Walk Where There Is No Path…

“Don’t go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path…and leave a IMG_1741trail” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hey fellow travelers!  It’s good to be back from what I like to consider a “sabbatical”. I’ve stayed away from blogging and found that I needed to turn within without sharing my insights or experiences.  I wasn’t sure how long it would take to start writing again. It turns out that 3 or so years seems to have been the right amount of time.

As I’ve shared in previous posts, I’m a seeker. A closet mystic. I’m usually looking below the surface of what is happening in my life–and looking for the meaning in it all. (That is, when I’m not examining the psycho-spiritual context of the characters I’m binge watching on tv–:-)   I also tend to cycle through phases of extreme connection to groups and social situations, only to find that I need to disconnect and return back to myself. I need to get back into my own skin and regenerate.  It’s amusing to me that my 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Abrahamson, wrote on my report card that I was a “social butterfly”. And in an interesting synchronicity, I feel I’ve been through a rigorous personal transformation–much like the butterfly goes through. However, unlike a caterpillar, I was somewhat coerced into my cocoon. A few of my friendships were ending, which summoned a sense of surrender in me–along with a painful sense of curiosity that opened up my need for an honest personal inventory.  I wanted to make sure I really owned my shit.

Through the breakdown of these relationships, I discovered that the system through which I was relating to myself and *many* people was essentially broken as well. I needed to find a new way to connect to others that was more aligned with who I am now–instead of relating in the ways I had since I was very young. My patterns then served well as a coping and surviving mechanism, but were crappy ways to now be supported in friendships as an adult.

Btw., as I started to go through these changes, I noticed that a lot of particularly vibrant yellow butterflies seemed to cross my path. A LOT.  As is a common practice for me, I looked up the significance of the butterfly– to confirm that it is a symbolic creature of archetypal transformation. ( I’m super appreciative of the God-sent signs I receive during times such as these–Experience has taught me that when this happens, I’m getting a thumbs up from all my spiritual helpers.)  Anyway, in my searching, I was reminded that the butterfly actually has different DNA than the type it started with as a caterpillar.  I can relate. I feel like I’ve shifted and rearranged much of my own psychic DNA in these last few years.

At this point in my life, the timing called for me to further dig into the patterns I was experiencing in myself, my friendships, and also the dynamics I was participating in on a day to day basis. I wanted to explore this as a “technician of the psyche”. Having trained in the intuitive, healing arts, I’ve been mindful that it’s not my job to enter into the terrain of another person’s psyche (unless I’m working with them)–I’m truly not a voyeur and am not interested in that. I’ve learned that I’m actually impeding another person’s growth if I process or manage their emotions unconsciously–or even consciously. That type of exchange is the height of co-dependency.  And it usually ends badly.  But to be intellectually aware that I wanted healthier reciprocal relationships wasn’t enough. I found myself falling into roles and behaviors that created those situations all over again.

Just to be clear, I’m a people person.  I love a good party! I love hanging out with my girlfriends. I like shooting pool with my husband and our friends every month. I like making conversations with people in the grocery store. (My son actually asked me a few weeks ago if I *really* needed to “make friends” when I pay for my items at the counter. :-)  Actually I kinda do. It’s in my nature and my wiring to want to know more about people in the world. It feeds my soul and makes me feel more connected–especially since I don’t work in a company or office environment.  My work happens at home–and I like it that way.

However, I found myself drawn to a very solitary lifestyle for a period of many months. (Within the context of having a busy family life). I created a self-imposed hermitage and I *liked* it. I studied my teachers’ latest work. I immersed myself in people’s stories and journeys through movies and documentaries. I reflected a lot. I worked out at my gym–but didn’t socialize. I dropped further into my heart and asked questions that I was ready to get answers to. I gained an appreciation for my journey–and saw the grace it was bringing me–Just as I had been inspired by the grace in the stories of the people I learned about.  I got real with myself.

I learned  that I had the tendency to dive into ways of relating that had me (albeit unconsciously) chasing my value by going into “rogue rescuer” mode.  Got a problem?  I can fix that! (Even though it’s not my business to do so).  Something you don’t want to acknowledge but is causing you grief?  I can draw that out and bring it to light. Yay me! (No, that wasn’t any of my business either.)  Need I go on?  I could do that but I think you get the point.  If I’d stuck to that thing I learned in kindergarten : Mind Your OWN Business…Well, I’d have saved myself a lot of suffering. And I learned that my own shame (that “I’m not enough” feeling) was driving it all.

It’s just not my business to get intrenched in situations that bring up other people’s shame or discomfort–because usually, all it does is bring up mine. After all, we live in an insanely shame-driven culture. We’re constantly reminded that we’re not okay–or good enough…UNLESS we do X, Y, or Z to BECOME enough…It becomes a cycle of making other people wrong, so we can be right. The truth is that we’re ALL enough. Every one of us. We’re all doing the best that we can. And each of us needs to come to that conclusion in his or her own time.

And to be clear, I’m checking myself in that regard– It’s always a process. A life choice. I’m not perfect in that, but I do know that I don’t want to make someone else wrong, so I can be right or “okay”.  But before my very painful butterfly-meltdown-process, I’m more than sure that I went there a lot more.

I’ve noticed that it’s so easy to judge people on who we thought they were, (or knew them as), when we were friends with them. Or  when we worked with them, etc.  We don’t give them credit for having possibly changed– or having busted out of their own chrysalis  They could be magnificent butterflies, and yet our lenses still see otherwise.

Sometimes it takes a huge hammer to fall, or the floor to drop out from under us to recognize that the old way of looking at things, people, and life is a bit flawed. At some point, there is that proverbial “end of the road”.  Things need to change so dramatically, that it’s necessary to blaze a trail.

For me– I’ve had to walk away from some friends, and I’ve had friends walk away from me. None of us were wrong. It’s just that we had to follow different paths. My new path has been humbling and sacred and beautiful and painful–along with more things I can list.  I’m very grateful for it. I have so many reflections I want to share about what I know to be helpful in managing difficult transitions–and the self care and self -grounding that is needed during these times of change. I plan to check in on that in my next posts.

For now, I just wanted to get back on this trail with you guys.

We’re all in this thing together. And I’m super grateful for all of you. <3 Thanks for reading! I’m really excited to connect more…(also be sure to check out my fb page–I’ll be adding some content and info regarding my intuitive reading consults…I’m making some changes soon)