Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Soul Work is Myth Work


In The way of the heart on July 28, 2010 at 6:45 am

Soul work is myth work.
Yeats once wrote that he had a coat made for himself to wear in the storms of our time. He said that this coat was a patchwork of mythologies. By this he meant that he had unravelled the myths of time and sewed them together again in a new individual way that made sense to him and brought him insight into his own personal myth.
Myths are not only those stories about the lives of the gods and goddesses. Each one of you are living your own unique personal myth. You are here to experience a life of mythical proportions.
Myths are archetypal expressions of the soul and psyche. By understanding your personal myth you are closer to understanding yourself.
What is your personal myth? Do you know which myth you are living? Do you know which myth you would like to live? Have you discovered which myth you set yourself to live this lifetime? Are you living Persephone and Demeter? Are you playing at being Apollo or Zeus or are you enacting Hansel and Gretel.?
These great mythical tales of the Gods and Goddesses, the Heroes and the Princesses are archetypal patterns resonating in the depths of our souls. These myths speak to us through our outer dramas and fantasies, whether they are gruesome or beautiful, and I am sure you have experience that they can be both. Each one of these tales have a message to bear : you are both the Hero and The Goddess in your own fairytale. You create your own reality and you have the magic key within to change that reality. You are the scriptwriter and you can change the script!
By forces greater than yourself, sometimes called Fate, you have been put into a script that feels foreign to you. It would appear to you that you had no choice in the matter and that you can only but thank your lucky stars should you find yourself in a good script! You were born to aliens, no-one ever understood you and they always wanted to tell you how you are feeling and how you should feel or not feel and how you should act. Sound familiar?
But this is not completely true – although we do not have control over everything that happens to us, we do have the power of choice as to how to deal with the story that we landed in and how we choose to react. Each one of us is unique and perfect in our imperfection.
As human beings we are both mortal and immortal. We are all living the mythical tale of The Hero and The Goddess. Every day we are challenged by the duality of the Hero and the Goddess. We experience the extreme tension of our dual nature of being both human and divine and we are in reality walking between two worlds. We are torn between the fear of our mortal self and the courage of our immortal soul.
Deep within our souls we are aware of a greater purpose, a greater meaning to our existence and our relationships, a greater sense of acceptance, sharing, love and freedom. This is the Goddess imprisoned within ourselves, locked up behind a fortress of defences, drawbridges against invaders and thorn bushes against any form of intimacy. But how to free this beauty – where to find the magical key. This is the task of The Hero. This is his sacred quest.
The hero is masculine creative nature that creates in the physical world. He is the vehicle through which The Goddess expresses herself.
The Goddess is our all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful, all-loving Self – She is all Life, and represents our feminine self. She is also the one who demands that the hero set out on a journey of discovery and peril!
She is that part of us that can love unconditionally; that can accept oneself and all others and allow them to be who they are and allow them to make their own mistakes and find their own magic! It is that part of us that knows that we are bigger than our greatest fears and insecurities. It is our own Divinity or our Higher Nature or the Angel that lives within each human being.
She is also the innocent free trusting and giving child who has implicit faith in the goodness of all life. The golden magical child who does not expect to be disappointed, who does not understand the meaning of conditionality and who readily forgives.
The Goddess is the one that can grant you your deepest wish. She is the magic within us.
But there is one problem. We are saddled with a WOUNDED HERO. Deep down he knows that he is the guardian and keeper of his Spirit, of his Goddess. He, however, does not know who he is. He has not yet woken up to the fact that she is a part of himself and that her immortality therefore extends to himself. He still believes that he is only a physical being and he pays attention to the fear of his mortal self. As a human being, identifying only with his human-ness, he tries to avoid all pain. He therefore keeps her locked up within his fortress, safe from all painful experiences. What he does not realise is that by keeping her locked up, he is also preventing himself from experiencing her magic and love.
With the result that our souls have become great wastelands – derelict and abandoned. We have lost the magic and love because we are keeping it locked up within ourselves – safe from where it can be taken away from us by others!! We build great walls of macho defenses around us. We declare to the world and to ourselves : I am strong; I am bigger and more scary than you; I do not need anyone’s help. We make very sure that we keep our vulnerability locked up and out of reach of any other human being. But what we forget is that in our vulnerability lies our greatest strength. And that that vulnerability is locked up in everyone else!!! What we forget is that we keep our love locked up within ourselves. Love is not something that you can receive. Love is who you are. Love is the nature of your goddess and she can only express through you. You can only experience love when you give it!!!
So here we all are locked up in fortresses in a barren landscape! And as in the myth of the Fisher King there is a magical question to be asked that will heal the land and that question is ‘WHO AM I?’
Up till now, the hero believes himself to be what everyone has always told him. He might believe that he has his grandmothers eyes, his fathers bad temper, his mother’s martyrdom. He might be believing that he will never have a good relationship, that he is not worthy of having a great career and deep down he might still be fearing the wrath of God!
It is our sacred quest to uncover who we truly! We are not our bodies – we are not our emotions – we are not our belief systems – we are not our values. We have to discover what are my acquired beliefs and what do I really believe. Who I have been told I am and should be is not me.
I am that magical Goddess locked up within as well as the Hero who has to set her free.
So we have to leave that fortress in order to find out who we truly are. We have to start on our journey to discover our talents and our gifts. Unless we do this we will never know how strong we are and how resilient our spirit can be.
Thus the Goddess calls on her Hero to be initiated into his quest for self-knowledge and understanding. She will wait patiently for her hero to understand who he truly is and that realisation and knowledge of Self will be the key that will set her free.
Like all Heroes our hero has to leave the safety of his home, setting off into a strange and scary world.
And you know when you are being called to this inner quest. One morning you wake up and all the magic has gone – the magic has gone out of the relationship or out of life generally!! You realise that you cannot stand your small life any longer. You have this feeling within that you want be free – free from all the mental constraints and little habits that you have aquired to stay safe. You feel as though you want to break out of this prison that your mind has created! This is when your hero starts stirring!! But first of all, before he has even moved into action he has to face two demons and he will face them again and again : LETHARGY AND FEAR!!
That is why we are reluctant to leave our safe space. We wait until we are completely desperate!!! before we activate our hero. Often we wait for the pain to become unbearable and even, sometimes, for death to be knocking on our door, before we agree to the quest.
So you see, this is awesome stuff! This is truly the hero’s quest!
First of all, find the courage to find the hero within yourself – it takes great courage to start the journey of self-realization and self-understanding. Arm yourself with a good sword and a great horse, in other words, arm yourself with knowledge and information and become your own Hero.
Make your spiritual journey and your journey of healing your own sacred quest. Remind yourself often that this is indeed a sacred quest that you are embarking upon and that its rewards are your whole complete Self!!! You will need to remind yourself often!
This quest has however an internal focus as opposed to the external focus of the world.
This quest appears to ask the complete opposite of what the world has taught you : it is a giving up of the doing and the hero has to learn to be. Being is not a luxury; it is a discipline. The hero has to undertake to listen carefully to his inner voice. Being takes courage and demands sacrifice.
This sacred quest also demands from you to say ‘yes!”. “Yes to the challenge, yes to the adventure and yes to change. Saying yes might not be all that easy.
It is as though your saying ‘yes’ activates all the so-called logic and caution in your internal world. It is as though all the alarm bells go off in your mind.
The first half of the hero’s journey was to create a protective strong sense of self, the ego.
Until the day that the Hero gets called to his inner quest, he is involved in an outer quest – that of building a fortress of protection around his true self. You created your strong ego exactly for that reason – in order to protect your soul from the pain of rejection, humiliation, betrayal and abandonment.
In order to keep your soul safe you betrayed, rejected, humiliated and abandoned yourself. You created various masks to fool others and to hide your fear. You became what they wanted you to be to make sure that they do not abandon you. You sacrificed your dreams and you suppressed your feelings till they disappeared. You did all of this to make sure that your Goddess will be safe,
Your voice of reason is hardly going to allow all of this to happen. The voice of reason hides the voice of fear. The ego only has one purpose and that is to keep you safe and prevent you from experiencing pain. In the ego’s eyes it will be plain stupid to let you walk into situations that brought you deep pain previously. Your psyche has a memory like an elephant and it never forgets anything! You might not consciously be remembering a painful event, but every gruesome detail of it is etched into your subconscious and its energy field.
Now, in order to set off on your quest you have to give up your need to control; you have to give up how you ARE; you have to give up trying to manipulate and steering everything and you have to let go of the need to know everything; the need to see the future and you have to trust in magic!! At no point can this be easy or not scary! Plus you get told : step off the cliff and the net will appear. It sounds like utter madness to the voice of reason. Now is the time to throw all reason, logic and caution to the wind!
Now you have to take the leap of faith and step off that cliff.
It is in the periods of being vulnerable that we grow the most. It is in those moments of not knowing, of not having a map or a plan, that we are open to guidance and intervention from the Goddess. We have to live through the chaos and the uncertainty in order to move forward. The sacrifice being called for is the giving up of having all the answers – trusting that the insights and clarity will follow. The challenge is to live with the tension – with the not knowing.
Like the characters in the Wizard of Oz, your hero now has to find his courage, clarity as well as his heart!! This is no small instruction – therefore, at no point in your journey underestimate your challenges!! Acknowledge them for what they are and thereby acknowledge who you are.
Remember, as you start this quest for your own individuality and inner knowing, you are setting about setting yourself free!! This journey is fraught with obstacles and challenges and you will soon find yourself in the midst of a civil war within your own psyche!
You will be challenged by your many inner voices. Throughout life we have taken on feelings and values and beliefs of persons who made an impact on our lives. Not all of these voices serve you any longer. It is the first task of the Hero to identify these voices. See who do they belong to. Maybe a parent, a sixth grade teacher. Do you still think that voice and its beliefs are valid?. ‘Says who?” I ask myself often. Who told me that boys never cry and girls can cry whenever they want? Who told me that money is the root of all evil? Who told me that magic is not real? Who said I cannot sing or I should be afraid of flying?
Decide whether the values and beliefs that you are still clinging on to still serve you. Do you still want those values and beliefs in your life. There is no reason why you have to hang onto them, other than that is what you are choosing. So choose again!! And again!! And again!! You are entitled to change your mind as often as you like! It is often said that the only certainty in life is change! Allow yourself that absolute luxury of changing your mind – it is a sign of growth and maturity!.
You must understand that the Hero in you understands that it is your responsibility to create a psychologically and emotionally safe space in order for the Goddess to express herself. This has always been the intention of the Hero, but what he did not realise was that in his quest for safety he sacrificed his authenticity. Now he has to reclaim his true self. He now has to undo all that has gone before. He has to let go of the masks and the patterns he created in order to keep safe.
But more importantly, he has to prove himself to himself. In order to claim back your Goddess self you have to prove to yourself that you can be trusted with the responsibility of so much power and sensitivity. You have to prove that you will never abandon yourself again – that you will never betray your true self – that you will not allow yourself or anyone else to shame you. You have to truly become your own HERO.
You have to now find your courage and faith
You have to prove your courage by speaking your truth despite your fear of rejection or criticism. Every time you do not express your true feelings because of fear, you are betraying yourself. You are denying a part of yourself the right to exist. You are denying your individuality and uniqueness.
You have to at all times validate yourself and your own worth. I like to ask : WHOSE TEAM ARE YOU PLAYING FOR? You have to become your own greatest fan.
Be fiercely loyal to yourself
Be nurturing and supportive of yourself
You cannot ever betray yourself in order to please or impress another
Do not criticise yourself or anyone else. Remember that they are all on the same quest as you – we all carry the same fears within – we are all experiencing the same tensions and dualities. We are all here to put love back into the world – we do not need to compete with one another.
Express compassion and empathy for yourself and your quest – often!
Give up the need for the validation or acceptance from others
Probably the hardest one to do is :
Stay present with yourself :
In every moment be aware of your feelings and thoughts – irrespective of how scary or painful they are. Do not allow yourself to flee emotionally
Do not allow fear of other’s opinions and judgements chase your spirit away
This is what literally happens. When you abandon yourself, your spirit leaves. When you mentally run away from your painful feelings, you are abandoning yourself. Here you are completely alone, and by your own human mortal self. It takes great courage to stay present with your feelings. They have often been suppressed and repressed for so long that you might not recognise them at first. Also you have repressed them because they were so painful the first time you felt them. Allow yourself to be nurtured and to find your safe space within. This is why Louise Hay says : stop scaring yourself.
Trust and believe in the Divinity of your Goddess
Get to know Her Powers and allow yourself to rely on them.
Trust that your Goddess will reveal herself through your actions
Trust that every decision that do make, every action that you take, are inspired by her.Trust that She is always taking you to a better place. Know that She only has your best interests at heart. Know that she is only Love. Her ways might be mystifying to you and the course that She takes might not always be the road that you would have chosen, but know that you cannot see into the future – you do not know the plan. The plan only wants you to find your magic.
A truly magical life is a sacred marriage between our human self and our Divine SElf.This is within our reach.

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