In a previous relationship nearly a decade ago, my then-boyfriend had fallen in love with a younger woman after 5 years of us being together. We had created a home, business and what I thought was a good life together. 

While we figured out our next steps and sorted out our expenses, we remained in the same house, with me moving into the guest room and the new woman occasionally sleeping over with him in the master bedroom, which was once our room and our bed, and now had become their room and their bed. 

(In case you’re wondering, I’ve learned A LOT about setting boundaries since then!)

I tried desperately to survive emotionally, but I was completely crushed. Being the “good spiritual person” that I am and fearing that I might fall back into the dark abyss of depression that had consumed me in my 20s, I struggled to understand, accept and even appreciate the situation while pushing down my growing feelings of anger, resentment and spite toward both of them. 

I reminded myself of all the spiritual truths I know, that we’re all beautiful souls who came here to learn certain lessons and teach each other things, and that everything has a greater purpose for the good of all involved, and that difficult times are really opportunities to evolve and become more of who we came here to be, and that we all willingly and eagerly agree to come here to earth and fulfill our soul contracts….

And because I truly loved my ex, I wanted so desperately to understand him and why he would behave in this way, and I constantly reminded myself of the quote, “forgive them for they know not what they do,” and I searched deep within my heart to find compassion, forgiveness and love for him and his new girlfriend. 

I thought I was doing okay, even though it was a constant, daily struggle. I thought I was being a good, responsible spiritual person by trying to see the light in the darkness and trying to beam love toward them, rather than anger. 

But then I got an email from my dad saying he had leukemia and might die soon.

And that’s when I collapsed, under the pressure of all the pretenses I’d been living, adding my dad’s impending death knocked me over the tipping point. 

That’s when I became a REAL person, not someone who pretended to be a good spiritual person and tried to see the light in all things, but someone whose life was truly a mess and someone who finally gave herself permission to hate, to lash out in anger, to crumble onto the floor and wail at the top of my lungs, to be completely and utterly AUTHENTIC to myself and my feelings – in the moment – with absolute reckless abandon, no matter how ugly. 

That’s when I learned the power of being me, fully, exactly where I was in the moment, “unspiritual” feelings and all. 

I’ve since learned the higher purpose behind this experience and have found the beautiful, light, loving place in me for my ex and his then-lover, but it took some growing up on my part to come to this peaceful place, which I truly believe was helped by my full acceptance of where I was at the time… as well as the surrender to it.

 

What It Means To Be True & Authentic To Yourself 

 

Have you ever had these thoughts:

“It’s SO HARD to be spiritually aligned all the time! I’m TRYING to emit love, light and compassion toward my partner and kids but they’re driving me absolutely nuts! I’m overwhelmed, overloaded and I just want to SCREAM!”

Sound familiar? 

How about this…

“Every time I feel this way, I try to meditate, envision the light and remember that we’re all evolving souls and I try to witness it and think positive thoughts but I’m so totally exhausted… and to be completely and brutally honest, sometimes I have really bad thoughts about my family and that feels MORE REAL to me than the light.”  

Aaaaaah…. Honesty. 

{Deep sigh of relief}

Whether it’s the people or the circumstances in your life … if having snarky, angry, unkind or negative thoughts and feelings about them feels more honest and authentic than the positive thoughts you’re trying to muster up, admitting and allowing this is the beginning of shifting it, and the first step in embracing exactly who we are and where we are in our evolutionary journey. 

I’ve been doing 1 on 1 private coaching during this COVID-19 shift and some deep, hard-core stuff has been rising up in my clients. We work together internally as well as externally, meaning, I teach them tools to help dissolve the tight, dense heaviness of their intense emotions and transmute them to lighter, freer, more peaceful energy (internal), while giving them practical ways to deal with the challenges they’re facing in their everyday lives around relationships, career, finances, etc, (external) that may be triggering the emotions.

In this intense time of lockdown, like many with spouses and children at home, one of my client’s feels trapped in someone else’s energy all day, every day. She’s absorbing their energy and feels a growing resentment toward them as well as anger and helplessness toward the world for being in its current COVID state. Every time her husband walks by or says something, no matter how casual, she feels a tightness in her gut and wants to yell at him to shut up, go away and leave her alone. But instead of voicing what’s on her mind, she begins to visualize herself on a deserted beach, completely alone, basking in the quiet, soothing sounds of waves and birds. 

This visualization works sometimes. 

And other times, not so much.

It’s in those other-not-so-much-times that she struggles to regain her sense of center, emotional strength and broader perspective, and grasps frantically at anything that will help her come back to a place of love and acceptance. She tries her hardest to “zap” the dense energy away with light beams, love rays, affirmations, visualizations, meditations and every other technique in her spiritual armory. In exasperation, she asks me, “What else can I try,” desperate to find that one magic trick that will prevent her from succumbing to the darkness.

And so, if there were a magic trick, it would be this: 

Sometimes the most spiritually aligned action is to dive fully into the darkness.

I learned this from my moment of collapse when I finally surrendered to being fully me, exactly as I was in that moment. Not love and light and my idea of spiritually evolved, but instead, messy, dark, ugly, angry, broken.  

It’s a lot of work to be something you’re not. 

It’s a lot of work to feel something you don’t.

It’s a lot of work to change something that isn’t. 

No wonder we’re exhausted.

We have a vision of what it looks like to be “a spiritual person”. We’re constantly told we should try to think positive thoughts, have love and compassion toward others, and never harbor hatred, resentment, anger, spite or any of the so-called “darker” emotions. When we do, we feel weak, unevolved and ashamed. We tell ourselves we should know better, do better and be better. After all, we’ve spent a lifetime working so damn hard on ourselves and have read all the books and taken all the courses.  

Yet, our idea of what a spiritual person looks like is NOT what a spiritual person really looks like.

A spiritual person looks like you. 

And me. 

And the person in your house who’s driving you bat-crazy.

“Well, Tree,” you might argue, “I don’t want to be THAT kind of a spiritual person. I know we’re all spiritual beings having human experiences. But I want to be the kind of spiritual person who lives in love, light and pixie dust all the time, and doesn’t get bothered by anything (or anyone) that happens to them!” 

And I ask, “so are you there yet?”

“Well, no. But I should be there!”

And therein lies the problem. 

It’s a lot of work to be somewhere you’re not. 

It doesn’t mean you won’t get there one day, it just means BE FULLY PRESENT where you are right now, no matter where you find yourself in your spiritual journey. It’s okay to keep the end goal in mind, if that’s what you dream for yourself, but live in and fully embrace the NOW while moving toward the future.  

If where you find yourself now is in an anxious moment of wanting to find a small, dark hole to hide in, away from the noisy energy of your spouse and kids, and thinking horrible thoughts about them, BE FULLY PRESENT in that moment. ACCEPT that this is where you are right now. It doesn’t mean you’ll be here forever, it just means you’re here now. In this moment. And this moment, like all moments, too shall pass.

 

How To Accept Where You Are

 

A simple way to accept where you are, especially during a difficult moment, is to take a deep breath, relax your shoulders, and repeat the mantra, “This is where I am. And that’s okay.”  You might find yourself wandering off into a mental internal dialogue that goes something like this:

“This is where I am. And that’s okay. Ugh. This is where I am. It sucks, dammit. I hate where I am. It friggin’ hurts. I should know better. But this is where I am. And I guess that has to be okay. It sure doesn’t feel okay. But this is where I am. I don’t want to be here. And that’s okay. I hate my family. That’s an awful thought. I can’t believe that’s how I feel right now. I love them, I just can’t stand them right now. This is where I am. And that’s okay. Hating my family right now is okay. I’m so ashamed to even be here right now. This is where I am. And that’s okay. I can love myself where I am, even if I’m mad at myself. This is where I am. And that’s okay.”

You could think this out, write it out, sing it out or feel it out. The idea is to GET it out. No matter what other words come up, intermittently throw in the mantra, “This is where I am. And that’s okay.”

If you know Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT, aka tapping) or Ho’oponopono, throw one of those into the mix as well. Click here to watch a short video about EFT and how to tap. And here’s an explainer video on Ho’oponopono, below. This is part of my 7 Day Self-Love Challenge for Sensitive Souls but you can watch it free here. 

 

 

It’s not about desperately grasping for spiritual tools to change where we are, it’s about practicing acceptance of where we are and self-love by utilizing the spiritual tools we know. 

The energetic difference of each intent is drastic and makes all the difference. 

Don’t use your spiritual practices as cloaks to disguise your true feelings in the moment. 

 

Are You Spiritually Unworthy?

 

Often, we spiritual students use spiritual ideals as yet another reason why we’re unworthy. It’s bad enough that we don’t feel good enough in the outside world, we also tell ourselves we’re not good enough in the inner, spiritual world. We don’t fit society’s ideals of “good enough” and we create spiritual ideals of “good enough” that we don’t fit either.

We expect ourselves to be loving all the time, happy all the time, centered all the time, and when we’re not, we feel bad, guilty, weak, ashamed. “That’s crazy,” you might be thinking, “I know I can’t be all that all the time.” Sounds irrational, but this is often an unconscious expectation. If you don’t think this is true, the next time you’re not being loving, happy or centered, pay attention to the thoughts and feelings that arise within you. There will either be a negative beratement or judgement of yourself or an attempt to change how you feel or both. 

Holding yourself to an unrealistic standard adds a layer of pain onto the pain you’re already feeling from not being loving, happy or centered. 

Trying to be a good, worthy spiritual person is a form of control. It’s yet another way we grasp for a sense of control in our lives. Believe it or not, constantly struggling with our sense of self-worth is also a form of control.

If we are constantly searching for happiness, worthiness, spiritual growth or anything, at least we’re doing something, and in that doing, we feel like we have a sense of control. And this sense of control distracts us from the truth of our being. 

Give yourself a break. 

Go easy on yourself.

Let go of control and surrender.

This is where you are.

And it’s okay.