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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Hitting the Wall

There are moments along the spiritual journey when you feel you've hit an absolute wall,  you're certain you can go no further, and that perhaps your journey so far has been in vain.  It's that moment when your energy reserves are non-existent, and you are tired and discouraged and your heart and mind and body hurt, and you simply want to stop and rest and find a way out.

But it's right at this point that you have to keep moving forward, that you can't simply stop and rest and put aside all the work you've done.  Because it is right at that moment, when the old isn't working but you haven't yet discovered the new, that the very thing you need most becomes available.

There is something sort of chemical about the change that we encounter at certain critical junctures.  We have to immerse ourselves in experience and stay there until, like a good soup, the ingredients come together with depth and richness and flavor.  If you stop the cooking early, the goodness you were working towards cannot be reached.  And, on the spiritual journey, if you halt the process because you're gotten to a place of discomfort, and you let the discomfort define you, then you've just missed the opportunity to move through and then beyond that discomfort.

Don't overestimate discomfort as an indicator of success or failure.  Don't get stuck on discomfort as the only measure of progress.  Go deeper, beneath and below the discomfort, and see if the seeds of newness haven't begun to take root, if there isn't something new and wonderful emerging in the midst of the overwhelm.  

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