Loving and Nurturing Self on your Spiritual Path
Spring & Nurturing
"By the way, the hardest part of unconditional Love is accepting wherever we are at in the moment no matter how uncomfortable. The hardest part of acceptance is not the difficulty of allowing others their process (although Lord knows that can be very hard); it is allowing ourselves our own process without shame and judgment.
I can do that now most of the time. I know now that when it feels like crap it is not punishment, it is not because I am bad or wrong or defective. . . What I know now is that when it feels like shit that means that I am being fertilized to help me grow."
Quote from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls
Spring is the time of birth and rebirth of new beginnings. And all new beginnings need nurturing.
This is true not only in nature but also for people who are involved in the very natural process that is healing and recovery. The Spiritual path is our natural path, is the reason we are here in these bodies on this planet. And in order to walk a Spiritual path, it is necessary to reprogram the mental perspectives of life that we learned growing up in a Spiritually hostile, shame-based society.
Perhaps the first, and certainly the most nurturing, thing we do when starting to walk a Spiritual path is to start seeing life in a growth context - that is to start realizing that life events are lessons, opportunities for growth, not punishment because we screwed up or are unworthy.
We are Spiritual beings having a human experience not weak, shameful creatures who are here being punished or tested for worthiness. We are part of/an extension of an ALL-Powerful, Unconditionally Loving God-Force/Goddess Energy/Great Spirit, and we are here on Earth going to boarding school not condemned to prison. The sooner that we can start awakening to that Truth, the sooner we can start treating ourselves in more nurturing, Loving ways.
The natural healing process like nature itself regularly serves up new beginnings. We do not reach a state of being that is "happily ever after." We are continuously changing and growing. We keep getting new lessons/opportunities for growth. Which is a real pain in the derriere sometimes but is still better than the alternative, which is to not grow and get stuck repeating the same lessons over and over again.
This human experience is a process that involves inherent conflict between the continuously changing nature of life and the human ego's need to survive. In order to insure survival (which is the ego's appointed task) the human ego needs to define things. What is food? What is friend or enemy? Who am I and how do I relate to them? What can hurt me and what brings me pleasure? It also learned that it is healthy to have a fear of the unknown (it was important to check an unknown cave for saber toothed tigers before strolling into it.) As a result, the ego fears change and craves security and stability. But because life is constantly changing, security and stability can only be temporary.
The way it works is that the ego's definitions put us in a box - this is who I am and how I relate to them - and the life process keeps breaking up our box. Every time our box breaks we have to let go of some of our ego-definitions in order to grow. The time when we break out of the box is the time we are the most scared and confused - because we have just had to surrender some of our old definitions and we do not know yet what is going to replace them - and the time we most need to nurture ourselves. But because we were taught that if we are doing it "right" we shouldn't be confused or scared, that is the time when we beat ourselves up the most. We are the least nurturing to ourselves when we are growing the most, at the time of a new beginning.
Those times when we feel like we are "falling apart," "losing it," going to pieces," are the times when we are growing. In a little while (little is a relative term, how fast we recover depends on how much we are judging ourselves, the more we are shaming and abusing ourselves the longer it takes) we start to get a feel for our new expanded psychic environment. We find some new definitions and build ourselves a bigger box. We start to feel safe and secure again. We have grown and broadened our horizons and it feels like we are finally "getting it together." We get comfortable with the new dimension of consciousness we have entered. That is when it is time to break out of the box again - to fall apart, let go, process some more issues.
The more we understand that this is the way the process works; the easier it becomes to not judge and shame ourselves; the more capacity we have to Love and nurture ourselves. Life is constantly changing. There are always going to be endings and new beginnings. There is always going to be grief and pain and anger about what we have to let go of, and fear of what is to come. It is not because we are bad or wrong or shameful. It is just the way the game works.
So there is good news and bad news. The good news is that a New Age has dawned in human consciousness and that we now have tools, knowledge, and access to healing energy and Spiritual guidance that has never before been available. We are discovering the rules of the game that we have been playing for thousands of years by rules that don't work.
The bad news is that it's a stupid game - or at least it feels like it some of the time. The more we understand that it is a game, that this is just boarding school, the easier it becomes to nurture ourselves by not shaming and judging ourselves. We are going to get to go home. We don't have to earn it - that's what Unconditional Love means.