Finding Yourself Amid the Noise of Life
Well, that is a title, isn’t it? As if this short tome might offer you some deep insight and a clever treasure map that will lead you to the place where you finally have that sweet clarity of purpose and vision that you seek so earnestly. Well, how about this: I’ll do my best to share how I found my self and perhaps it will help you find yours.
I’ve been a seeker since I could navigate this world.
When I was barely able to crawl, I somehow traveled to the next-door neighbors’ home to play with their dog! (Disclaimer: I have no personal recollection of this, but I am relying on the tale my mother told with giggles as I was growing up). I guess this was my first glance at who I am. I love animals and seek their company and comfort, most especially the furry ones, then the feathered ones, and on down the list there are the scaly and slippery ones, but the crawly ones not so much. As my own sense of inquiry grew along with my capacity to reason, I came upon the idea that animals are so special because they are so pure and without ego to interfere with simply being themselves.
At the age of about three and a half, a Sunday school teacher told me that animals don’t have a soul and won’t go to heaven. I told her I wanted my nickel back from the offering tray; that I did not in any way care to go to a heaven that excluded my dog. In some ways it went downhill from there.
At eight I recall gathering all of my friends together when we learned the power company would be coming through our favorite patch of trees to do some serious trimming. I got six of them to climb into our favorite sycamore tree and not budge until the cutters left for the day. It was a sweet victory!
As life carried forward I found that the inculcation of imposed beliefs caused some problems.
By ten and a half years old, I managed to find my way to a baptismal pool. I was at the age in life when incipient prurient thoughts begin to invade the brain of the pre-pubescent, and the preachers catch you like a gigged frog with your eyes wide open. I was sure that the Almighty cursed me for noticing that everything about me was changing, and I wanted it to be clear that I certainly despised myself for it, just as it was preached that I should do! Ah, sweet guilt and shame, what a powerful hold you have upon us: you keep us terrified and in our places, for a while.
The seeking went on and on with side trips to pursue mystical experiences without really knowing what I was looking to find.
full-blown adolescence, Edgar Cayce, self-hypnosis, Rosicrucian tracts, Khalil Gibran, meditation, marijuana and mescaline! What a world to explore, and I did with my usual fervor. The messages were consistent: it is ok to ask questions, to implore (the inner version of explore - per my definition), to talk and share and find delight in being alive. This phase brought a better way to find revelry in being alive and having gratitude for the gift of life, rather than flaying myself for simply being human.
Seeking Nirvana. What is Nirvana anyway? How will anyone know they have reached it if we don’t have someone to guide us clearly to that place?
It got a bit scary the further down this rabbit hole I poked. And then I found A Course in Miracles by Helen Schucman.The book had the audacity to tell me that I am already perfect and that I have simply made some errors in my thinking; that perception is projection, and vision is the only true sight because it is based on the experience of certainty. It took another thirty years of digging to discover that the teachings of Schucman align with the Gnostics, who knew that the deeper you go the more courage it takes. They also knew that these things must be slowly ingested, processed and progressed through deeper and deeper layers of knowledge.
There has been lucid dreaming, Tarot, divination, astrology lessons, psychic readings from numerous realms and earnest therapy sessions in the process.
It was serious emotional pain and my own inner voice that finally brought me to finding my self.
She was hidden for a long time under all of those influences that I sought to ameliorate with compliance. She had to have some deep and painful solitude to come out of hiding and start to share herself. She needed to feel safe, and solitude was the only way that could happen. I had to face the demons of self-doubt that blocked my sweet little self from coming forward. And I found her; I found me; I am recovering from life and nurturing the One who had been hidden inside me for nearly all my life! Can you imagine that?
And you can find your self, too.
As Jung would say, you have to want it more than anything else and be willing to do your Shadow Work You have to accept and be in this body you were blessed to inhabit and come to resolution with all of your doubts. Finding your self cannot be bypassed, side-stepped or affirmed into being. This is a jewel that has to be unearthed and rebirthed from deep within.
And so I learned this: I have been easily distracted by the Light, sought the Light and deeply desired the Light. But I found it only in my darkness.
Serenely submitted by Mari Wilson. Mari is the facilitator of Sidereal Sisterhood, a tarot moon circle group that meets at Wholistic Heartbeat twice a month. She is also author of the soon to be published book, One Beautiful Thing: A Journey from Silence to Self.
Sidereal Sistarhood: We utilize the energy of the Moon phases and Astrology with Tarot to promote and manifest our dreams. We gather on the Balsamic Moon and Full Moon as a group. We receive information by email or Facebook in between gathering times. Enrollment is available to newcomers, and it is recommended that you begin at the Balsamic phase. You may contact the group leader, Mari Wilson, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for details about the process to help you decide if this is for you. Cost for enrollment is $20/mo.