I sat under the shade of the magnificent ornamental pear tree in Mum’s backyard, soaking up the glorious early autumn weather on a lazy afternoon, watching the kids play on the grass. I marvelled at the miracle of the tree. I gazed at the branches above me, the leaves, the canopy, and considered the fact that this sprawling beauty had begun life as a tiny seed. One small, seemingly insignificant seed contained all the potential within it to grow into that beautiful big tree that stood above me, home and playground to a myriad of insects and birds, a source of shade, a beauty to behold in the backyard.
That tiny seed, buried in the earth, was given all the right conditions to allow it to sprout and reach for the light, until it broke through the surface of the soil. Cell by cell, it continued to grow and transform as its trajectory remained focused on the light. Cell by cell, from tiny seedling, to sapling, to small tree to large, cell by cell, transforming from green shoots to wooden branches. Cell by cell, growing leaves to soak up the energy of the sun, and transmute that energy via the miracle of photosynthesis into new growth. Can you even comprehend the number of cellular processes it took over the course of more than 15 years to get from seed to sprawling tree? There was no rushing, no striving, no taking shortcuts, no lamenting how far there still was to go.
It seems that so many of us are so identified with our ego, and so accustomed to an instant gratification culture that we’ve lost the ability to allow slow and steady progress. We want what we want, and we want it now. I know that I often find myself abandoning possibilities that seem like too much work for too little return in the near or foreseeable future. What a loss – so much potential abandoned in the name of speed and ease.
I’ve been told by a trusted seer that in a past life, I was successful architect living and working in Italy. I worked in partnership with my father on a huge project of thirty years duration. Within days of the completion of this monumental venture, the area was hit by a severe earthquake. My life’s work was flattened.
I sense that I’m only just beginning to comprehend the gravity of this experience and the impact it’s still having on me today. I’ve learnt that we carry our energy from lifetime to lifetime, and as such, the energy of the experiences we have can stay with us too. From my admittedly limited understanding, I’d say that the soul-destroying devastation of having my life’s work ravaged within days of its completion was not something that I adequately processed or healed from that in that lifetime, nor in any of my lifetimes since. And so, today, I still carry that burdensome energy in a way that has me avoid committing to dreams that require slow and steady incremental progress, a long term large scale outlook, or little returns in the near future. The excruciating pain of committing to such a dream, and pursuing it for so many years, only to have it destroyed virtually as soon as it was finally realised, taught me to protect myself from ever having to endure such a shattering experience again. That unbearable pain still resides deep within my energy field. My ego feels the fear that it induces, and it knows well how to best protect me: to prevent me from ever attempting such a feat again. It whispers, almost inaudibly, “Don’t attempt to realise such a grand and large-scale dream, because then it can’t be taken away from you, and that would destroy you.” Even more shrewdly, my ego gives me all the seemingly sensible and valid reasons why I don’t really want to pursue that dream anyway. Simple solution.
Except, that it’s not. The seeds of our dreams, big and small, lie dormant in our soul. All that potential and possibility, encapsulated within an unpursued dream. Waiting for the right conditions to allow them to sprout and reach for the light of day. When you begin to awaken to your spirituality and the truth of your soul, these things can no longer hide quietly. They become illuminated, and you can’t un-see them. They can no longer be ignored.
Our ego holds those seeds captive. It keeps them sealed in a packet, stored high and almost forgotten somewhere on a shelf in the dark garage.
By shedding light on these egoic shadows and blockages that past life experiences, or any other negative life experience, have created in our energy field, we might initially feel more stuck than ever. When we shine a torch upon an object, it suddenly casts a more defined shadow than what we might previously have been able to observe in the regular light of day. But once we know it’s there, we can use mindfulness to disidentify from our egoic thoughts, and transmute that shadow into light. That’s all the shadow is, an illusion. The shadow cast by the torch is not a tangible object, and it comes and goes depending on the angle and strength of the light. The shadow within is similarly just an illusion cast by the darkness of the ego. When we know that, we can use mindfulness to infuse our energy field with light, and transmute the shadows. We can say to ourselves:
“Those fears aren’t me. They are my ego, doing its job of keeping me small and safe by avoiding the potential greatness lying dormant within me, because greatness implies vulnerability. I don’t need to obey my ego. I can chose differently. I can give the seeds of my dreams the conditions they need to begin shooting towards the light. I can chose the step by step, slow burn of committing to a grand dream, knowing that it has the potential to reap the most glorious of rewards. I can remind myself of the beauty and light inherent in the process of pursuing my dream, that it’s not all about the final outcome. I can remind myself that in truth, in the eyes of God, without the judgment of any ego, there is no tragedy in a fulfilled dream being destroyed. Loss is not inherently bad, but our thinking makes it so. I can remind myself that even under such circumstances, there was so much beauty and love and light in every step of the way.”
It could be said that the real tragedy is in a dream never being pursued in the first place, in unfulfilled potential not even being attempted. But the truth is, even this is only a tragedy from the perspective of ego. But given that we have this beautiful opportunity of life, why would we not want to bring as much light into it as is humanly possible? Why would we not jump wholeheartedly at the marvellous opportunity to give form to the miracle of God inherent in the potential of the seed, by allowing it to physically express it’s divinity as it journeys toward the light?
All images photographed by me. ©
I’m looking forward to diving deep into my shadow with Belinda Davidson at her Shadow Working Workshop on the Gold Coast next week. Details here.