It can be a loaded word – it could mean trap, pain, struggle, lostness. Or on the flipside it can mean comfort, cave, hideaway, protection, safety.
For me, it's been one of my ongoing difficulties in life – to find my place in the world, on the earth and amongst others. I've lived in 2 other cultures – Jamaica and Mexico – and understand that feeling of being the outsider. I grew up in a home that was rife with conflict, so much so that I left at 16 years old. I have moved over 50 times in my 38 years on this earth, and have lived in other parts of Canada, as well.
The feeling of aloneness is a place of strange comfort and knowing for me. I've had a hard time feeling like I belonged anywhere, and couldn't feel at ease with making friends, believing there would always be tension or they would leave or it would end in a crisis. Letting others get closer to me was a sure road to disappointment and suffering. I've walked with a feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop. Because, in my mind, people are people and the spiritual adage that all things are impermanent actually created a feeling of stress for me rather than ease and allowance. Life was one big journey of heartache and impossibility for me.
Feeling at home in my body has also been a challenge in the face of sexual objectification of women, harassment, weight fluctuations, sexual and emotional victimization. Also, having white skin in countries where people saw me either as dominant and a threat, or totally admired and revered, created really uncomfortable feelings within my body. Self-hate and self-blame was a natural go to place within my being and I would find all the ways in the world to make my life uncomfortable.
So when I went to my first Coming Home Retreat with my life partner, Russell Scott (www.awakentheguruinyou.com), I had expected that I would have more negative stuff to work out. I felt like a mess within myself, that it was hopeless for me and that my life would have to be a series of just surviving in a world of hurt and pain. That the spiritual path was meant to be punishing and suffering and that perhaps I'll never be able to work out my karma and issues.
On the first day, I saw that the schedule seemed rigid, the technique precise, and I felt like I was under yet another system of control that was going to reveal to me that I was weak and that this was the lifetime where I was unfit to grow spiritually or emotionally. I believed others had it all sorted out and they were clearly more evolved than I was on the spiritual path. But as the hours unfolded, the format became a safe container and others opened up their more vulnerable selves, revealing their truth courageously and unabashedly.
I realized that I was not alone in this world.
Others did have compassion, and they struggled with fears and anxieties and depression, and yearned to feel peace, connection, love and life, just like me. Through the sharing and unveiling I peeled off layers of my misperceptions, my identity with my wounds, my feelings of inadequacy, and found a place within myself so lovely, serene, beautiful and totally independent of the conditioning of other people's shoulds, have tos, come ons and beliefs about the way life is supposed to be lived.
I busted through illusions I was living under that I was somehow a bad person, a person who could never be worthy enough to have happiness and abundance in my life, and that I was somehow chosen by the divine forces to live in a purgatorial state of feeling alone, different, misunderstood and hidden.
Instead I discovered my own intuitive knowing, realized how brave, courageous, resilient and phenomenal I am just because I breathe. That I've been conditioned by people who are unconscious of their own light and divinity and they are also just surviving the best way they knew how with all of their wounds. The pain from my perpetrators melted away and my heart found a warm place of compassion and understanding for them, seeing that they are living out their own hurt and are blind to their true nature.
I could feel the life force in my body and never felt more beautiful in all my life. All the ways I twisted and contorted myself to meet other people's expectations unwound from my body. And my heart could open up to me. I finally found a stable home within myself that no one in the world could ever take away from me. And that is when I found true peace within myself, knowing that no matter others say or do to me, I am loveable, loving, and worthy of goodness, and I have the clarity and power to make a life that has more genuine love, softness and kindness in it.
Heather Embree is a soul coach, energy healer and psychic reader in Guelph, ON and offers services for women who are recovering from heartbreak. To find out more about her, visit: www.blossomingheart.ca