((James at the Grand Canyon feeling hot and exhausted))
We are at odds with our own existence. To some degree, there is a part of me that simply resists the ‘way that I am’. I have reservations and objections to my natural state. This is, in essence, the core of all dis ease. The body and mind flows one way, and we refuse to accept it.
Perhaps when I was younger, I learned to BE what I needed to be in order to get what I was seeking. Personally, I sought to experience approval that allowed me to continue to function without crippling self doubt and guilt. Something about the Catholic Schools and church that had me twisted inside, questioning the validity of all that I do.
Regardless of my choices, I just kind of felt bad. If I followed the script, and did what I was told, I felt empty inside, like I was barely alive. If I followed my instincts I broke all of the norms and rules, and was either punished by the people around me, or by the doubt and guilt from within.
Doubt is helpful, in so far as it can have us fully exploring the choices we make. Like a secondary voice saying ‘are you sure’ or ‘have you thought this through’. Doubt, when viewed in this fashion, can be an auditor of our path. The issues that cause doubt to be so challenging are, in my experience, not about doubt. Doubt is more a symptom of a lack of confidence.
Doubt will never actually go away. While some choices may seem quite certain, most decisions involve some level of uncertainty. The key to being stronger than doubt is to be decisive and confident in your decision making, even if not in the decision itself.
I have been lost in the wilderness a handful of times. Sometimes I have a GPS, sometimes a paper map, and other times just the memory of what I’ve already done. I know that the GPS isn’t always accurate and I certainly know that I can misread a map or my memory can fail me. In all these instances there are legitimate and heavy doubts in choosing a direction.
In my most recent experience of this type, I was pretty isolated in the backcountry of Northern Arizona’s North Rim. It was nothing harrowing, but it was dark, and my GPS was out of batteries. I had good company, plenty of food and water, and the temperatures were tolerable. I knew that when the sun came up, I would clearly see my route and be able to find my way back to the established path and to my planned camp and water cache. I didn’t want to just sit and sleep on the ground until the sun came up, I wanted to get where I wanted to be. In my decision making, in this instance and in all where I have been ‘lost’, the key is decisiveness and conviction.
Wherever I have been, the only way to continue to stay lost is to go back and forth, or wander in circles. In all of the survival situations I have found myself in, the answer has always been to first SIT and listen. Then, choose a direction based on all the info I can gather, and head that way. Although the world is 360° all of the time, we can often reduce our options by half right off the bat. From there, we can consider what we do know to be true. The position of the moon, the stars, where the Sun went down, our memories of this area or similar experiences. I place all of that into my core and ask my intuitive senses to work with me. At that point, I choose a direction and stick to it, knowing I will strike the path or some demarcation to lead me back to my desired location. It is only when I have held to this conviction that I have found myself.
I use this story more as a metaphor than a guide book. If you are lost in the wilderness, please follow your own guidance, not mine.
When there is doubt, regardless of how pervasive, the truth is that I must choose my path and stick to it, or I will be forever mired in the doubt. Watching a merry go round of ‘what if’s?’ doesn’t serve anything.
As you move forward, of course there will be doubts. Allow them to inform your process. Acknowledge their input and affirm your certainty and faith. We cannot know everything. I can prepare for an adventure but cannot predict or control what happens once the adventure begins.
Perhaps this is what life is. We knew that we would face challenges. Hard parts where we felt lost and confused, floating out here in a temporal body. Our infinite soul saw this opportunity and said ‘I think I am ready’. Once we are here, things change, the adventure has begun, and we never could have known how wild it all would be.
We reach out for answers, pray to God, cry in the night. We grasp for partnership, for acceptance, approval, for love. I am pretty sure I didn’t see any of this coming.
The brutality of our human condition is a symptom of itself. The human condition is confusing and unstable. We live and we die. We survive and then we don’t. We have what we need and sometimes we do not.
Without love and compassion, the harshness of life hardens even the most resilient of beings. I have been bullied and attacked for being myself, and I am certain that I have done the same to others. My reactivity has caused pain for others and myself.
I don’t know why I am here, I just know that I am here. I am, however, fairly certain that my purpose is NOT to be rude to other people and judge myself harshly. Our poor little minds as children, without psychological defenses. We are programmed with the unprocessed grief of every generation before us. Is it any wonder that life has gotten so heavy?
They were doing their best, but life is not meant to be a perfect start and perfect ending. There are remainders. When born, we become a container for the remainder. These remainders are not us, for we are much bigger than all of this. To find our wholeness once again we must balance out the equation. Some situations will not shift unless we can live them out. The power of the life, when lived fully, is far greater than any medicine, vision, hallucination, affirmation, or dream.
If you are living out a trauma, be grateful and know that this too shall pass. Keep your line of sight and continue moving forward. The history of our ancestral DNA has been dented with these feelings of lack and suffering. Through experiencing their expression, and still choosing to be abundant and in joy, you are changing everything!
Doubt is of service but also a vestige. You can do life wrong. Part of being alive is to error and make mistakes. AS you witness your own folly, keep moving. The mistakes, and you learning from them, is your minor adjustment as you engage and map out your ideal path.
One of the tools I use in my life is Astrology. Understanding the influence of the stars and planetary transits has informed my processed and helped me deeply during trying times. Astrology can be used for both difficult and easeful ventures. If you are looking for insight into the cosmic dynamics influencing your life, check out a session with James.