Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Coming Out Spiritually

When I was five years old, I looked my mother in the eye and said, "I'm never having children."

"What?" she said as she cocked her head. "But you're a girl, and girls are supposed to have babies."

"I think it's a big, fat lie," I told her.

That memory is as vivid today as it was decades ago.

I may not have known what I wanted, but I "knew" that I didn't want to have children. Something about it didn't feel "right" within me. Sure, if it had happened, I would have embraced it, but it was not what I wanted from life.

For years, my mother hounded me to have children, and it got to a point where she told me I needed psychological help.

I laughed. It was the most absurd thing ever to come out of her mouth.

Because I didn't fit into her construct of what a woman should do with her life, she tried to manipulate me into thinking that I had a problem. Nice try. She was angry because she wanted to be a grandmother, and in her mind I was denying her.

I never wanted the "traditional" life, not that there is anything "wrong" with that kind of life. I just know it's not for me. And while others aren't okay with it, I am.

Walking the spiritual path and living the authentic life, as I have stated in previous posts, is not for wimps. Coming out of the spiritual closet takes initiative and courage.

And as soon as you do, the Goliaths will show up to challenge you because you are not doing things "their" way; that is, you are not doing things in the ways that they think you should. This is because of the social programming they learned. As you live your authentic life, the Goliaths will fade harmoniously away, or they will use your example to begin transforming their lives. Some of those Goliaths will be in your own mind and may need deconstructing through the help of your support system, spiritual practices, and personal educational plan.

A former student and close friend of mine is now facing this dilemma. She said she "doesn't want to feel awkward" because she's "not dating" or because she doesn't know what she wants. She ended by asking, "Is getting married and making kids supposed to be what I want?"

Supposed to? There's that programming again.

She is absolutely torn because she is looking outward for answers instead of inward.

Such questions are the starting points of the journey to the authentic self. We start feeling our "right" in the middle of all the "wrong." What we once thought of as gospel becomes garbage. It no longer works, it no longer fits, it no longer defines.

The spiritual path to your authentic life requires an open mind, free from the distractions brought on by social programming. This means deprogramming yourself and letting go of others' ideas of how you should live your life. Society doesn't dictate who you are, though it thinks it should. You dictate who you are.

Choosing to step out on your own path takes testicular fortitude. It takes asking the deeper, sometimes harder questions of yourself. It takes facing yourself in the face of others.

Being spiritual means breaking with convention. Call it "breaking bad" because that is how some will perceive you when you veer away from the "establishment." Sticking with convention may have its advantages for those who need it, but thinking -- and living -- outside of the box is more expansive and creative.

Coming out spiritually is an act of self-love. It gives you the freedom to grow, to create, to expand, and to express yourself uniquely and authentically.  No longer will you feel held back or stifled by the expectations of others. There is no reason to hide behind the door of fear any longer. Your light wants to shine. Let it.

Everything that happens on the spiritual path becomes a learning, or relearning, experience. As you unlearn the social programming thrust upon you in your formative years and reinforced for many years thereafter, your true vision begins to return. You will be able to "see" again through a holistic lens.

Spirtwork:

Stand in front of a mirror. This is an exercise in learning to love the person you see, even if you don't like everything about yourself. This is not about perfection, and perfection is certainly not necessary for love.

If you find it hard to love yourself, you'll need to examine what thoughts and feelings stand in the way of loving yourself. Most of the time, if not all, you'll find it going back to your personal or social programming.

As you stand in front of the mirror, start with one part of yourself that you do not view as "perfect" and say "I love my _______________." Every day, return to the mirror to view this part of your body and repeat, "I love my _______________." If there is another part of your body that you view as "imperfect," repeat that you love that area as well. Repeat for at least 3 - 5 minutes. Do this every day for 30 days. Examine your reflection and your parts through eyes of love instead of the disgust you were programmed with, as you repeat your love for yourself. Make this a daily meditation.

A variation of this exercise is to start with one part of yourself that you love, and say "I love my __________." Each day add another part of you that you love. If you start with your eyes, say "I love my eyes." The next day add "I love my eyes and my toes." On the third day add "I love my eyes, my toes, and my hair." And so on.  Do for 30 days.

Blessings.

Related Posts:

Read the introduction of 31 Days of Spiritual Growth here, and find links to all posts in this series.

Get my free e-book The ABC's of Dealing with Negative People by clicking here.



18 comments:

  1. WOW!!
    When I was 5 years old, I said the very same thing to my mother. "I'm never having children!" And, I never did.
    I can sure relate to this article today in so many ways!
    Thanks Penny,
    Healthy Blessings,
    Gena :)

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    1. Now why did I "know" that about you, Gena? LOL.

      My mother has since accepted it after much discussion. She finally gets it. She had grand-dogs for nearly 15 years. Ha Ha.

      Thanks for stopping by.
      Blessings.
      Penny

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  2. Such a good post and some things that I really needed to read today. Definitely need to try the spiritwork!
    Thanks!

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    1. I'm glad this resonated with you. The spiritwork is certainly eye-opening. Just note any discomfort in your mind as you do it; when this happens, then that's the area you will need to concentrate your love.

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing.
      Blessings.
      Penny

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  3. Hi Penny,

    This whole "supposed to" thing is really what gets us. To suppose is to conjure, theorize, make up, fantasize...supposed to is just like shoulding on ourselves. It takes a lot of courage to stop it because once we stop shoulding and supposing, we have to OWN it. And that's where the scary comes in.

    Me? I always wanted kids. In fact, I wanted three. Never thought I'd end up with 6 :-) (My 2 from my first marriage and his four from his first marriage)

    xxoo
    Peggy

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    1. Hi Peggy!

      The words "should" and "supposed to" need to be taken out of our vocabulary if we are to move forward. You can just feel the limitation attached to them. And you're right, once we give up those words, they are replaced with "OWN" and that can scare the hell out of people.

      You got doubly blessed with 6 kids! That's a beautiful thing! Makes me think of the Brady Bunch :-)

      Blessings
      xoxo
      Penny

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    2. Ha! We have the "Brady Bunch" photograph on the wall going up the stairs...if only life's problems could be solved in 30 minutes or less :-)

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    3. LOL, Peggy!
      I love that you have their photo on the wall! They made family life look so easy!
      :-)

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  4. And why did I "know" that you "knew" that about me!! ;)

    Hahaha - Well, my mom transitioned a few years ago but she was very happy to have had "many" grandchildren by my 6 older brothers.

    I love all my nieces and nephews beyond measure but I've always been very "CLEAR" about not having children of my own. LOL!!!

    Healthy Blessings,
    Gena :)

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    1. LOL, Gena! Same wavelength!

      My brother gave my mom her granddaughter, her only grandchild, whom she considers her soulmate. It's beautiful to watch them together. She also has many step-grandchildren as well. She's happy. I love all my nieces and nephews and take them on all kinds of adventures; we have a lot of fun.

      Blessings.
      xoxo
      Penny

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  5. There was a time that I thought I didn't want children...but I was confused n didn't want them BC I didn't want them to have a experience of being violated at a young. I didn't want to expose them to a scary world. But when I finally got married n started a life with my husband I so wanted children with him...something changed in me an so desperately wanted a baby....so I put my fears a side n set to have a baby. With tons of struggles the universe blessed us with a beautiful baby. I'm so blessed and grateful .....
    With the homework in standing infront of the mirror n saying I love what I see...I've done this exercise ...n it took me awhile to love myself when I was standing naked infront if the mirror...I finally felt comfortable in my skin...its a great exercise ...
    Love n peace.....my friend...

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    1. I certainly remember the blocks in you when I would do Reiki on you. It took some time, but you finally were able to move past them and forgive, which was a big part of finally letting things go. The fear you had prevented you from getting pregnant, but once you freed yourself and forgave yourself, it happened. What a beautiful moment that was! And now your beautiful baby boy is 3 years old!

      The spiritwork exercise can be tough for some people initially, but sticking with it dissolves away all that residue.

      Blessings.
      xoxo
      Penny

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  6. PS....my child was the best thing that ever happen to me...he gave me tins of spiritual gifts.n for that I'm grateful n I see the world a lot more different then I did before....and for that I will always be grateful ...:)

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    1. It's almost like you gave birth to yourself :-) and in a sense you did, but in a whole new form in your son. Beautiful.
      xoxo
      Penny

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  7. Wow. Such powerful writing. Your post really resonated with me. I too, have not had children, although it wasn't through a conscious choice. With hindsight I do wonder if I really wanted to have them, and was just following the social conditioning; going through the motions. You have given me food for thought on my own childlessness. It may not have been a conscious choice, and I envy you that certainty of knowing what you wanted, but I am now considering it may have been an unconscious one of my own. It's certainly easier to consider than a set of random things happening 'to' me, and poor life choices that led me to today. I don't think we realise how much our life choices are governed by social conditioning and what is expected of us. Certainly I was expected to get married and have kids, and I always felt that I had somehow failed because I haven't 'achieved' that. You have given me much to think about; thank you!

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    1. Hi Andrea! :-)

      I am glad that this post resonated with you and that it has given you much to think about.

      I've always found that whenever I "had" to follow the dictates of society or the expectations of others, my body would react violently in the form of massive migraines that would send me to the hospital and I'd be wiped out for days at a time. I "knew" that what I was being told I "should" do was going against what I wanted to do for myself. I had to do something or else live my life in a debilitating state, and when I stood up to those Goliaths, all hell broke loose, and it was the best thing to happen because I got to live life my own way.

      The social conditioning impressed upon us can take time and work to overcome. You're right...we don't realize how much of our life choices are governed by social conditioning and what is expected of us. It overshadows every aspect of our lives when we allow it. And the scary thing is not being aware of it! Consider that some people may never awaken to this fact.Talk about the power of such blindness. Yikes!

      Whenever someone says to me, "Well, you're supposed to do this," or "You should do that," I always come back with "Who says?" especially when I'm not feeling in alignment with what they are telling me.

      Here's to your continued awareness, Andrea. Sending you light and love as you navigate this part of your life.
      Blessings, my friend.
      xoxo
      Penny

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    2. Ah, with hindsight now, that could explain a lot about some of the physical reactions I've had where I've done something because convention dictated it should be so. I've always had a bit of a rebellious streak though! It's kept me sane. Thank you for such a loving, supportive and lengthy reply. Spot on!

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    3. You are welcome, Andrea! Here's to rebellion! ROCK on, my friend!
      xoxo

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