This is how it goes: You are born. You learn how to walk, to talk, to interact with other human beings. You start school. You survive teenager-hood. You move out of your family home and learn how to support yourself. You fall in love. Your heart gets broken. You find what makes you happy and what you want to do in the world. You survive tragedy. You get married and have kids, or you don’t. You get ill. Your parents die. Other people you love die. You get old (or not). You die.
Chock full of changes — of initiations.
Each time we change, we grow and develop. We die to who we were and get re-born into a new phase. Change initiates us through the challenges it presents to us. We are asked to step up and make the heroic effort to become someone new.
Initiations come with trials that when successfully completed, usher us into a new way of being, a new self. But the trials of initiation can be avoided or mishandled. Our fear wins over our willingness to face into the gale: strangeness, discomfort and uncertainty, leaving the familiar, wandering in limbo.
It is not guaranteed that a person will successfully navigate an initiation. If they have no preparation, no strong foundation of inner strength, if they have no support system, no maps, no community, they can fall off the edge of the cliff. If no one tells them that what they are feeling is normal, that now is the time to attend to their inner world, that yes they feel like they are dying but it’s OK, they may try to cling to who they have been and so become smaller and miss the chance for the joy that new life brings.
Human beings have always been evolving, and our ancient ancestors knew that successful initiations required community support, and support of the unseen world. They created rites and ceremony to acknowledge the changes that they went through.
Today we are highly complex creatures with inner psychological selves. We face collective challenges of a global scope. Some of us are going through inner psycho-spiritual evolution that is new to the species at large . . . experiences of states and stages of development that in former times were the domain of mystics and adepts, not regular people. Because this new type of change and growth, along with its accompanying challenges and trails is not yet ‘normal,’ people can feel like they are going in crazy — when in fact they are on a great adventure into the front edges of human consciousness.
[This is nothing to make oneself special about! In fact, the minute you do, you’re failing an initiatory trial. Pay attention!]
I’m writing this to just say, hey, this is happening people. If this resonates with you, look around. You will find others who are undergoing this initiation — make a date to have coffee. Find people who have been there and survived. Take advantage of the many modalities and practices that exist to support you in your process. Follow your intuition. Listen for guidance, signs, synchronicities. Know there are people out there, like me, who really freakin' care and who are cheerleading you on.
And don’t freak out!!