the pillar and peer into its crystal. At first, all we can see is a red glow. Then, gradually, our vision focuses and the glow becomes a flame, A FLAME OF INNER COURAGE!
We will need this courage to maintain the responsibilities of our everyday life while we continue on our inner journey up the Seven Steps to SELF.
“Now can you remember?
Now can you recall?
The times when you were lonely
and knew not whom to call.
You went INSIDE to find a friend,
one whom you knew could hear.
For deep inside was nice to run,
a place to hide your fear.
But no matter how you waited,
the time would someday come.
To go into the world and
face what you’d run from.
Can you use what you had gained inside
to help all those around you?
Can you hold within your heart so deep
the Life you’ve known as true?
Are you ready to grow up now
and leave the child inside
to face the world around you
with dignity and pride?
Are you an adult or a child?”
“Can’t I be both?”
but not at the same time!”