I was listening to one of my current inspiritors, Michael Meade, and he said something that plunged into my depths and re- affirmed this very present conversation I am having with my healing around what is really underlying my pain and trauma. And do I really believe in the deeper messages I hear?
In summary he says:
“when you experience a life event that shapes the way you view and act in the world, that takes a piece of you- like severe illness or injury, death of someone so close to you, or some external disaster that rips apart a prior foundation on which you based your life- your Soul views that threshold as a signal that an initiation is about to begin”.
Let’s say that is true- which I believe it is. This opens the door to potentially allowing a new view of the painful events in your life. To see the underlying beauty below the disaster trying to tear down the prior built constructs that have been supported in a delusion that you are separate from Source.
Maybe you have heard of the myth and lore of the Shamanic initiation. And, maybe when you hear of such mythical procession your first go to impulse is a separatist view of yourself from the possibility that you will ever feel the mystery of heavenly recognition. That you are excluded- that you could not possibly carry that level of service to Life within you.
We are all shamanic simply by force of and being a part of Nature. And, although not separate from this truth, it is also true that not everyone’s soul in this lifetime carries the contract of becoming a visionary Shamanic leader and teacher- in the sense that we have culturally defined that gift. Not, because some are excluded, but because Life requires biodiversity of gifts to bring a unified harmony of co-created existence. Allowing yourself to view your illness and pain as a shamanic initiation in the sense that it is trying to bring from within you a beauty that is needed at this time in the world can open up a path that has been long dismantled from your life and our culture. Initiation is the birth right that informs your unique soul how to belong, where you belong and with what you belong.
Viewing your pain and suffering as initiation requires the vulnerability of the tender and freshly turned soil of the broken parts of you to be heard with a radical new filter. The filter that says- you are a part of everything surrounding you and guided towards your greatest human potential in each moment. What if we begin to include death as part of the greatest human potential? What if that was an honor to surrender to rather than resist in all the fabricated ways we do? Maybe then we could have a greater holistic acceptance of our pain and illness and allow ourselves to listen to the deeper meaning before running for the “death defying” (or so we hope) little blue pill and stopping the initiation short.
We are a bypass culture. We don’t sit and listen much. And if we do hear a deeper message we are so under attuned to the language of our body + soul speak that we bypass that as some figment of imagination and instead turn to a voice- typically derived from societal and trauma programming- for governance. When listened to- Life, when given half a chance, will always turn out in favor of more life. I feel that when I am truly listened to my heart turns in favor of more love and on..
And I am hearing the questions and counter projections- “if my illness and pain is an initiation towards something greater why, with all of the plants and prayers and healers and helpers I keep getting to the same point. I feel a better and have made strides but I am still not healing? Why, when I feel like I am paying so much attention to this and trying, really trying, I just keep meeting the same sorts of setbacks- or repeat illness and disease in my life?”
Well, I have an idea- just a thought derived from experience. That even the most “self-aware” of us are still programmed with a self- centered healing model that is hyper focused on the fixing of something we perceive as broken. I believe this pattern touches on the deepest fears, discomforts and phobias we have around death- particularly our own.
We are also conditioned to resist change. Real and honest transformation by the initiation processes require a letting go of how we define “healed”. We live in a sick society on an ever ailing planet. Again and always worth repeating, we are connected to all living things. The rest of creation knows this. Yet our inflated ego that clings to some belief that we are immune from the damage we have done only creates more damage- firstly within ourselves. This is not a guilt trip- this is an invitation into recognizing that our bodies suffer what the Earth suffers. Feel deep into that connection- I mean really feel that- and you will open the gateway for grief and gratitude to flow in and wash the love + healing bundle upon the vast shore line of your ebb and flow life. And maybe for the first time in your life you feel as though you belong to something and everything- the greatest gift.
As I walk through the great forests of this astounding Pacific Northwest landscape I am always stopped in awe of the trees. The ones that captivate most are the ones that seem to have grown a “new arm” in a completely mind blowing radical direction from a spot in the trunk that endured some destruction, disease or death. They don’t cling and cluch at what was- trying to maintain and will their own idea of how things should look and grow. They surrender to growing in a way that serves the collective forest organism and continuance of life- which requires death. Such teachers.
Another thought is that the persistent and ever more prevalence of the mystery diseases and chronic pain in our society are in part due to initiation trauma. Or lack of initiation trauma. I wrote a recent post about re-enactment traumas. When thresholds in our life are not honored in the way of ritual, release and renewal, they are trapped in limbo within the body. The body + soul + psyche will then attempt to find ways to initiate an initiation to break down the walls of separation built by lifetimes of societal, ancestral and personal traumas. Thus, I feel that the prevalence of “un-healable” mystery disease has some roots in a “lack of initiation and rights of passage” trauma. And the disease is a large blinking arrow towards an unclaimed initiatory path needed by all life- imprinted by only your footsteps.
Life is not a human condition~ Stephen Jenkinson
It is not about us. If we are lucky we will wake up one day to this humbling and healing realization. In that moment, real, authentic assistance from all that is waiting for you to join the mystery can come to your aid because under sacred law- the realm that upholds and honors the order of life- there is a Universal truth that knows when one is down- we are all down.
And- the caveat is that it is all about us. There is a unique code within each one of us that has never before been organized. And life invited that code- embodied as you- in at this time with clear intention. Yet the code remains indecipherable by most of us because the key to translation comes through the language of initiation and ceremony. When a culture and life is void of the rituals to revive the codes then Life will find any way it can to bring what was intended to birth through you to finally crown- any way it can.
I now hear that “sometimes we just get sick”. Sure, we all get sick and have injury as that is a part of life. The common cold and escalating flu epidemics are what they are AND they also point to a deeper imbalance. That imbalance is trying to medicine speak through you in order to re calibrate you back to harmony. Maybe not an initiation of great mention but all illness is an invitation to listen and that process alone- when practiced- may prompt the deeper process wanting to be seen and initiated. And, in my life and my cosmology I would first like to turn toward the mystery and wonder within all things before giving my senses away. I have a short life in this time around and would rather believe in magic than not- it feeds my heart.
How to know initiation is calling you forward.
It will break your heart open to something not yet ready to be named and identified but touches within you a place long forgotten.
You will feel fear, but a different fear. Like the kind of fear you had when being plunged into the deep end of the pool learning to swim. An exhilarated fear that you will come to identify as excitement. This fear is a good sign.
Your external life will begin to change just by energetically shifting your focus. You are being listened to- even the quietest deepest prayers and curiosities are heard.
It may get more challenging before it gets better. Chaos precedes all creation.
You will attract people and events towards you to help break down the walls of separation. Teachers, healers, friends, lovers. And, you will likely meet random people who have a story that sounds to be stolen from your mouth. Encouragement is there.
You will have a more vital and intuitive connection with nature. Maybe sensations and messages return. Again, encouragement is there.
You are guided. Life is an initiation. Let your altar grow. Trust your heart and your Original Medicine will again flow.