Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

If we were to summarize the human condition in one word, it might be “hiding”. For it’s the unknown parts of ourselves that have brought us here to this dualistic sphere. For doing this work of healing and returning to God. We were once in union with God and all that is. But during the Fall, we turned away from God and then lost track of the truth of who we are. And now it’s a long uphill battle to get all the way back. To fully see and know ourselves once again. We won’t get there in one lifetime, and certainly not in one weeklong spiritual retreat.

For this transformative work to happen, we have to be motivated to trudge our way back out of the darkness. This is not an easy task, nor a pleasant one. But how many of us are going to tackle a tough job if the alternative—continuing to avoid it—isn’t worse? If our difficulties don’t affect us deeply, we’ll continue to sweep them under the rug. And then go back to watching TV.

So when we arrive on planet Earth, we have papers in one hand that delineate the task we’ve opted to take on in this lifetime. And in the other, we have an inability to remember that this isn’t all of who we are. Not all of our Higher Self incarnates in its full intensity. For if it did, it would continue to outshine the Lower-Self aspects that, until now, we have routinely avoided addressing.

As we’ve already discussed, our parents and life situation have teed up our challenges for us. And we have conveniently packed away all our troubles into our unconscious. Now is the time for the unpacking. We must slowly and meticulously drag out of hiding all the parts of ourselves we deliberately avoid seeing and which have lost their luster.

When we do this, the first thing we sure to bump into will be the outermost layer of our mask: shame. Shame is that crushing and convincing feeling that if the worst of us were to be revealed—and often we mistakenly believe the worst of us is the essence of us—we would just die. Of shame. It’s like a cloaking device that hopes to keep others’ prying eyes from peering behind our mask. And it keeps us equally mired in our strategies of avoiding what’s inside ourselves.

According to the Guide, beings in the Spirit World have a name for planet Earth. It roughly translates into Land of Lack of Awareness.
According to the Guide, beings in the Spirit World have a name for planet Earth. It roughly translates into Land of Lack of Awareness.

According to the Guide, beings in the Spirit World have a name for planet Earth. It roughly translates into Land of Lack of Awareness. It is our resistance to bringing out what lives within our shadow that causes us to suffer, not the darkness itself. The beautiful thing about shame, though, is that once we push our way through it, the lid of shame lifts off. Of course we’ll to need to use discernment to take appropriate risk to reveal ourselves in an appropriate way. A good choice is to do so with people who are also doing this transformative work.

Right here, hidden within this first baby step, is a gift. For if we take such a risk, we will get a glimpse of what it means that “all is one”. By opening up and sharing our pain and struggles with others also consciously walking a spiritual path, we will discover we are not alone. In this way, we can step out of our illusion of separation. We can get a taste of the amazing Oneness woven throughout this planet.

With the Law of Brotherhood and Sisterhood at our back, we can begin to realize that we not all alone in our hurting. And we don’t need to remain alone in our healing. In fact, no one can do this healing work alone. If we open in prayer to inviting in the help our Higher Self, it will meet us. If we ask, we will receive. When we knock, the door opens.

In Jill’s Experience

When I was having my book Spilling the Script translated into Portuguese, and then later into Spanish, I was struck by the word used in those languages for “mask”: máscara. Flashback to a day in college when I was walking to school. And had the frightening realization I had forgotten to put on my mascara. Instantly I had the thought: People won’t be able to see me! All these years later, I am struck by this perfect out-picturing of my inner dilemma: I hide myself behind a mask—my mascara—so I will be seen.

Later in life, after the birth of my first son, I faced the usual challenge of needing to take off the baby-weight I had gained. Working in a new job where I was having a hard time fitting in, I found myself standing in the break room eating a piece of cake. Across my mind flew: If I lose this weight, they won’t be able to see me. And yet I was deeply bothered by being seen with added padding.

For much of my life, I have wanted so much to be seen for my accomplishments. And at the same time, I hide. It was helpful to hear my first Helper say that it’s natural and normal to want recognition for our accomplishments at work. The problem is, we mistakenly believe that’s a place to get love.

In Scott’s Experience

If someone had asked me about “hiding” during college and grad school, or my early work life, or my triathlon years, I would have looked at them a bit askance. Of course I’m not hiding! I covered up my hiding pretty well, including from myself.

I even drew a picture of this many years ago as part of a homework assignment for a Pathwork transformation program weekend. There was a bed with a body-shaped bulge in the blankets and two eyes peering out from the shadow of the covers. The thing is, at the time, I hadn’t gone far enough to describe who was hiding and what that part of me was hiding from. It was just eyes, with the fearful thing not shown in the drawing. That was a hard stage, because fear of the unknown has a way of being unbounded.

In my experience, the hiding peels off in layers, in stages, until eventually you’re free. In one of the latter stages I realized part of me was hiding in plain sight. A young part of me could just freeze, like an animal in the yard, thinking “if I stay still nobody will see me.”

As I worked with this with my Helper, I remembered myself sitting in a particular chair in the lower-level family room of a house I grew up in. My mom was ill with leukemia for many years, but I wasn’t told about her illness. I knew but I didn’t know. Something terrible was hiding in plain sight.

On the surface level everything was suburbia, yet I was keenly aware something unspoken was very wrong in the house. I had the thought, all those years ago, that “if I just stay still, everything will be ok”. I’d unconsciously carried that thought for years, and of course, it doesn’t work very well.

In the end, it was never about what my parents did or didn’t do. My parents were doing the best they could with a very difficult situation. They didn’t cause this original wound in me, but rather they brought it to the surface. It is only through hindsight that I can see how my inner work was out-pictured in what I experienced as a child.

The real gift of this work is completing the process of growing up and finding freedom, in the truest sense. As a result, I can now hold my parents with more compassion too.

Doing the Work : Healing Our Body, Mind & Spirit by Getting to Know the Self

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