Recently I was in conversation with a friend. I was telling him how I felt like a fraud as I’m not always able to practice what I preach. He said, “You are not God. Relax”.
Every cell in my body unclenched and breathed a huge sigh of relief. I am not God. I don’t have to be God. I definitely need to stop ‘playing God’. I can be me!! Thank God!!!
This conversation provoked me to seeing how very stuck we can become on this so called “Spiritual” path. Seeing how we can take a wrong turn so easily in our earnest quest for ‘enlightenment’ / ‘consciousness’ and how careful we need to be as we shed old false beliefs not to fill back up with new, albeit more spiritual sounding false beliefs….
Here are my top 5 new age spiritual potholes
1. I am not a Goddess.
You are a Goddess!” They say, “You deserve a man that will treat you like a Goddess!” They say, “Don’t settle for anyone who doesn’t adore you!” They say. And for a long, long time my Ego said. Yup! That’s totally true. I am a Goddess and I want to be put on a Goddess pedestal and worshipped. Oh dear….
After some time. After waiting impatiently for ‘that’ man I’ve thankfully realised I am not a Goddess. I don’t want to be a Goddess. I don’t need to be adored…. and seriously, please don’t ever worship me.
Please don’t misunderstand me. This is not an invitation to treat me like shit. It’s simply recognition that I am a human being. Whilst we all have Divinity within us and on a good day we manage to access and share it with each other. We are human. I choose to be with a man who meets me as an equal. Who sees the truth of who I am, my flaws, my glory, the work that I’m doing, the work that I need to do…. and loves me anyway…. as an equal. Of course there must be respect, kindness, compassion etc. But, If he puts me on a pedestal, if he worships me, if he sees me as a Goddess he is not seeing me. My ego might enjoy it temporarily but it is a delusion.
2. The purpose of a Spiritual practice is not to be Spiritual.
It confuses me when I hear people say “I’m very Spiritual”. I’m not sure I even understand what that really means.
I have a range of spiritual practices but none of them is about making me more Spiritual. They are about helping me to see the truth and become a better human being so I can make the most of the gifts I have been given, enjoy my life to the full and have a positive impact on this planet.
For me, spirituality is the path not the destination.
3. Polyamory is not the only way to practice non attachment in relationship
OK I need to be careful here. I’m not into Polyamory. At all. I’m a monogamy kind of girl. Totally, fully, completely.
I’m not dismissing Polyamory for those that enjoy this way of relating as long as it’s not an unconscious shield that is being used to avoid true connection and emotional availability. As long as Polyamory is conscious and consensual go for it!
However, it is a myth to assume that monogamy is synonymous with attachment in relationship. It is very possible, very lovely and very precious to be totally committed to one person and for both partners to have complete freedom to be their authentic selves within that. And the freedom to be really, truly, fully me is the ultimate freedom.
For sure it is also very, very challenging as our society and language invites us to create unhealthy attachment and expectation in relationships. But if we remain conscious, clear and true we can navigate non-attached, monogamous, wonderful relationships.
4. Self-deprecation is not humble
Being humble is a noble and desirable quality. But very many of us (myself included) mistake self-deprecation for humility.
How can we tell the difference? Humility never (EVER) looks or sounds like putting yourself down. Humble people are able to acknowledge another’s greatness and beauty without making any reference to themselves. “You are a beautiful singer”, “You inspire me”, “I’m interested in your point of view” says a humble person. They do not add “I’m no good at that”, “I wish I was as inspiring as you”, “I’m completely ignorant about that”.
Humble people also accept compliments with grace. “Thank you. That’s a lovely thing to say”, “Thank you. I love this dress too’ . Not “Oh do you think so? I think my hips look too big”. They humbly accept the gift of the compliment as opposed to arrogantly rebuking the kind words and implying the giver of the compliment doesn’t know what they’re talking about.
Culturally we’re encouraged to self-deprecate consider it modest/humble. But it’s not. It’s a form of self harm. Another way the sneaky ego has to keep us stuck in the illusion that we are not enough. Notice the language you use to talk about yourself and if necessary make a course correction.
5. There isn’t a aright way … or a wrong way.
There is only your way. Beware of anyone telling you you’re not doing enough, you’re not doing it right. Beware of anyone that tells you their way is the only way. Do not give away your power to choose what works for you.
The way that works for you is the right way. Not into Yoga? Fine!! Find what you are into….Trust yourself. A true ‘Guru’ / mentor will help you to find and follow your path not impose theirs on you.
The truth is we are here to be human. Beautifully, funnily, messily human. We mess up, we triumph, we fail, we fall we get up, we love, we loose, our hearts open, our hearts break. For me the it’s a trap to expect or want it to be any other way. I’d hate to loose my passion, I’d hate to loose my child like excitement. My spiritual path is not to be perfect but to navigate my imperfections.
I am not God….. and neither are you 😉
Faithfully, Alison x