A Map for When We Feel Lost
At one time or another, most of us have felt lost. What do we do then? Typically, we try harder. But too often, we only become more mired in darkness. What we’re really missing is our own inner light. And what we need to help find it—to find yourself, really—is a map. Here then, is a simple map showing the basic lay of the land of the human psyche.
You’ll notice its basic shape is a mandala. In general, a mandala represents a spiritual journey. Starting from the outside, we travel through the layers to reach the inner core. Of course, there as many mandala designs as there are people. So in a sense, we are each a unique colorful mandala, created with a very specific design. Yet in the end, we are all alike in that we are making the same journey inward.
And where are we all heading? What’s the destination? To find the light at our center of our soul. This is the human journey, created by the human condition. In other words, our goal is to reach our core and let our particular light shine. Some traditions call this reaching for enlightenment. But to get there, we’ll need to overcome a few obstacles along the way. Let’s look at what’s standing between us and our own inner light.
Finding Our Inner Light
Our own inner light is the part of ourselves we want to wake up to, like internal sunshine. This is our Higher Self, and no matter how much darkness surrounds us, it hasn’t gone anywhere. For an inner light burns at the heart of every soul, forever and always. It never goes away.
This Higher Self of every human being is built upon a divine triad of love, power and serenity. In addition, the Higher Self holds every positive divine quality that exists. That said, we each have certain aspects we’re here to embody. The list includes things like trust, faith, clarity, creativity, hope, compassion, honesty, harmony, prudence, courage, discipline, diligence, reliability, justice, fortitude, humor, joy, humility, kindness, wisdom, patience and generosity, to name a few. (Bones podcast, Chapter 7: Love, Power and Serenity in Divinity or in Distortion)
When we are centered in our Higher Self, we are at peace within. And only when we are at peace within can we be in harmony with others. For then unity, or union, is what reigns. After all, all our Higher Selves are already all connected. We share the same light. It’s our egos making us think we are each little islands.
The human condition is that for each of us, our inner light has become blocked.
The human condition is that for each and every one of us, somehow our inner light has become blocked, or covered over. This is the true root cause of any darkness and discord surrounding us. Whatever is out there in the world, is always just a reflection of what’s inside.
Of course, everyone shines at least a little light, at least some of the time. If that weren’t the case, we wouldn’t be ready to visit this dimension. We also wouldn’t be able to transform the negativity that’s the basis of our Lower Self. For cleaning up our Lower Self is always an act of our Higher Self. Indeed, at our core, everyone’s deepest desire is to live in a light-filled world, to not feel lost. This is true, even when we behave differently on the surface.
This Difficult Dimension of Duality
What exactly is this dimension we are in? It’s the dimension of duality. On this plane of existence, which we call planet Earth, there is good and there is bad. The good emanates from our inner divinity, or Higher Self. The bad comes from our Lower Self. Both of these aspects are real, but only the good goes on forever. The bad creates hardships and crises that always bring us pain.
So while some of us may be willing to hit our knees and pray, it’s our Lower Self that really brings everyone to their knees. The good news is that we each have free will. So it’s our choice how long we want to keep living from our Lower Self and therefore living in pain.
All negativity, including pain, originated from the Fall, which is explained in Holy Moly: The Story of Duality, Darkness and a Daring Rescue. This book is a collection of the Pathwork Guide’s teachings about how we arrived here, on this journey to get back home.
Understanding how and why we arrived here can help us understand why we must now do the painstaking work needed to find our true selves. That’s the part we’ve lost sight of. But what really matters is that we are here now. And along the way, we have twisted our positive qualities into their negative opposite. No one did this for us, or to us. We did this ourselves using our free will.
The Lower Self brings everyone to their knees
Our work of finding ourselves, then, is all about unraveling our twisted inner wiring. We must find our original face. For it’s our inner distortions creating the blocks that cover our inner light. This is what keeps us from living in peace.
Now, of course, disharmony will continue to exist for as long as there are people. For people are nothing other than spiritual beings who have incarnated here because duality is a match for their inner make-up. We are all part good and part bad.
But if we do our work of healing, we can find a way to unwind our Lower Self ways and live more and more from our Higher Selves. We can learn how to make peace with this world. We don’t have to stay lost.
Waking Up Our Egos
The part of ourselves that must wake up and spearhead the work of healing is our ego. This is the part of ourselves we have direct access to. But too often, our egos are asleep at the wheel. What’s more, it takes a certain amount of ego strength to tackle the task of spiritual healing.
So, at the level of our ego, we must first learn how to walk straight in the world. We must learn to handle our day-to-day affairs and create a stable life situation for ourselves. Then, when we are ready to do this spiritual healing work, our ego must start to pay attention to our daily disharmonies. Our goal is to discover their roots inside ourselves, for that is where we can transform them.
Make no mistake, if we are experiencing disharmony in our life, we can be sure we have hidden Lower Self material we must unearth. For it’s always our own inner distortions and misunderstandings that draw problems to us. But before we can uncover these, we’ll need to face a few other obstacles. The first of these will most likely be the feeling of shame.
Facing Shame and Peeling Away Perfection
Shame is the word we use to describe the unpleasant feeling of wanting to hide our badness from others. Because we believe our bad aspects are the truth of who we are. What we’ll discover is that if we take the risk of exposing what we feel is so shameful—doing so appropriately with people who are able to witness our journey—the shame will lift off.
We’ll come to realize the truth, which is that everyone here on planet Earth has bad parts. For this is the human condition. And the human journey is all about finding them, facing them, and transforming them. For everything that’s bad was originally something good. In other words, all negativities can be restored to their original positive form. (Living Light, Chapter 14: SHAME | The Right and Wrong Kind)
Next, we’ll need to work to become vulnerable, letting people see us—including letting us see our own selves—even if at first what we’ll find are our Lower Self faults. But again, our faults are nothing more than aspects we are here to convert back to their underlying goodness. We can even consider asking our close friends or family members to help us see our faults, so we can work with them. (Trust me, they already see them, and might appreciate a chance to help us see them as well.) (Bones podcast, Chapter 12 Finding Out the Truth about Ourselves, Including Our Faults)
Everything that’s bad was originally something good.
To get to these darker, denser Lower-Self layers, we’ll also need to see how pretending to be perfect is actually part of the problem. The root of perfectionism stems from our desire to be approved of and loved. Our mistaken belief is that if we’re perfect, then we’ll have everything. In truth, it never works that way.
First, on this dualistic plane, perfection doesn’t exist. Remember, good is always a package deal with bad. Second, what we’ll learn is that being vulnerable and real will take us much further on our path. Trying to be perfect will only keep us chasing our tail. And judging ourselves for our imperfections only hampers our progress. (Pearls podcast, Chapter 9: Why Flubbing on Perfection is the Way to Find Joy)
Boulders Along the Path
One of the other early obstacles we’ll need to tackle is our defenses. The Guide sometimes calls these our masks. As we explore the Higher Self qualities of love, power and serenity, we’ll find we each have a personal favorite. And based on this, we’ve developed a particular way—using submission, aggression or withdrawal—to defend against pain. In all honesty, none of these strategies work, and all of them actually bring us more pain.
Knowing this, we might be inspired to sort out which ones we use the most, and start to dismantle them. For unless we drop our defenses, we’ll never get to the real work of transforming our Lower Self. (Bones podcast, Chapter 4: Three Basic Personality Types: Reason, Will and Emotion)
Arriving At the Grand Canyon
The Lower Self is truly a grand canyon that works to separate us from our true essence. The fact we each have such a hole in our soul—what the Pathwork Guide refers to as our soul dent—is the reason we incarnate as human beings, in the first place. Without exception, none of us are born without having some work to do.
Even highly advanced souls will bring some twisted bit of wiring with them, if for no other reason than to help the rest of us. For the more we each do our own work of healing—the more we untangle our inner knots of discontent and confusion—the more we are helping each other. For clarity is a phenomenon that can spread, in much the same way lies and confusion send out ripples.
Our soul dent is the reason we incarnate as human beings.
In very simple terms, the Lower Self is made up of fragments comprised of frozen blocks of energy linked with misunderstandings. The frozen energy blocks stop life from flowing smoothly. And our wrong conclusions pin them in place by seeming to justify our stance of resistance. But our mistaken beliefs about life are, quite obviously, not in truth. (Bones podcast, Chapter 9: Images and the Deep, Deep Damage They Do)
In fact, if our psyches were completely infused with truth, then we would all be living in peace. All disharmonies, then, indicate an area that needs sorting and straightening out. We will know we have unwound the entire knot and found the full truth when we feel at peace.
The seeds of these distortions always stem from our childhood experiences. In reality though, they seldom originate there. If they did, we would unwind them rather quickly. Instead, we’ve carried them with us from previous lifetimes in which we left the world without fully facing our Lower Self. The longer this goes on, the more entangled our psyche becomes, and the more lost we feel. Perhaps it’s time to get out a map and figure out how to get back on track.
Borrowing Someone Else’s Light
As clever, resilient, creative and bright as our Higher Self may be, that’s how good our Lower Self can also be. So don’t kid yourself, the Lower Self won’t give itself up easily. We’re going to need to arm ourselves with new tools, and new maps. For even if we’re only lost a little, it casts a shadow over our whole lives. So it pays to find a good source for navigation, and possibly to hire a good guide.
Consider exploring these teachings from the Pathwork Guide. On Phoenesse, I’ve rewritten and organized them for easier access. (View which teachings are in which books.) But the original teachings can also be read online for free at www.pathwork.org. Viewing these teachings through the lens of the Q&As is another free avenue to investigate: www.theguidespeaks.com.
Also consider working with someone who has gone through this territory before. A trained therapist, counselor or spiritual healer can help to stay on course. For as we are just starting out, we may not be able to hear the wisdom and guidance arising from our own inner self. The good news is there are people who can guide us until we are able to find and follow our own intuitive connection.
Living In the Land of Hiding
In one of the Q&As, the Pathwork Guide revealed that the Spirit World has a name for this dualistic dimension. It roughly translates to “Land of Lack of Awareness.” All of us are blind to certain things. And the thing we are most unaware of is the landscape of our own inner selves. That’s why we’ve lost ourselves.
For one thing, we often don’t know the true depth of our magnificent Higher Self. So we don’t deeply know how much we each matter. We don’t yet realize our positive essential qualities, and may still be acting them out in a distorted way. Further, we don’t yet see that we have everything we need, deep inside. That we’re enough.
We can’t see and know all this because our light has gotten locked away behind a self-created inner wall of darkness. And this—our own inner negativity—is what we’ve been working so hard to hide. Our hiding though, only compounds our pain, as we blindly cast our darkness onto others. We then claim, “I’m a victim!” when it bounces back on us. And we go on to blame the world for all our struggles.
We have everything we need, deep inside.
Whenever we reject certain people, places and things outside ourselves, it’s a reflection of how we reject something within. Something untruthful sits rotting in our psyche, and we are choosing to ignore it. As such, we remain unaware of it. For until we do the work of uncovering and transforming our Lower Self habits, behaviors and intentions, we don’t even realize what we are hiding.
Until, that is, we start to notice how we’re behaving in the world. Then we have a key we can use to start turning things around. Once we become aware that we are the real source of our difficulties, we can learn to navigate life another way.
We all have work to do, folks. In this, none of us are alone. Let’s look at this map together. It’s time we figure it out. We don’t need to feel lost any longer.
Guidance for Getting Started:
Let us all become very still, and I will say the words, and inside of you try to go along with these words: “Be still and know I am God, the ultimate power. Listen to this power within, to this presence and to these intentions. I am God, everyone is God. God is all, in everything that lives and moves, that breathes and knows, that feels and is.
God in me has the power to make the separated little ego know the ultimate power to integrate this ego. I have the possibility to feel all my feelings—to deal with and handle all my feelings. This possibility is there in me, and I know this potentiality can be realized the moment I know it. And I now choose to know I can be alive; Yes, I have the strength to be weak and vulnerable.
I can accept my numbness now, my insecurities, my feeling state and my nonfeeling state. And I can listen into this state and wait. I can be still and feel into me. Also, I can be still and hear my superior intelligence, the God intelligence, instruct me. If I try, I can establish this contact.
I will pay the price by giving the best I have and am to life. I will live my life honestly in wanting to give the best. For then I will be able to receive the best without cringing. I do not fear to invest the best of myself into life.”
–The Pathwork Guide