In 2008, my life was in turmoil. Pregnant with my second child, supporting a husband through a toxic and expensive lawsuit, trying desperately to advance my career in research to earn more money and caring for my toddler daughter- I was stressed to the max. I lived on the surface of my life, going from day to day with a barely conscious awareness of what had brought me to where I was. My life was one of constant denial- denial of what I wanted (peace), what made me happy (creativity) and what was killing me slowly (bulimia). What I did know was that I did not enjoy my job and the thought of going to an office everyday for the next thirty years made me want to curl up in a ball and cry.
After the birth of my son, I had an injection of joy into my life. I was home on maternity leave and my new baby was wonderful- he nursed easily, slept well and rarely cried as long as he was with me. He offered a hope that life could be different. My energy was lighter, my outlook brighter.
Every Saturday morning my family and I would have breakfast with my parents at a local bookstore/cafe. I had noticed this book and DVD called “The Secret” lined the walls of the store in ever-increasing numbers. Something about it was intriguing. We had very little money at this time and so I couldn’t justify buying the book or the movie, but I did get us on the waitlist for the library. Five months later the movie arrived.
I watched the whole thing on the edge of my seat. My heart had found a home in these teachings. I didn’t have to be unhappy to be successful! I could create a life I loved! I deserved abundance! All I had to do was think good thoughts. Or so I assumed.
Whenever I do interviews, invariably I am asked what got me started on my spiritual path. It was, without a doubt, The Secret. It was the impetus to pull me out of drudgery and see beyond my little life. There was something much bigger than me- something loving, compassionate and good, something I could tap into and rest in. This was an incredible place to start. The truth is, of course, the Secret is superficial. It touches on a Universal Law that can be very helpful to be aware of, but it leaves out a Spiritual Truth that is…everything: I will never find happiness in something outside of myself.
A beautiful home, nice cars, vacations and wealth are awesome. So awesome. Get those. All of those. But if we are unwilling to look at that aching void within, we will never truly enjoy any of it. We will constantly be looking for the next thing. Manifesting isn’t hard. Being at ease with oneself is.
In that first year, I manifested a nice car, new home, new friends, made really cool connections etc. But I was only barely willing to look at that emptiness within. As time moved on, the more willing I got, the messier my life became. This is because all that was not serving me had to be shaken loose and oh, it was. The shaking continues…
A few weeks ago, a good friend said to me “A spiritual practice should bring you toward yourself, not a replacement of yourself.” Without even thinking, I replied: “I’m afraid to meet myself.”
I am slowly realizing that I am afraid of who am I beneath the expectations of who I think I should be, who I think others want me to be. I am afraid of coming up short, of being ‘found out’ for the charlatan I subconsciously believe I am. Shit just got real…again. I’d been hiding again- hiding behind the distance I keep between this world self and Self I am with God. I’ve been eating over the void, drinking over it, blaming others, picking fights, overworking- anything to avoid looking at this ever-growing discomfort.
And this doesn’t come up so that I can just feel guilty. It comes up so that I can be aware and begin to bring more and more and more to the Holy Spirit. This fear, especially- this fear of meeting my true self is perfect to bring to the altar.
And I’ll always, always, always be grateful to ‘The Secret’ for starting me off on this journey.