DYING TO RISE
DYING TO RISE
All journeys of spiritual awakening involve dying to the old and embracing the new. Spirituality is the means of helping us to remain connected to our inner life force, our God spark of divinity which sustains us. We are impatient for growth and change to occur within a short time and also without much effort on our part. However the “fullness” of our soul evolves slowly. At birth we receive the seed of identity in which the essence of our authentic self is rooted. In the first half of our lives, we explore our external identity. We break away from our parents only to look to other people or external measures to define who we are. We take on roles in our profession and our relationships. We are spouses, sisters, brothers, parents, aunts, uncles, doctors, teachers, engineers and therapists. We reinforce our egocentric selves this way, and it is purposeful.
The paradox of spiritual identity is that in order to bloom, the seed must first die or surrender. We must let go of all the external definitions of our identity. We need to surrender to the internal nature of our being. We must root ourselves in the soil of some spiritual tradition to be nurtured into full maturity. Each Lenten season, we celebrate the cycle of death and rebirth as we walk the passion of Christ and relive the resurrection.
Surrender is not easy. It is loss of security, control or connection that our previous identity provided for us. Only the brave will undertake this journey. During this time the guidance of a spiritual “friend” or soul friend is invaluable. They companion us through the darkness and encourage us to wait rather than rush the transformation. A spiritual friend secures a sacred space where gentle listening enables the discernment of our highest call to be “heard”. This friendship of the soul (soul friend is an ancient Celtic term also known as Anam Cara) makes it possible to journey together in a much deeper and intentional way that honors the holy and nurtures the growth of divine presence. It is here where all of our previous experiences are bundled up and spun into a cohesive spiritual map full of tools that have already been acquired. The “Whole” of the experiences we have lived become the exact fabric that create a new fullness of being in us.
“Love is our true identity. We do not find the meaning of
life by ourselves alone, we find it with another.”
Wherever you find the place where you realize there is more than your ego- that is the soul’s initiation. Our soul’s journey will not begin until our first world has fallen apart. Both descent and ascent are interconnected. The spirit is already conspiring for a real authentic transformation. We find this principal in the resurrection story. Everything that happened to Jesus must happen to the soul.
In our society where instant connection, busyness, over-commitment, internet buying and consuming are widespread, we need reminders that significant change takes time. Even in the times of Jesus there was a need to enter into the waiting in the dark during the forty days where he struggled with how to lead others to a fuller understanding of God, not just for the Jewish people but for all the nations. He prayed and had quiet meditation to discern what path was chosen for him. He surrendered his human control to that of his Spiritual Guide, God his father.
Our false self dying is not quite as dramatic as actual death, but it does involve death or the relinquishment of ideas, dreams, and old identity that no longer serve our highest good. In transforming and dying to those parts of ourselves that are not aligned with self awareness and insight, we birth our true divine self, designed by God. We are then able to strengthen human relationships in a mature and Christlike way. Our true identity emerges unified in our desire to become heart centered stewards of humanities course.