Acceptance

Fire on the Mountain
9" x 12" mixed media on canvas 

There is a great legend you will encounter on the spiritual path called "the myth of the Peaceful Meditator." When we are first introduced to meditation and the journey towards inner peace, multiple sources tell us  that we will become happy and satisfied people right off the bat. Like salesmen, these pop culture teachers arrive on the scene with trendy outfits and matching yoga mats, quick to tell you that a few sessions will guarantee you never be irritable, distraught or clueless about your life.

That, my friends, is a crock of shit. No, seriously, it is.

Meditation and mindfulness aren't about becoming happy-go-lucky people who don't have any problems. It's about arming yourself with tools necessary to keep your mind in check despite the circumstances life throws at you. It teaches you to become responsive rather than reactive.

Over time, meditation will turn into the Gatekeeper. This means you will be able to walk into your subconscious mind, that part of you that has all the stuff you don't want to acknowledge. An eruption of the subconscious is the reason why you'll snap at someone because something about them reminded you of the people or situations you don't think about on purpose. The subconscious mind forgets nothing.

The first few times you walk into that aspect of your Self, people are shocked what tumbles out. All the things you don't allow yourself to feel exist in those rooms, where secret feelings of fear, hatred, jealousy, bitterness, and anger fester. You can walk around thinking you are a perfectly well-adjusted person, then have your mental baggage slap you in the face during meditation.

The harder the slap, the more honest you will have to be with your Self. You will have to face your fears, conquer your anger, and transform your hate. This requires a lot more than toughness. It also requires bravery.

For some of us with traumatic experiences, the path towards peace includes revisiting our nightmares. We have to drag our cerebral monsters out of their closets for inspection, shining flashlights of focus on them so we are no longer afraid. It's not easy. But it's worth it to be awake and aware rather than stuck in mental hells I've created over aspects of myself I can't or won't accept. 

Just keep this in mind on your path today: 
The journey of spirit isn't linear, perfect or efficient. 
It's just yours.

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