Mantras, Platitudes, Transcendence & How to ACTUALLY Have the Life you Want
Updated: Jun 26, 2019
In the world of personal growth, spiritual enlightenment, yoga and most recently, the body positivity movement, I see so much talk about loving oneself, accepting who we are, about peace and compassion, about oneness and understanding. But I also see so much pain, self abuse, criticism, competition and avoidance of the dark, murky uncomfortable places that aren’t happy, cheerful and full of light it kinda makes me wanna pull my hair out.
There is a different way. A way where you don't have to denounce an entire part of human experience, scrub out the parts that society has told us we shouldn't have or ignore the parts of you that aren't perfectly polished and highlight reel worthy.
I don’t see many doing the lived, embodied expression of this kind of full embrace. Yes this is a generalization, because no doubt there are MANY who HAVE embodied these sentiments and found deep healing, self acceptance and inner peace. And there are just as many more who haven’t, but cling to these transcend and avoid mantras while internally suffering like a mo-fo.
I encounter this in clients all the time. “I just need to love myself as I am” or “all bodies are beautiful” or “your beauty is more than how you look.” Meanwhile they secretly cling to the desperation of losing 15 pounds and indulging their vain ego.
I know because I was one of them.
Transcendence, I hear. Let us transcend all that keeps us stuck, that binds us to our egoic concerns, that keeps us separate and disconnected. Transcend and remember that love is all you are. Love is all there is. We are one. You are perfect just as you are.
Uh-huh. I tried that. I still longed for a smaller waist and thinner thighs.
So my friends, I wonder, if we are here as spiritual beings having a human experience, what of your human experience is there to transcend? Is our work here not to root firmly into this human vessel we’ve been given and to feel, experience and be dragged through the muck just as equally as we soar with ecstasy? To live a life that touches the fullness that this world has to offer, allowing ourselves the opportunity to squeeze the juice out each experience so that you can really, truly have the vast spiritual human experience you are here to have?
Are we not meant to feel the discomfort, the egoic turmoil and learn to work with it, to make friends with it, to come into relationship with it so that we have choice, where we don’t have to transcend it or fear it but so that we have the tools to work with it, with the compassion, truth and love we so wish to embody and exude in this world?
As Jung says, "There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
It leads me to wonder, if it is greater consciousness we seek, why are we trying to transcend? What if we feel, acknowledge and experience the whole ride of human life and then perhaps, with the lessons we learn, we continue to evolve and shift and change our egoic nature, not because it is bad or wrong or something to transcend, but because we have built such a strong relationship with ourselves that we know the room of our ego so well, we can make a conscious choice of how to act in the moment rather than avoidance through love and light transcendence?
If you loathe your body and feel a ton of shame, don’t escape into quick fixes of diets and exercise routines or platitudes like “all bodies deserve love” or “all women are beautiful.” like DUH. Of course they are. But that doesn’t take your own pain and suffering away. That pain and suffering stick around because they are begging you to do the thing you haven’t yet done.
FEEL. Feel it all the way through. Don’t feel it for a second and run. No change happens like that.
Don’t yet again, leave yourself for a faux solution outside of yourself. You’ve been leaving yourself overtime you binge, diet and shame yourself, maybe you could try something different this time?
When you are heartbroken and hurt, feel it. Don’t escape into “I know this is happening for a reason.” Of course it is. And that doesn’t take away from the fact that you are in pain right now. And that pain is good, right and natural. Just like you didn’t do anything for it to come on, you don’t have to do anything to get it to go away. you simply let it move through you.
You are a a part of the natural world. We don’t do anything to get the seasons to change, you don’t have to do anything to have your feelings change. Let yourself have the human experience your soul came here to have. Savor every delicious morsel of it. Because it really is the best thing going.
As Rumi said,
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.