Beloved, it’s time to get uncomfortable.
No, I’m not talking about push-ups or a high-level sudoku puzzle, although challenging the mind and body in these ways has proven to build new muscle and stimulate the brain. We don’t see mind/body work as threatening -- we simply dive in or don’t partake.
I’m talking about soulwork.
The work that requires the dismantling of old, unhealthy foundational beliefs.
The work that will allow us to show up in the world as our authentic selves, fully healed and grounded in our spiritual truth.
The path to profound peace and absolute clarity.
Yes, it will be uncomfortable, dear one.
But oh, so worth it.
Many of us believed spirituality was salvation -- we made the pledge to the God of our belief system, and boom.
We were good.
Nothing else to do, folks. Once we were “saved”, we were free to live the lives of our choosing.
There are real-life repercussions to this twisted theology. How do I know? Because at one time, I too, dipped my toe in the pool of religious toxicity that promotes the belief that nothing can separate you from the love of your God. A belief that promises a secure and absolvent fate, regardless of your behavior here on earth. With the imaginary protection of their salvific armor, believers justify their vitriolic judgements, sanctify their actions when they extort, deceive or abuse, and rationalize away any question of their character.
This is not an exaggeration. I wish it was. The false cloak of spirituality shrouding egregious and abhorrent behavior is not exclusive to the Christian faith, either. What I described is merely the softer side of radicalization that when taken to the extreme, promises that even acts of violence are covered, as if salvation is a life-long insurance policy.
That was a sharp right into extremism, wasn’t it? How convenient it would be to stay here and silently tsk-tsk a theology gone so sideways it does little to uplift the human condition. So easy to make comparisons knowing we’ll come away looking pretty darn good. After all, you’ve never swindled a “non-believer” out of hundreds of dollars in a corrupt business scheme because you feel as a “believer” you have the right to take as much as you can from the “sinful” of the world (and yes - this is a thing).
The easy and obvious lesson would see us patting ourselves on the back for not embracing this winner-take-all-regardless-of-the-victim ideology.
But that’s not spirituality, Beloved. Because even inside stories of extremism and radicalism are pockets of wisdom for you….and me.
Justifies -- sanctifies -- rationalizes.
Words that describe the actions of those who practice “nothing I do here on earth matters” religion.
Words I use with deep awareness and intention, because we all justify, sanctify, and rationalize our complacency, our biases, and our less than honorable responses to what life throws our way.
The question is: How willing are we to face the proverbial mirror and see where this behavior is preventing us from doing the necessary work to grow spiritually?
This is where authentic soulwork begins. Spirituality was never supposed to be a “say this, pray that, donate this much” then lie, cheat, steal, and judge in the name of your Lord and Savior.
You know your complacency or brokenness is in there somewhere, don’t you? It’s no different for me or anyone else. Each day, we have a choice: we can continue to circle the mountain of the Divine as we seek comfort, denial and complacency, or we can finally look up to experience the deep and sacred connection that comes when we accept that we have deep and sacred work to do.
That is soulwork.
Beloved, it is time to get uncomfortable.
Look up. Set down your armor. Create space for your mind that is willing to learn, your heart that is willing to heal, and your soul that is connected to the Divine.