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First came a sense of shame and loss. “I did this to myself. I allowed it to happen. I wasn’t paying attention to who I was and what I should be doing with my life.” It was a difficult time. Working through those emotions was hard going. I knew what a wonderful person he was but he had massive doubts.

Then came a time of reflection. He realized that shame, like remorse, is wasted energy when the balance of your life is at issue. Eventually he passed through the fire of self-recrimination. Then things became easier. We began to work on envisioning that new, more fulfilling life.

The first thing to be thrown over the side was that accumulated pile of trash that was his avatar. All those accumulated visions that he had accepted from other people as necessities were cast away.

Your life is the fruit of your own doing. You have no one to blame but yourself.

Blame was the final bit to go over the side. Now the second birthing was able to kick into high gear. Hungry to know who he was, he found renewed energy and purpose. “I am going to meet myself at last”, was how he put it.

Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.

It has been a hard slog – the birthing was not without its complications. Many of his friends would ask him, “Who are you and what have you done with my friend?” But now the journey is mostly complete. Eventually most of them came to like the new version better than the old one. And he is a far better friend, father and husband because he can now say with confidence, “This is who I am and I no longer carry the burden of who I am not.”

It is one of the greatest joys of what I do to see someone find their true path and set upon it with zest and growing enthusiasm. The journey starts with the realization that all those accumulated visions from other people – including the one codified in their avatar – are only so many barnacles encrusting the hull. But stay the course and follow your path and it leads to the brilliant sunlight of a new life and a lush garden.

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© Dr Earl R Smith II

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