Holy Not Comfortable: Naming The Toxicity Of The Relentlessly Upbeat Spirituality Of Our Time
I have been thinking a lot about my own pithy spiritually leaning FB posts and those of people I love. And I have been very aware of how I publically speak about my sacred classes and events and the classes and events of other healers in my community. From all this thinking and listening what I feel needs some airspace is the way in which we portray the spiritual path and its practices as a means of achieving an elevated state of personal betterment – balance, power, light, joy and so forth. We are prone to sell the shine and are ever apt at portraying the “shadow” as valuable only in its function as wreckage for the light. And that’s about it. Even the word “shadow” points to the sunshine-i-fication and disdain we hold towards being with real pain, suffering, grief and misery. It too is part of the human experience. And not just the “human experience”: they are very real aspects of our most intimate personal
experience for they often reside in the body with stunning magnetic repetition, ferocity and depth.
WTF? You ask?
I am fully aware that I sound like a high-priestess of f*cking-downer-dom but stick with me. I am not leading you off a cliff, or maybe I am.
As a new sister elder person in the spiritual world I am concerned that we are raising a new generation of aspirants to be desirous of personal comfort rather than sacred presence. Lovers of personal inner enrichment versus lovers of Divine witnessing. And I worry that teachers in our community are not nearly forthcoming enough or ever publicly honest about the bit about how the imbalance, powerlessness, lust, rage, confusion and pain are ours for the long haul as well. That they too continue to get real-ass dirty from smoke of great shadowy inner bon-fires. And that they are in fact, willingly available to their own terribly un-believeably-un-comfortability and that of others.
And that it is all OK.
And more than that…not just OK but actually holy as well.
We are ambassadors of the Holy not the comfortable.
There is no static state of being (neither joyous or murderous or anything in between) that one “gets’ to through practice. Nor is there some way that you graduate out of ever occupying uncomfortable to miserable places within. It is not that they “go away” it is more like there is a hard-fought inner development of patient, kind attentiveness that allows oneself to have greater spacious with whatever experience is unfolding.
We need to mature our teachings to portray personhood as an ever holy, ever shifting state of experience of one inner state to another, back again and then, whoops! it’s gone only to return in sideways and inside out. All the while it never is out of contact with the sea of the sacred. You get the point. The experience of living is the cosmos’ great mystery, gift and full-hearted joke. It is not something we are trying to joy, succeed or light ourselves out of. It is supremely ridiculous and dangerous to think that we are here for something as small and confining as a state of static comfort.
And I say dangerous very intentionally, as I sense that much of what humanity needs right now is the ability to patiently be with disconnection. Disconnection as it unfolds within ourselves, between ourselves and others and the ourselves and the living environment with which we are entwined. Who amongst us can role model how most graciously we can be with chaos, pain, ignorance and fear? My sense is that we need to be very mindful that we are nourishing the planet with more of these folks at the moment. And to do so, we desperately need to be shown and reassured that courageous acts of trust are available to us and that pain and relational disconnection do not ultimately sever our ties to Spirit. We are in truth One with the Beloved. And as such we have a duty to stand on this foundation and bear witness to the very real experiences of where we are pained or have caused harm or continue to harm ourselves and others.
It is ALL sacred. And not just sacred for the sly but well-worn by-pass understanding of limitation as a personal growth opportunity (which is very well can be) but it is also JUST IS! The sooner and more profoundly we can be with it all the more access and presence we bring to this profoundly turbulent, often distorted yet unspeakably beautiful mess of a world we find ourselves a part of.
There is, in fact, no more profound act of love to be given.
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