Pretending. It’s amazing how much of your life is spent pretending, and you don’t even realize it. Once you do it enough, you become so good at it, even you think it’s real. If you’re lucky enough, you wake up. You catch a glimpse of reality and find a path to the truth. If you aren’t lucky, you stay asleep, pretending…blissfully unaware. That’s a funny choice of words. There’s nothing blissful about sleeping through your life, hiding from what’s real…pretending. You just don’t realize it until you stop.
The problem is this: living and speaking your truth…it’s painful to get there. You peel off the layers like onions. It burns. You cry. It feels raw. Then you start to heal, and realize it’s worth the pain, because getting past those layers is so freeing. You start to enjoy not having to pretend. You enjoy living and speaking your truth. You feel empowered. You begin your awakening. Then, out of nowhere…another damn layer appears. What the hell? I already DID that layer! I’m done…aren’t I? It doesn’t seem quite fair to have to go through challenge after challenge, after all the work you’ve done. Shouldn’t this be getting easier, instead of harder? Several times, I’ve complained in despair to my therapist about feeling horrible for having yet another challenge in front of me. “I’ve been going to therapy for months now, I’ve processed everything…when will I be done?” I was feeling ashamed for not being able to “fix” my life correctly. Each time, she would smile compassionately at me, saying “You’re trying to rush it. It’s God’s time, not your time. Trust the process”. She’s right. She’s always right.
A friend of mine is studying to become certified in Reiki. She found this in her manual, just today…”You should also be aware that the higher you journey on the spiritual path, the harder the lessons get. Some think the lessons should get easier, but they do not; beginners get beginning lessons, advanced students get advanced lessons. That is how we grow”. Yes, this is it, exactly.
It took me some time…actually, I still sometimes don’t get it…to realize this journey has its own path and I can ride along with it or I can choose not to, but I can’t control or predict the work. Just when I think I’ve finished the challenge, another one appears. At first, I thought they were setbacks…but now I know better. A lifetime of work is better than a lifetime pretending. I think I’ve become an advanced student. Not an easy thing to accomplish, and something that causes both great discomfort, yet great enlightenment, both at the same time. Well, not at the same time. The discomfort comes first. Then the enlightenment…maybe. Or maybe the discomfort sticks around for a while. You don’t get to decide that part. You only get to decide whether or not to do the lesson work, not decide on the lesson. I know I’ve got quite an advanced lesson coming up with my dad. Right now, I’m choosing to not open that lesson book. Not just yet. I’m not sure when I will. Maybe someone else will open it for me and hold it right up to my face so I have to partake in it. I’m not really sure how it will go down. Either way, it’s painful. Choosing, not choosing, learning, not learning…it all hurts. The whole situation just plain hurts. Not fair, but it is what it is. It definitely can be discouraging… but you know what? I’m trusting the process.