Question: Dear Luise: I have been on a serious, spiritual quest for over twenty years. I’ve always had the concept that as I evolve and heal, my difficulties would fade and I would become more and more able to experience peace and joy. That’s not the case because even though I’ve studied various disciplines and approaches, I am still flopping around. Up and then down…clear and then confused. Do you have anything to say about this that might help me? Mike L.
Answer: Dear Mike: A vast and somewhat illusive subject, however, I’ll give it a shot. It is my belief that we are being quite naïve when we have the expectation that we will evolve beyond our own brokenness. I’m sure many will take exception to my view, and that’s fine. I just think that we often misunderstand what a spiritual search is for. We can’t escape life and the situations it brings us, but we can learn to cope. That’s the ticket.
Isn’t self-understanding the aim of most seeking…with self-discovery and self-esteem the ideal? We can tear down walls and discover new tools, but we are still a complex composite of the past and the scars it has left us with.
For me, and that’s the only person I can speak about with any authority, the idea of a totally together, absolutely able, infinitely predictable and successful self has come and gone. I have parts of me that have progressed to a peaceful state and parts of me that are still struggling to find the way and see the light. In my view, that’s par for the course because we are all multi-sided and complex.
Some of us were abused as children and some of us think we were. Some of us have stronger constitutions than others, and some of us have horribly stacked decks. I often marvel at how a small concern can stop one person and yet a huge problem fails to daunt another. The variations seem infinite.
My suggestion is that you use the tools that your search has given you to provide you with new solutions and perspectives. Pass on perfection and when you can, seek to demonstrate in your actions what you believe in your heart. Have compassion for all of it, your whole life experience. Embrace your residual brokenness and celebrate your healings with joy. Blessings, Luise