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What are you afraid of?
Most of us are not fully aware of our fears and how they operate in the background. More than 90 percent of our daily experiences live within our subconscious. This means we are not aware of them. We develop a variety of triggers based on our traumas, fears, beliefs, and emotions accumulated over the years. And these triggers can be the very reason why we don’t choose the spiritual work that would truly help us heal.
And here is why: True spirituality is about self-ownership and self-reliance. It also emphasizes effort and discipline, alongside developing a healthy detachment from all those things that help us feel more comfortable with our inner traumas and difficult mental patterns. Positive affirmations, retreats, workshops, and other things that we do are lovely and helpful, but true spirituality is about something else that goes much deeper. And most of us would rather not have to hear about it.
We need true spiritual teachings and practices to get us out of victimhood, depression, fear, and illusion, but here is the trick. Our victim self—the one that we try to heal—is triggered and afraid of these things. Subconsciously we will reject these things and defend our current position. Our victim self is so busy feeling ashamed, finding excuses and justifications that would not even conceive of doing some of the things real spirituality requires of us.
Our victim self is the little child deeply afraid and ashamed. Depending on our degree of accumulated traumas, pain, and misconceptions, our fear of the inner, shadowy monsters might be far greater than our soul’s desire for change.
When I first started to coach with my spiritual mentor, Shri Krishna Kalesh, any notions of self-empowerment and self-ownership were incredibly scary. Add to that any little discussion of how my actions have consequences, and I was ready for a nice, big chocolate cake and to condemn myself to a lifetime of watching Netflix.
When we don’t trust ourselves or believe that if we try we won’t succeed, real spiritual talk is scary. True spirituality is about us becoming the best biggest, brightest, most empowered versions of ourselves. And just like an athlete wishing to win a gold medal needs to train more and better than other athletes, if we wish to become the best version of ourselves we need to be willing to do more, feel more, and change more. True spirituality is really not for those content with mediocrity.
I don’t remember much from the mandatory religion classes during primary school in Romania, but a few things stuck in my mind. And one of these was something about God urging us to run either hot or cold, but not mild. Whoa! Think about that. The truth is, most of us run mild. I ran mild for quite a long time, preferring safety, security, and the accepted path to my own wild truth. I was successful by society’s standards and found it satisfying that no one could possibly think anything but good thoughts of my standing. But I contended myself with being disempowered even when I was the wisest voice in the room. Most of us have done that or are still doing it. This is the way of the world for the most part.
A true spiritual path is inviting us to embrace discipline, effort, focus, discomfort, pain, and whatever that real divine fire within us will ask us to do. We must be willing to do it all.
It is no wonder then that we have collectively come up with ways around it. Our egos are masters at justifying things that enable our weaknesses and existing tendencies; we are attached to our habits. We are attached to the easier path that gives us immediate comfort and gratification. This is why advertisers have cracked the code on how to sell to the masses—we are all hooked by similar things. We all want the promise of an easy, shiny thing that will make us feel good or transform us overnight.
So chances are that in the online spiritual space, if you see a positive affirmation or something that implies everything will work out beautifully with little work on your part, you will love it. I love it! Yes, please! I used to be addicted to the YouTube intuitive readings that promised something positive right around the corner. Now I know too much to be interested, but they certainly held my interest for some time.
It is scary to think we need to own our actions or that we need to engage in right action, exercise discernment, and be responsible with our thoughts, emotions, and energies. It is preferable to think everything goes and all is well.
We can only transform and evolve when we are willing to honestly look at ourselves. Otherwise we are blindly throwing spaghetti at the wall, hoping something lands. Spirituality can sound woo-woo and out there, but true spirituality has a real method and science to it. If we are willing to do the work, it actually works.
Depending on our past experiences, acknowledging a mistake or a flaw can feel incredibly painful and horrible. My mentor, Shri Krishna Kalesh, masterfully ripped right through my ego until I felt raw and naked. It did feel at times like I might actually die. And while it was incredibly painful to pick through the shame scab and shed light on hidden truths, I never felt more alive and real than when we did this. Finally, I was seen. Finally, I was real. And, importantly, no horrible thing happened; to the contrary, I felt more free, light, and empowered. I am grateful to him for many things, but most importantly for showing me where I was going wrong.
It is a terrible loss when we refuse to give ourselves a chance at true healing and expansion. We continue to live in pain; deep down we do know the truth and we continue to torture ourselves instead of allowing for new doors to open. Just like refusing to go to the doctor does not make us less sick, refusing to look at reality won’t change reality. But many of us have been so hurt or shamed at some point that we are horrified of certain aspects within ourselves and are deeply afraid to accept the responsibility that comes with true power and self-ownership.
For this reason, true spiritual teachings will probably feel triggering to many of us. What do you truly prefer? A universe in which you just do what you do now and the universe surprises you (bang!) with everything you ever desired? Or a universe in which you are responsible for what you get in life? The honest answer to this question will probably illuminate much for you.
And if you do feel resistance and fear as you proceed on your journey, I hope you find a way to listen to the voice of wisdom within so you may become all who you can truly be.