Marcel Proust once wrote: "We don't receive wisdom. We must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us."
DRAT! Wouldn't you know it? Whether it's my karma, a certain hard-headedness, or just being a gal who doesn't always learn her lessons...it's sometimes painful that I have to go solo down this road called life.
I hate it when I bump up against the same stuff again and again. Jeffrey, my shrink of long ago -- as well as every spiritual book I've ever read -- would call it either repeating my dysfunctional patterns OR that I'm creating my own experiences -- all of my happy times as well as my woes, tribulations, dramas, troubles, and challenges are strictly a reflection of my thinking and are also for my higher good. DOUBLE DRAT!!
I believe that Proust says it very well in the above quote...we really do have to "go it alone" when it comes to our own emotional and spiritual development!
Igor, a very wise friend of mine, wrote to me after I came out of my recent depression, and I quote:
"It must be part of that cross that each of us are destined to bear while seeking that closer bond with our Divine Creator. I'm convinced that the more purposely we strive to establish this sacred bond, the more severely we are likely to be tested upon the spiritual testing ground called Earth."
I love that thought - makes me feel hopeful that all is not for naught...although it does pop me right out of humility and the "right sizedness" that the Twelve Step people keep talking about.
So I can feel "less than" because of the negative thoughts I'm having that create the myriad of tough times and painful dramas I've had in this life (no more than the Average Joe, I have to admit) OR I can feel proud of them, wearing my suffering as a badge of honor. Probably neither approach is getting me "closer to that bond with our Divine Creator" as Igor says so poetically.
The first spiritual book I ever read was Louise Hay's You Can Heal Your Life. I must admit, it's pretty simply written, but I recommend it as a"must read" for anybody on a spiritual growth path. In my case, it practically fell on my head at The Bodhi Tree Spiritual Book Store in Los Angeles when I was looking for something to read on a plane ride home to Boston, where I lived at the time.
I cried like a baby during the enire flight as I was reading, managing to completely finish the book in one sitting. And these were tears of joy rather than sorrow...absolutely everything in that simple book resonated with me as true. The only other readings I have felt this way about are: ACourse in Miracles and The Science of Mind writings and philosophy founded by Ernest Holmes.
Back to my "over the top" reaction to Louise Hay's words of wisdom: it all started with her claim in the first chapter of the book that we pick our parents in this lifetime in order to learn some of our lessons. Sounded right to me BUT that's still a bitter pill for many of us to swallow!
Don't get me wrong...I, in fact, adored my parents! But my father died a difficult death from cancer at the age of 47, when I was 14, my sister 18, one of my brother's 5 and the other 1.
So...you're telling me I really selected this particularly painful and tragic childhood experience as part of my spiritual path?! Chris Griscom -- another spiritual teacher I love, and even visited at her Center in Galisteo, New Mexico -- says many of us are experiencing the death of a parent or a family divorce to learn how to father/mother ourselves. Another difficult concept to absorb, but probably true.
All in all, I guess it's not such a bad deal: we're all doing our best to navigate through this experience called Earth Life and, let us not forget.. amidst a great deal of laughing, smiling, loving, dancing, forgiving, and commiserating wth each other along the way.
Bill Wilson said the overriding goal is to: "Trudge the Road to a Happy Destiny" and, in my opinion, that actually doesn't sound like such a bad deal after all, don't you agree?!