SPIRITUAL JOURNEY/ASCENSION – POSITIVE VERSUS NEGATIVE
I would never have thought about my ‘spiritual journey’ before Rowan’s accident. ‘Spiritual journey’ sounds so pompous; so in-your-face pious. I would never have classed myself as spiritual, mystical. I would never have classed myself as religious, devout. I would never have classed myself as intuitive, insightful.
Life throws you a curved ball and all your previously cosy, contented thoughts and precious insulation suddenly wither and turn into dust. What are you left with? Please believe me you are left with absolutely nothing. You have no cushion to bolster you up whatsoever; you are left in a huge chasm of despair and disbelief and doubt. At this point you can give up completely and retreat into a dark, unforgiving place or get angry and start demanding answers from the Universe, from God, from whoever is responsible for such a callous act as taking away one of the most perfect, breathtakingly beautiful gifts in your life.
When we think of a loss like this, the idea of finding meaning or anything beneficial from it seems completely bizarre. Grief is not an illness to be cured but a natural part of life. A broken heart becomes an open heart and when you understand this, the spiritual journey starts in earnest.
When you start on this journey you are effectively starting on your ascension process; the expedition that leads to enlightenment and full consciousness. There are many, many triggers that can set someone on this journey. Each of us may have a different trigger; maybe a breakup of a relationship, a divorce or, of course, a significant death. Whatever the prompt we suddenly realise that there is more to be found; a drive to expand our awareness. The ascension process sounds wonderfully grand. I had visions of the ascension process allowing me to float my way up to Heaven to live in eternal happiness and peace without ever having to experience pain again – but how would we know what contentment is if we didn’t experience pain and heartache?
Once again your own sense of self-worth and self-love comes into play. Most often in this results-driven world self-worth is judged on what you have achieved, how big your house is and how many cars you have. True self-worth is based on your human qualities. Can you demonstrate humility, love, tolerance, patience, forbearance, compassion, empathy, forgiveness, self-discipline, kindness, charity, mercy to the rest of mankind? Ascension begins when we can consistently show these virtues in our everyday lives. Once again His Holiness the Dalai Lama teaches the world so much, if only we would listen to him.
Along with the building of a feeling of self-worth we need to view the curved ball dealt to us with a different mind-set. I am still telling myself in the mirror every morning that I love myself! I am still practising my reasons for ‘gratitude’ every day (and I’m really grateful to those of you who have been doing this with me). Positive thinking is my latest passion and I am trying affirmations to change my life. Affirmations are statements that reinforce a positive or, for that matter, a negative belief. We need to raise our awareness of the negative ones and gently introduce positive ones into our lives. After a life-changing loss our thinking is usually distorted and we end up repeating very negative affirmations to ourselves; this is so unfair; we didn’t deserve this; I can’t live without him/her; I’ll never be happy again; I can’t go out with friends because they will want me to be happy; must cancel my hair appointment cos I can’t face talking etc etc.
Now, just think for a minute. These negative affirmations are really easy to believe aren’t they? We unconsciously repeat these negative affirmations, being cruel and punishing ourselves over and over. They are untrue but we have no problem in feeling them. We intentionally and determinedly need to change these negative affirmations for positive ones; I will grow from this experience; I release my anger; his soul is free and in a loving place; I am happy with so many wonderful memories; I am grateful for all the beautiful photographs I have; his last year was an awesome year, full of love, fun, happiness and new experiences.
I am repeating these positive affirmations and my head and my heart are most certainly in a different place now to where they were 12 months ago.