What does it mean to come home to one's Self? For me, it's been a 35 year exploration, and it continues to deepen. I remember as a teenager being aware of a strange sense of disconnection between my inner experience of self, and the self I presented to the outside world. Inwardly, I was aware of a feeling of vastness and freedom. This experience was met by and reflected in the peaceful expansiveness of nature. In the presence of other people, however, I was highly aware of my exceedingly shy, introverted personality and uncomfortable self-consciousness. My personality felt incredibly restrictive, to the point that I felt I was living inside a cage. As a young person, I was unable to make sense of the enormous difference between the inner feeling of freedom and the profoundly limited expression of my young, female self.
At 19 years old, the painful ending of my first romance ushered me into a phase of intense spiritual search. I needed to make sense of my existence and especially of the emotional suffering I was experiencing. I started attending a meditation group, began a disciplined daily meditation practice, had an Indian guru, and went on to study Zen, Hinduism, Christianity, and read hundreds of books on metaphysics, spirituality, philosophy, personal growth and self-help. Over the years, it became clear that what I was looking for was not outside of me, but rather, inside of me. What began as a search for Truth and God turned into a search for my Self. After all, God Realization and Self Realization are the same thing.
At some point, I noticed I was no longer seeking. Instead, my interest was in authentically expressing the unique strand of life that I am. My spiritual search had morphed into the desire to fully express what is mine to express. And to pay more attention to my god-given creative gifts. It’s been a fascinating journey! These days, much of the time, I feel very at home with my Self. I feel connected to that larger, invisible portion of myself that I had been seeking for all those years. And when I lose that connection, I know, without a doubt, that I can return to it - usually by using one or more of the Tools for Self-Healing I’ve learned along the way.
There are many ways in which we humans ‘leave home’, or separate from our Selves. We are complex, multi-dimensional beings. We have physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies. The larger part of us is invisible. Parts of us can get disconnected from other parts, or so it seems. Its more like a switch gets turned off. We often overly identify with one aspect of ourselves and pay less attention to other aspects. It can take a lifetime to fully awaken to and integrate the different levels or dimensions of our Being, and to have them fully and harmoniously functioning together. Being truly ‘at home with our Self’ - body, mind, heart & soul fully connected and operational - is no easy task!
It’s important to become aware of the relationship between our soul or spiritual self and our body/mind self. Our heart or emotions are like a bridge connecting the two. Our feelings always let us know whether the relationship between our soul and our body/mind is a healthy, happy one. I think of my soul as the mature, wise, adult part of me and my body/mind as the child that’s still learning and growing. Ultimately, they are One. The body is an expression of the spirit or soul. However, there is also a relationship between these two different facets of ourselves. Paying attention to that relationship enables us to know where we’re at, in this journey of 'coming home to our Self'. Is the relationship mutually respectful and harmonious? Is there discord and disconnection?
Our western culture constantly bombards us with the notion that we need to acquire something from the outside in order to experience our wholeness. The underlying message is that we are somehow deficient or incomplete. Although on the physical level, life is always changing and advancing, that’s no reason for us to not know our inherent wholeness. There's nothing we need to ‘get’ and nothing we need to wait for. We just need to fully acknowledge and accept all the different aspects of ourselves - body, mind, heart and soul - and to allow for the integration of these different dimensions of our being. They were intended to function harmoniously together. We are already whole. However, it also true that we most likely need to let go of a whole bunch of concepts we’ve accumulated along the way, that tell us otherwise. So, there is a journey of coming home to ourselves. And the sooner we start that journey, the sooner we’ll arrive …