Alexander Shaia and Rob Bell talked about the El Camino and the Journey; the Way, and how there is no preparation for life after the life/soul changing hike. I feel the exact same way about breaking out of denial.
It all sounds wonderful and maybe even kind; but the re-entrance and living with the new self is often quite alarming.
You will be required to think about life and the choices you want to make. You are no longer on the wheel of knowing and living in automation...as the only self you knew prior.
A new awareness of who you are has arisen.
A conscious self who feels we are co-creators and what we say and do matter in the making us Us.
It is vital and very discerning to see how each thing we say and do adds a layer upon our Self. Actions are no longer just things; but who we are.
This integration of a new self in an old life often makes folks head back to the El Camino.
What happens though when The Way was to become aware of abuse?
Where can you pack up and go back to?
I believe I was unaware I was on a path or journey or a thing called The Way as I explored and questioned and read new authors who saw life in a new way. I didn't realize I was traversing towards a new self...or even leaving denial.
I was just no longer happy with the dead church. It lay uninspired and more about fear than living. More about death than living. More about following than being. More about after death than before death. More about wiping away reality, than reality.
What I didn't know, is that I was starting to go deeper into life. Leaving the surface and the usual rhetoric. The shallow self was slowly growing smaller and a new wider deeper version of me was sprouting.
When I look back at the day I found out who my father was, it was a day of reckoning with the truth. It was a pivotal moment on The Way.
From that point on, I could not Not know.
It was the turning point of no returning.
What I have failed to consider is that very few, if any in my family were on a similar path; that the language I speak is foreign to them. My experiences is not theirs.
Even if they could try and understand, it would be from the shallow level.
When I lived in the shallows; I wasn't even aware of the deeps.
Let alone did I have any desire, intention or need to converse with people who dwelled in the deeper levels of life.
What amazes me, is how I forget to remember where I was, how I was or what I only cared about.
My language and experience of my mental break down into reality, is beyond what their language can hold.
It is like I am an alien...but familiar.
Ambiguity arises again.
And I am expecting them to understand me, without taking their own journey into the deep level of the soul. Impossible.
They also spoke about "openings" on The Way. How we can sometimes miss the opportunity to go deeper into ourselves for a variety of reasons.
We can't know when those openings will arise; but they will. We do however have the free will to pass and stay shallow.
Oh, and today, I heard today with Rob Bell, "All systems bend toward self-preservation."
That groups will lean toward what is good for the group. I am so an example of that.
In my experience, the family's preservation had them seeing me as wrong...to preserve the family.
It isn't all to blame on my changing, but their need to preserve the family at all costs (mainly me) matters more. I am by far secondary and much lower on the totem pole in their hierarchy of needs.
A sentiment was written to me, "Life is short, my prayer is that someday you will be back in our lives."
This sentence is an act to control me. To reign me in, to get me back in line within the family.
What I marvel about, is that most who have spoken to me, speak from the level of the group and not as an individual. Our individual relationship is non-existent. "In our lives" is different, than in my life.
It is good to know, that the nature of systems is to bend towards self-preservation. It isn't personal. A family group is doing what systems naturally do.
I too used to see the family as one lump...and each of us had a role, and responsibility, in keeping our family together.
My opening to a deeper self had me glimpsing at the truth that lay beneath our family. It was the most critical part on my journey. Had I missed this opening, I would not be who I am today.
While the journey has been one of a million sorrows, it has also been brilliantly orchestrated and wildly full of free will...and the journey of self-love.
I hope to one day walk this El Camino, a narrow stretch of land, whose reputation is that it opens you to your soul...or a deeper level of life. A journey that changes how you see yourself in the world.
I love how we are asked to change ourselves and not the world around us. But, for us to see it as it is.
One more thing. I have seen often on Facebook, "I hope something good happens to you today", or "Something good is on its way to you soon" etc.
What this does is leave you out of today. It keeps you hoping for 'something' coming. It doesn't say, look around your path today. Look beneath your feet, in the space where your breath is for something good. Find the gold today. Find your happiness and joy here. You can do it. It isn't coming on a whim in some distant future brought by some unknown thing.
It is here Now.
It is already here.
Look and see what wonder your journey holds today.
The journey is unfolding each day, see the sights it offers.
You don't need to go to the El Camino, The Way is living now...and loving what is.
PS - I listened today to a delightful Rabbi. She was a guest on Rob Bell's podcast, Rabbi Sharon Brous. Even if you are not interested in religion, she has a wonderful life story and a great wish for humanity.