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Peeling away the spiritual layers

By Sharon Pegrum

For many people there comes a time in their life when they start to explore different ways to heal their spirit. This comes in a variety of forms – discovering religion, exploring healing modalities, working through issues with counselling….whatever forms the end goal is to live a more fulfilled and meaningful life.

But the one thing we discover along the way is that it is not about the end goal but more importantly about the journey and the layers we strip off along the way.

Whether you start this journey in your 20s or 80s we have all accumulated stuff along the way. Some of these are our own baggage picked up during childhood, teenage years and adulthood. There is also a theory that says we hold onto the limiting beliefs and behaviours of our ancestral lines. The science to back this up is outlined well in this article.

It’s no surprise then that whatever form our healing takes we are unlikely to be “fixed” immediately and in fact, the idea of a solution that corrects all our human tendencies learned over years, and perhaps generations is not usually possible.

In the start of any spiritual journey it is normal to start searching for an answer to all the questions we suddenly have. When we explore different avenues it can be disheartening to feel like these “solutions” either don’t have any impact or wear off after a while.

The thing is we are looking for a consistent answer to a human question and as we know humans are complex and ever changing. Therefore, the answer you seek is often changing and never simple.

I have heard this healing journey likened to peeling away the layers of an onion and for me that is one of the best descriptions. The only thing lacking in this description is change in the way you approach each layer.

I like to think of it more as your evening meal. Each evening you most likely eat something, the end goal is always the same – to nourish your body and assuage your hunger. However, if every single evening you prepared the exact same meal in the exact same way, chances are you would get bored pretty quickly. Even if it was your absolute favourite meal, there is only so long you will be enjoying that meal.

It’s exactly the same when we take a spiritual journey. Each time we peel off a layer we need to reassess where we are now and what we need. Each strategy that we use may last us for a week, a month or forever but there will always be things we shed that are no longer working for us and new things that we need to pick up and hold for a while.

So, how do we know when to pick up something new and when we should keep hold of something? There is a simple answer to that – ask yourself. One of the most powerful things you can do is take some time every day to check in with yourself and question what it is you need at the moment.

We live such fast paced, busy words that unless we purposely take time to consider our needs we can go long periods without actually connecting with our core self and listening to it.

When you are meditating on this question of what you need, it is useful to consider the current strategies that you are using in your spiritual journey. Just observe how each of these make you feel. You may discover that they are things that no longer serve you but you are holding onto them because they used to work or you feel committed to them in some way. Or you may realise that you need to commit to them more.

It is also a good time to just sit and let new concepts flow to you. It’s useful here to use the idea of “let go and let God”. This doesn’t have to be about religious faith but think of God as whatever universal force you believe in – the universe, mother earth, source…anything that is meaningful to you.

Take the challenges you are having in your spiritual journey and give them over to a greater power with faith that the answer is there and will come to you in time.

Along any spiritual journey staying open and receptive as well as connected to self and whatever universal power you believe in is vital. This requires space and time and a commitment to self as the most important thing in your journey.

We are all on a spiritual journey but each is unique and individual, it is important that you tread the path that is right for you, right now.

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