4_Afterword

Afterword

In each of us, often deeply buried and inaccessible, lives a vibrant, inviolable creature self, the pure essence of who we truly are. When not interfered with, this deep self – our wise and knowing simple animal being – unerringly, instinctively moves us toward that which grows and nurtures us. Just as unfailingly, it moves us away from all that endangers us on any level.

The whole process of socialization in our so-called modern western culture is a relentless curriculum that surrounds and embeds us in values and prescriptions that undermine and contradict the credibility of these inner urgings.

So much of what ails us and causes us intense grief and struggle in our lives comes from our being cut off, alienated from the knowings of this essential self. The pain of this alienation is further compounded by the myriad liminal and subliminal messages that threaten us with the loss of the love, care and relationship with all who matter to us should we choose to turn inward to make connection with our deep self a priority. We are warned that self-ishness is always unacceptable, reprehensible.

We have come to be frightened of authenticity, of strong emotions of any sort: joy, sorrow, anger, grief, fullness-of-self. We have learned to fear and override the need for slowness, the need for rest: for empty time and space to be inward, quietly reflective.

The healing journey of finding our way home, of making peace with all the parts of our selves is one of un-layering, of shedding and separating our selves from the misguided beliefs and requirements by which society has disconnected us from the place of wholeness within us. It is the slow, careful process of uncovering and exploring the depths of who we truly are, of our wild authentic selves.

Gently and lovingly we create a safe oasis in which first to observe and then to begin suspending the self-undermining ways we have been taught to live. In this oasis, away from the clamor of things as they are out-there, we allow the truth within us to surface, to be heard. Over time, with great care and patience, we begin the practice of living from the center of our selves, from our deepest truths.