Recently, I had been going through a small cycle of depression (which is a natural process) and have really been trying to learn to understand when “spirit”, “the universe”, “god”, or whatever-you-want-to-call-it is speaking to me. So this week I had my first spiritual counseling session. I had never had any kind of counseling session. So I didn’t know what to expect. Would there would be a crystal ball, candles, or spirits swirling about the room?
My spiritual counselor was Vickie Spray (learn more about her on her website Your Life Expressions) and I could tell we were on familiar ground for her. She seemed to navigate the inner workings of Kevin better than I could. In hindsight, thinking about this journey we took through some of my spiritual obstacles I realize that working on self-improvement on a deep, spiritual level is much more detailed than I had thought.
In the past it was me criticizing myself, telling myself that “maybe I just suck”.
The way I have come to see it is like looking for gold in an open field. Many of us walk around this field just looking for what gold we can find laying on the surface. Occasionally, we may dig a small divot in the soil with the toe of our shoe just to see if anything pops up, but mostly we just walk along trying not to get distracted. The truth is, the gold that is on the surface was picked up long ago (and probably sold back to us).
The real work is stopping wherever you are and starting to dig. When you think you have dug far enough, dig a little more (in the same spot).
3 Feet To Gold
There is a story of a guy who, during the gold rush, had bought some land and mining equipment in hopes of hitting it big. He dug and dug and dug, but only found bits and pieces. Never the jackpot. Finally, one day he gave up and sold it all. The new owner picked up where the other guy left off and found that the jackpot gold mine was only 3 feet away from where the original owner stopped.
[photo by whiteafrican on Flickr]
All of this is to say…
We reach a point where the only way forward is to stop and take ourselves apart. Dig deep within a single aspect of our character. Then analyze that small aspect to understand where it came from and does it continue to serve us or not.
For me, the aspect we dug in on was my “whip” (as Vickie calls it) or my demon (as I call it). It is my tendency to think “I should be going to the gym”, “I can do better”, etc. There is something inside of me that is never satisfied with my own performance. It took a little digging to find that… mainly because initially (on the surface) that demon camouflages itself as other things hoping I would stop analyzing it and seeing it for what it really is.
This can be uncomfortable and it takes patience, and in my case an objective helper to gently guide me, to keep digging in the same spot.
I feel I have a whole new understanding of what it means to be “working on myself”. In the past it was me criticizing myself, telling myself that “maybe I just suck”. Now, my new understanding tells me that…
The only way forward is by giving myself the “benefit of the doubt” (as Vickie puts it) that “maybe I am awesome… even if I don’t make it to the gym”.