Whenever I find myself in the dark and difficult place of self-doubt, I need to be reminded once more of how imperative it is to be constantly fed and filled by spirit. Whenever I feel dispirited, it’s because I quite literally am.
I’m not sure why I have to be reminded of this from time to time. I find myself in a sad and distorted reality, where the future looks dim, and what once seemed possible is now hopelessly out of reach. I look around and always ask myself the same ridiculous question: how did I end up here?
Last time, my spirit guide weighed in: You got here under your own steam, he said. I don’t know why you keep coming down this road; you already know where it leads.
What he is telling me is this: you have a choice. When “the world is too much with you” it is usually because you are seeking a valid reflection of yourself from the world outside. You are measuring yourself against the achievements of others, rating yourself in their eyes, evaluating your self-worth as you imagine they might. The world is a harsh mistress. When you rely on the external world to be the mirror of who you are, you are bound to get lost. You are bound to come up far short of the truth.
If, on the other hand you allow spirit to reflect back to you who you are, your magnificence will come into view. It might be yet at a distance, but you will begin to see yourself with more clarity and truth, and your sovereignty will gradually be restored.
As committed as I am to my spiritual practice, the world can sometimes take me by storm. I find myself too much in my head, worrying about bills and family matters, my business or my health…my cats. (Those two can really get me going.) As soon as I start to entertain my fears, I am always startled by what terrible houseguests they make. Doubts, misery and regret settle in, and before I know it, my sovereignty has been usurped. I’m on the outside looking in.
The only thing to do then—and yes, it takes me awhile to figure this out—is pick up the drum and start singing, do ceremony and journey to my helping spirits, lay offerings for them and for the beauty around me, walk in nature and recite poems to the trees and birds. Slowly, I return to normal. I come back to my center and think, okay, there I am.
If you focus more on finding yourself than on doubting yourself, you’re already halfway there. Much of life is just a process of elimination, as you realize again and again: no, this isn’t me. No, that’s not me. Life is intended to be a journey of self-discovery—that’s why you’re here.
But, it is a journey that is not devoid of struggle, as you know. You will not find yourself easily or immediately. You are far too complex and splendid for that. By far, the softer route to self-discovery comes through guidance from the spirit world, through revelation. It comes through gratitude for all you are given, through seeing the gift in everyone and everything. It comes through making offerings, performing ritual and ceremony, engaging in creative expression, prayer, poetry, and song. It comes through the celebration of your own dancing spirit, without comparison or deference to anyone else. It comes from going within, standing still, and preparing to be amazed.