By Elisa Novick
This week, after three days spent in agony from tooth pain that went into my trigeminal nerve, a root canal and surgery on an infected ingrown toenail, I am marveling at just how much joy is bubbling through me. How strange!
Joy is the mark of a soul, slipping through the portals into this world of woes. I am ecstatic seeing how a client’s deepest grief, the suicide of a close family member, is her path to spiritual awakening. And another, being brought more deeply into incarnation in her body during a group meeting via Skype, is now shining like an angel.
As souls who have come forth into manifest reality, we get to experience ourselves in many contexts. We are organisms. We have bodies to learn how to get around in and maintain. We have psyches with pre-programmed and re-programmed patterns of reaction and response.
Aspects of self are called forth variously in relationship to family and others in our lives and all the groups we get identified with — school, religion, political orientation, race, gender, community, nation, planet and cosmos. We exist in timelines — our past, present, future lives, and the generational progression of all of the genetic cell lines that have contributed to us being who we are.
Every one of these relationships contains learning opportunities and every one of them has karma. There are many maps and diagrams (e.g., astrology) and philosophical systems we can use to put these relationships on display that can give valuable (and sometimes not so valuable) feedback. They enrich our understanding.
Yet always, who we truly are contains all of that and also transcends all of that, because what we do with that information, and all of our experiences, inside ourselves and in relationship, determines how we grow.
Growth, the quest for improvement and transformation, is the hallmark of life on this planet. We can’t imagine life without that theme. An enormous percentage of our stories reflect the almost universal belief that life is about overcoming challenges, vanquishing inner and outer enemies, the hero’s journey, healing from adverse circumstance, making it.
Yet when I ask spiritually, I’m told that the process of growth (and death and decay) we take for granted, is not true of all planets. There are planets and realms in which those concepts have no meaning, only beingness or creativity — endless and joyful experimentation with creation, sound, color and vibration, or serving the divinity in bliss.
In this world, in these time-limited lifetimes, with no user’s manual or warranty, we have a fantastic (whether you like it or not) opportunity to learn through challenge, adversity, and the constant necessity to make choices. What we take into our consciousness and how we focus consciousness is a constant moment-to-moment choice.
It’s a wonder how we can get through this particular life, isn’t it? Having to pay so much attention to the survival of our bodies, participating in so many concurrent seeming realities. It is a wonder we don’t all go crazy.
But wait! Actually… we are all crazy. We can’t help it because we don’t have all the information. We don’t experience even a small portion of all of the levels of existence and meaning of it all, the entire reality of who and what we are, and yet we expect ourselves to make some semblance of sense out of it and work endlessly toward our goals, or inner peace or integration, so subjective and often evanescent. So we make up interpretations to try to fill in the gaps and now and then some Truth comes shining through.
What an amazing world we live in! We use our senses and instruments and art to bear witness to all of the many beautiful places and people, a planet teeming with life. Astonishing, and so real, and yet, in actuality, none of this exists.
It is just a projected full-surround, multisensory image, the real “Matrix,” in which we voluntarily (at a level we don’t remember) participate for unknown reasons, toward an unknown purpose that we vaguely refer to as success or enlightenment.
We carry so much beauty, so much hope and great love. And we carry around so much hurt.
“My father was a violent alcoholic, my mother belittled me, my brother stole my inheritance, my beloved cheated on me, my beautiful little girl wants to be a boy, I’m too fat, I murdered people in the war, my best friend won’t speak to me, I was raped by my uncle, most of my family were killed in the Holocaust, I have cancer…”
We don’t like it, we rail against our made-up gods that make us have to go through these things. We watch in dismay as we age and can no longer do the things we so took for granted when younger. We judge and punish ourselves. We think we are doomed to die (the biggest joke of the whole business).
We take it so seriously. God laughs and we cry. Now what is all that about? And why bother?
Because through it all, there is, and always has been, something or someone that knows what we are here for, what we need to learn, and loves us totally. We are cheered on, cherished, brought to experiences that are tailor-made for us to awaken to the greater reality. We have as many chances as we need. There is no failure, only experience, no soul is lost, life never dies, no one got hurt. I am, you are, we are, the Beloved.
At some point, maybe in your next breath, maybe in your next lifetime, the drama will be over, you will shake hands with the other actors and walk off the stage, and remember. “Oh…!”
Elisa Novick, MSS does profound work as a healer, teacher, counselor, coach, minister, and facilitator of workshops and trainings in personal, professional, and spiritual development. She can assist you to clear personal, karmic and genetic patterns that have limited you and teach you exquisite attunement skills so you can become the magnificent master of life and Light that all of us are destined to be. Elisa has been assisting people in their growth since 1982 through her counseling practice and in facilitating over 1,000 workshops in holistic health, human development, family constellation, systemic constellation, organizational dynamics, planetary healing and spiritual awareness. You may email her directly at elisanovick [at] thrivingplanet [dot] org.