so lately i’ve been having these intense reactions to the spiritual milieu. or, at least aspects of it. players in it.
it feels like the spiritual market these days is inundated. so many people with a message, the message. the key to success, to unlocking your heart, to unblocking whatever part of you is that last sticking point to “IT”…your great success…your foothold in the path of “THE” way.
and i am calling bullshit.
and its not because i don’t believe in spiritual progress, or that guidance from those just a little further down the path is helpful, or that more meditation, service, and prayer can be extremely powerful tools.
i am just so over the whole “yeah i was broken and then i did X program and now i am fixed and whole and no longer struggle.”
now, i know these new age gurus are not saying this, exactly. many of the messages i hear absolutely acknowledge that the path itself is “IT,” that this whole thing we call life is a journey, and that there is no arrival point, per se. that there are constant learning and growing opportunities.
but as far as i can tell, their message is one thing, and their perfectly curated social media accounts and impressively succinct sound bites tell another story entirely.
maybe it is just because i, myself, happen to be in the throes of a grade A, incredible hulk style chrysalis decimation, but… i want to hear the gore. i want the war stories. i want to know how even at a decade in to walking this particular path you still struggle. you still have those days where leaving the couch feels impossible, or that trader joe’s being out of frozen mango for your breakfast smoothie can induce an compulsory feeling existential crisis. […or maybe that’s just me?]
look, hope is great. a lean fit body and glistening smile courtesy of green juices and a pleasant disposition are absolutely on my to-do list. but even as i sit here writing this, i had to revise that last sentence that those things are “…absolutely my end goals.” what is with the idea of an end game at all?
everything i have come up against thus far on my own path has showed me that my grandest source of frustration is this idea of completion. arrival point. perfection. a state of ultimate “fixed-ness,” achieved by the most specifically cultivated formula of yoga and meditation, and this book, and that diet, and these crystals and that incense [ugh, and yes even that relationship].
there is no graduation…certainly not in recovery, but i am pretty sure not in life either!
part of what i have been going through myself lately has brought me to this beautiful, miserable, heartbreaking understanding that this one precious life is “IT.” that the joy of being on this planet in this physical form at this point in human history is what its all about. period. its learning, and growing, and living, and loving and screwing up and having bad days and having amazing days and having still more tough days. and that all of these things are OK. because the highs and lows are the formula. hanging in through the ups and downs, riding the wave, seeing yourself through to the other side…that is how we get through to the other side!
recently i was reading a prayer provided by one of those spiritual gangstas i myself follow and i just thought “but did you really do this?!” no, you did not say to yourself these perfectly constructed words in times of struggle with your own body image and that is how you got through to this place of near physical perfection [perfection at least as far as i am concerned!]
sure, i totally buy that prayer and meditation helps…it definitely does for me on all sorts of occasions. but sometimes the solution is saying “ugh, i hate my body today, but i am going to love myself anyway and do the best i can with eating a healthy meal.” OR “i really don’t feel like praying today, and instead i am going to sit here and re-watch season 2 of Grey’s Anatomy because Meredith Grey is my spirit animal, and maybe tomorrow i will write this icky feeling out.” OR, and perhaps more accurately “FUCK THIS.”
at least this is what has been my experience- acknowledging exactly where i am at, however uncomfortable that place may currently be, and allowing. allowing it to be what it is. not trying to figure out what asshole thing i did to get myself here [control freak much?!], or, what it means that i am still pissed, or whyaminotfeelingbetteralreadybecauseididTHEformulathatexperttoldmetodo? and embracing the mess. embracing the awkwardness. high-fiving my little self when she orchestrates a full blown temper tantrum over yet another car repair.
it kills me that so called enlightened ones are hosting retreats in far away lands for thousands of dollars as a way to help those who are struggling, when they themselves likely could not have afforded such fancy getaways at the time that they were struggling!
all i am saying is i am craving a bit more authenticity from the folks who claim to have “been there.” i don’t want to be told that “yeah yeah you are OK except in these ways in which you need to be fixed that my new diet plan is perfectly suited to address.” maybe it is naive of me, but i’d like to argue that good ol’ fashioned human connection, identification, recognition of each others’ humanity…i bet those might be a nice salve on many of our wounds.
hey…maybe that is what i am here for, eh? maybe that is my message, my path, my purpose.
who knows…in the meantime, i’ll keep my fingers crossed for mango chunks.