Sorry Seekers, There’s No Magic Bullet
(Practicing What I Preach)
(Photo credit: Greg Rakozy, Unsplash)
When I first started down this road of self awareness, spiritual awakening, personal growth, healing, living more authentically, seeking truth and meaning… whatever you choose to call it (I mostly call it soul liberation), I thought that all the people who I was learning from, all the so-called gurus, totally had their shit together.
I thought they had it all figured out. I thought that they’d discovered a magic bullet, hidden secret, or attained some exclusive knowledge about the mystery of life. I thought that’s how they had acquired the right and expertise to counsel others, write books, give advice, teach classes, run retreats, do speaking engagements, etc.
I thought these folks were authorities because they had discovered the answers and were now living totally blissful, spiritually enlightened lives filled with continuous inner peace, rainbows and unicorns.
Holy fuck was I wrong!
After several years (okay, more like over a decade) of serious seeking and commitment to my own soul liberation, something started to dawn on me. No matter how many books I read, videos I watched, Ted Talks I listened to, classes I took, therapy or healing sessions I had, or certifications I attained, I always felt like I had more work to do. I never felt like I was ‘there’. I just couldn’t seem to reach the level that I imagined all my teachers, mentors and gurus to be at.
I spent a long time thinking I must be doing something wrong. The spiritual gurus and self development teachers make it look so easy. What the hell was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I just yoga, meditate, dance, cleanse, give, positive think, journal, juice, intellectualize, chant, visualize, reiki, channel, affirm, attract, (insert practice of choice here), my way to nirvana, goddammit!?
Then slowly but surely, I realized that seekers like me, and maybe you, are often sold a false story about the path to soul liberation being something we can attain if we just do it the ‘right way’.
The truth is, there was/is absolutely nothing wrong with me or you. I hadn’t been doing any of it wrong and neither are you. The ‘problem’ is we’re human, in all the complicated, ego driven mess that entails and guess what? That’s perfectly, completely normal and totally okay!
Also, here's a newsflash, all those gurus are human too! Even the ones who won’t admit it… Especially them.
When I finally understood and accepted this truth that had eluded me for so long, when I became aware that ‘spiritual enlightenment’ is not a destination, but rather a journey with no real end, when I came to terms with the fact that there is no magic bullet that allows you to bypass all the scary, uncomfortable stuff and get straight to your bliss, and that there is also no guru who has all the answers, I felt more liberated than ever. What a load off!
I’m now able to fully, completely engage in life, the good, the bad and the ugly. I'm now able to look at the dark parts of life too, which is an essential part of healing and soul liberation. It's also an essential part of healing our world. This is something I couldn’t do for a long time because you know, one negative thought might crush my vibe and burst the bubble I had carefully constructed. Pop! Sheesh.
Do I regret the decade or more I spent seeking, experimenting, learning, and failing to achieve perpetual oneness with the universe before I found out this was a constant work in progress, not likely to end?
Nope, not even for a second.
Would I do it all over again to come to the same realization that being a fully awake human on a mission to liberate my soul, means being a hot mess a lot of the time and that despite my best efforts, I am never actually going to transcend my humanness while still on this earthly plane?
Damn straight! In. A. Heart. Beat.
All of these experiences and practices have been a total Godsend. They’ve helped me feel empowered, hopeful, less burdened. They’ve made me more courageous, compassionate, less anxious, more joyful, authentic and free. They've also given me some really useful tools, knowledge and skills that I can use to help other humans.
This work has all been supremely valuable. It’s been completely essential to my mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing. So, I will continue to do whatever works and doesn’t harm. I will continue to practice what I preach.
The only difference is, now I trust my own intuition more and only seek out help from teachers and healers who resonate, exude truth and are willing to show their humanness. THESE folks are the ones I can trust. They don’t proclaim to have all the answers. They're wounded like the rest of us. They’re just skilled, experienced and willing to share what they’ve learned in order to help others, while simultaneously helping themselves. These are the people I aspire to be like, in my own way.
To that end, I recently sought out a kick-ass therapist (who happens to combine his training and expertise in both psychotherapy and astrology) to help me deal with the dregs of some complicated baggage that continues to take up way too much head space and energy, and weighs down my soul.
Even though I know there’s no ‘magic bullet’ (although truthfully, this has been some of the best money I’ve ever spent – So much so that I have decided to train under this person in order to better help others while helping myself), I’ll continue to invest in my own growth and healing, and in the quest to liberate my soul.
Why would I do this knowing it still won’t be the end of the journey? Because, I’m an optimist and a seeker at heart.
I’d rather be a mostly peaceful, hopeful, empowered, liberated hot mess, than throw my hands up in defeat. I’d rather be in the game, than sitting on the sidelines. I’d rather be on the path, than forever at the rest stop. I’d rather try and fail, than not try at all. I’d rather my soul feel a little lighter, than shrivel under the weight of old baggage, fear and inattention.
"What you seek is seeking you." ~Rumi