Spirituality, like everything else, can be used as an escape from life, each other and ourselves. From the world with all the beauty and horror. From the pain that aches in the heart, deep down. From the joy knocking at your door, unexpectedly. From the consequences of our actions and those pesky relationship troubles.
Spirituality actually calls and leads into life, as it is. Inviting us to show up, here in full for the whole enchilada- real, heartbroken sometimes, getting our hands dirty, navigating both difficulties and glorious moments with presence and wholeheartedness- and letting love live us no matter what. That is what embodied spirituality is all about.
I understand the need to escape, especially when s*** hits the fan and the fire is on. It’s ok and so very human to want to run, to hide, or to rise above to get away. Then it helps to remember why you have come. What beats in your heart that’s bigger than the fear. What holds you right now – the earth, God/Goddess, the dharma or the hand of your friend. And maybe, just maybe turn around and walk right toward what is calling out your name since forever long.
Spirituality can remain a lofty concept with high ideals, easy to talk about whilst sipping a cup of tea, but useless in the midst of life. What happens when you are under pressure and the mind turns the stress button on, how do you stop to breathe and show up present then? Or when your friend lets you down, do you react and contract or do you move toward openness and speak without blame? What about picking up the trash to embody your care and love for the earth? And that pain aching in the chest, will you turn to it with your kind attentiveness? You get the gist, I am sure of it.
Be wary of those who sell the fancy and expensive maps for the path, the three keys to ultimate happiness and such. Those folks simply made pretty pictures, while flying with a helicopter across the landscape. But only a teacher, who has walked the path on the ground, who knows what it is like to cross a river with crocodiles, can guide you safely across. Only a person, who has walked through the ups and downs in life with presence and love, can guide you to the other side.
It is easy to talk the talk, but only if you walk it through the muck and beauty in life, are you embodying love and spirituality for real. Then the flame of truth just shines forth. Leave the concepts friend, turn to yourself with honesty and find those who are masters of their craft. Learn to bake the bread for real. And soon you will feed the starving crowd and help others on the path as well.