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As someone who used to try to meditate her way out of trauma and analyze her way to God, I’ve noticed how a cultural separation of church and state takes up residence in our psyches.
We are in pain and trying to figure out how to become free of this pain without an important bridge between the psychological and spiritual—a bridge that was destroyed with our separation from the natural world.
This makes it easy to engage a spiritual identity and continue to feel stuck in the same cycles.
A lot of compelling New Age spiritual culture completely lacks compassion or understanding for the deeper nature of human suffering.
This kind of “evolved” spiritual culture is still coming from the same consciousness we are trying to free ourselves from. It is still rooted in a wounded system, trying to rise up as it remains in the same mud.
It’s swinging from one polarity to the other.
From codependence to a sovereignty that is almost violent in its emotional nature.
Most of us don’t really think about it too much because the cultural waters we swim in are steeped in these values and we can’t see it, just like we cannot see the air we breath.
The idea that “low” vibrations are the “cause” of grief, shame, fear, or anger are dangerous.
They are not trauma-informed and can cause harm. It can become the root of much unconscious gaslighting behavior in the name of an idealized spiritual identity or enlightenment.
This creates so much splitting in the psyche and a complete mismanagement of our inner resources.
If we sense that some experience we are having is unworthy of love, not “high” enough on the hierarchal scale of preferred patriarchal experience, we will repress these experiences within our bodies.
This is unhealthy and leads us to gaslight ourselves. Which is why we can remain stuck in patterns and just swing from one polarity to the other in them.
A whole New Age lexicon has been birthed out of a wounded culture’s preferences and aversions.
This split does not lead to equanimity, but to more narcissism (that is in fact rooted in shame) and trauma—because this is not an expression of a compassionate, trauma-informed spiritual culture.
In spiritual maturity, we learn to seek equanimity, honoring the entire range of our human experience as both sacred and totally mundane.
Grief stems from loss. Death that is in fact real. Betrayal. Root loss. Ego death. Collective pandemics. Recovering from trauma. Breakups. Mourning what never was and never will be, and on and on.
Shame is a relational wound that stems from not having been loved, usually in the context of some kind of emotional neglect and trauma that has not been recognized and validated.
Fear happens when we do not feel safe. It happens when we are stuck in trauma, when we have too much unmetabolized grief in our bodies, or when life and what is happening in the world is actually scary.
Anger happens when our boundaries are violated and our needs have not been met. When it builds up and there is no outlet, it turns into resentment, which is such suffering.
When we write these experiences off as “low,” we contribute to the exact emotional and relational problems that tend to have caused these things for many of us in the first place.
Grief is normal—it is also a part of us that is alive and paying attention to life.
Shame is a signal, an inner guide of how to love what has not been loved before.
Fear is asking us to learn our nervous system, to understand how to navigate what doesn’t feel safe, and how to find sanity in the darkness.
Anger protects our boundaries, helps us assert ourselves and get our needs met, if and when appropriate.
These are also all the energies of Eros that help us to open our hearts, to create from love, and to tap into the unlimited loving potential of our own wise, loving life force energy to make something beautiful out of our earthly, human wounds.
There’s a saying somewhere that God, and profound true love, is dangerous to the Ego.
I have found this to be true.
The closer we get to God, the more that Love enters our body, the more we come into immanence, the more our psychology—the trauma and unloved wounds, are pulled up by that love…so they can be resolved.
The high and the low, the depths of God’s love, the power of Eros in its infinite loving creative energy, the grief, the shame, the fear—it’s all the whole.
It’s a wild ride of infinite potential bringing us into deeper communion with our essence.
I can’t really think of anything “higher” than that.
Sometimes we don’t need a spiritual guide, we need therapy.
Or, vice versa.
Oftentimes, most of us need both.
This broken bridge between spirituality and psyche (soul) must be repaired so we can stop acting out the polarities in the guise of evolved spiritual thinking that’s still living inside the same consciousness we truly long to break free from.
The world is in chaos right now.
Don’t let your inner world become too chaotic by denying yourself the space to honor your grief, fear, or anger about it all.
It means you are alive, loving, and paying attention.