Friday, March 21, 2008


Moving forward often demands that we live lost, knowingly surrendering our attachment to who we think we are, voluntarily stumbling around in the dark with little to guide us. Growing is all about leaps into the seeming unknown.

If there was one skill that I could not have done without on the journey of transformation, it was my (learned) capacity to befriend my confusion. As certain parts died, other parts invariably came to life. Before the transition was complete, there was a time, often a long time, when all of these parts were pressing up against me at the same time. In Soulshaping, I refer to this in-between phase as a "spiritual emergingcy"- that state of confusion and inner tumult that arises when a new pathway is forcing its way into consciousness, prior to its full emergence and integration. The bridge from one side to the other is confusion. You have to learn how to hold the space for all of your parts simultaneously and befriend your confusion, until clarity emerges on its own terms.

Unfortunately, befriending our confusion is difficult to hold to in a linear world. Those that walk the path of uncertainty are frequently characterized as flakes, drifters, and, ironically, lost souls. Nowhere in society are we taught to distinguish growth-full from aimless confusion, madness from truth aches, nervous breakdowns from nervous breakthroughs, habitual crisis from spiritual emergingcies. Confusion is sadly stigmatized as the mark of the "loser" without regard for the fact that one cannot come to know anything without first surrendering to the not knowing.

Our state of confusion often arises in the context of careers and relationships: Why do I hate my job? What are my callings? Who do I love? When we begin questioning our choices, many resistant voices float to the surface- the voices of habit and fear, internalized judgments, well-entrenched defenses. These voices reflect the survivalist stage of the collective unconscious and the world. Although progress has been made on many levels, most of us are still making our primary choices as to path through a survivalist lens, with a vigilant eye to what is most practical, safe and materially satisfying.

When we step out of this framework, when we make a move toward a more soul-full idea of success, we are opening the door to confusion, at least at first. The voices of the world arise within us in an effort to sweep away the whispers of a deeper truth. The desire to quit our unfulfilling job and find our callings is met with neurotic images of poverty. The longing to find a genuine soul-mate is overwhelmed with images of eternal aloneness. And then we are confronted with a choice- turn back to familiar harbors, or let the inner battle wage. Play it safe, or see it through...

Seeing it through is no easy feat. You will need support. You will have to be determined. You will need to work hard to identify the voices that are attempting to obstruct your transition. They will come in many difficult and credible forms, often disguised as your friends. You will have to patiently expand your capacity to sit in the 'not knowing' in ways that nobody ever taught you. And you may even have to hold to a state that feels a little mad now and then, as different aspects of your inner world come into conflict. You will have to become an expert at surrender.

But if you can see it all the way through, you will be rewarded. You will know a measure of soul-satisfaction that you will never know on a false path. You will see through different eyes and feel at peace in your soul-skin. You will not have to ask the universe for what you need because the door to humanifestation will open wide as the universe rewards you for your courage. You will know a remarkably enriched reality.

In the words of my dear friend and guide, Little Missy, "Welcome your confusion as a friend who has come from far away to bring you home. Be open to it. Keep it close."

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