by Joel L, Australia
I had an uncomfortable realisation that I had signed up for many mainstream and ‘out there’ things over the years, and did so without question. Why did I do this, and do others do the same?
Why did I excitedly and with minimum resistance choose to sit in a boiling hot ‘sweat lodge’ chanting in the dark with other naked sweating people? The leader told American Indian parables (even though he was a born and bred Australian). I left feeling invigorated, but at no time did anyone ask me – if you feel invigorated now, what was going on beforehand? No-one said, ‘why did you need chanting and super hot temperatures to stimulate the blood flow to FEEL invigorated?’
Is it possible that I mistook indulgence for true exploration of my life? And because it didn’t ask me to admit this, I didn’t need to challenge it?
Why did I follow the religion of my birth without question? Sure, its general tenets were like many others: be good to your fellow man (do unto others and all that), don’t challenge other religious views (tolerance), stay part of ‘our community’, it will all be okay once ‘the messiah’ gets here. Why didn’t anyone point out to me how kindergarten says something very similar, ‘play nicely with the other children, don’t wander, and wait until mum/dad picks you up’? Where is the empowerment in that? Why did I not question the concept that God sees us all equal, but each religion sees us as different?
Is it possible I preferred to feel included than to really explore my relationship with God? And because they didn’t ask me to admit this, I didn’t need to challenge it?
Why did I eagerly train in modalities like Reiki, and then happily trained other people in these modalities, without someone (including myself) asking whether the energy of anger might be different to the energy of love? Or what effect does the practitioner have on the quality of the energy (eg: if we do drugs or alcohol the night before, what happens the next day?).
Is it possible that the ‘titles and training’ gave me recognition? And because they didn’t ask me to admit this, I didn’t need to challenge it?
And so the list could go on – years (maybe lifetimes) of going along with things that never truly challenged me. Years (maybe lifetimes) of choosing to be challenged by things that told me I was not enough… and needed to do, and be, something more.
Only once has my growth occurred through someone (a group of people in fact) reflecting back to me just how much I truly was already. And in the deep stillness of this reflection I was given a choice: to keep going as I was, or feel the joy that sat patiently waiting for me to return.
Why did I challenge, question, resist and fight that reflection for so many years, and yet so easily followed everything else?
Could it be that something inside us prefers comfort to truth? Could it be easier to withhold what we feel so we don’t upset the apple cart? Could it be easier to defend our right to harm ourselves and others, than it is to start asking some real questions?…
- Why are religions at the centre of so much war and abuse? And why don’t other religions say anything?
- How do health professionals become unhealthy?
- Why does the education system care more about a student’s spelling than their health?
- Why do people in ‘love’ (under the current definition) – kill, hate, cheat, abuse?
- And of course, the ultimate question… what am I feeling right now – and what have I done to feel that way?