I just got off the phone with my Aunt and Uncle, both of whom I respect for their wisdom and their courage to work on themselves throughout their life. We were reflecting on the work that I have done over the past three years. I want to talk a little about the biggest takeaway from that conversation.
I recently did a wilderness quest in Death Valley with The School of Lost Borders (they call is a Vision Fast). I brought the same journal that I had during my first quest in New Mexico. I looked over where I was at three years ago and what I was confronting, and it was the same as what I was currently confronting, as though nothing had changed!
The biggest themes I was facing again were fear and honoring my truth. I have always struggled to honor my truth, and fear of failure and how my truth will be received has historically stopped me in my tracks. Here I am, three years later, asking myself, “Have I even made any progress? Why am I still here confronting the same things?”
I brought my frustrations to the elders. I was reminded that we all have our own unique challenges, all of which are connected to our “sacred wounds.” Bill Plotkin, in his book Soulcraft, first introduced me to the term, “sacred wound” in reference to the unique wound each and every one of us carried throughout our lives. I love how that term helps me remember that the sacred work of being human wouldn’t be possible without that core wound that each of us carries.
This reminder helped me to see beyond my inner critic’s voice, and look at how far I’ve come. When I entered my first fast, fear and not honoring my truth were keeping me stuck and miserable in the restaurant industry, not working towards anything else. Now, years later, I had found myself in a job that I loved and that challenged me in all the ways I wanted – to be a better human in relationships, to be a better guide, and ultimately to look deep within myself and be a role model for others by embodying the work I had done.
Fear and not honoring my truth looked different now. I found myself not leaving a job that I loved when I was being called to move into the next stage of my vision. What a huge difference! That realization allowed me the freedom and courage to take a step back and actually celebrate myself, silence my inner critic, and feel self-love.
All of this being said, I want this to be a reminder to you. We all carry our own core, sacred wounds. One of the most beautiful privileges of being human is that we get to deepen our relationship to ourselves and the world through the healing of that wound. While the work may never entirely end, the more we do it, the more fully we’re able to live!
So, I encourage you to not just do your sacred healing work, but to be gentle with yourself in the process. Your wounding is a deep, dark, sacred place that takes tremendous courage to confront. Celebrate yourself for the progress you’ve made. Silence the inner critic and be gentle with yourself. Understand that this wound is a gift that invites you at every stage to be more fully human.