Being lost in the wilderness and hearing a voice calling you home is a mirror for life and your relationship to suffering.
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You are following a voice calling you to return home. This voice is the Love that lies beneath all of the stories and events of your life. It does not wish you to suffer as you make your way back. Yet, it understands that all of your experiences are what make the journey rich and meaningful. This Love knows that there will be trials along the way, each one designed to help you awaken to your Self.
Welcome to Love Lies Beneath. I’m Zette Harbour. I’m glad to have you here. Do you feel like stress, fear or pain take up way too much of your energy? Have you wondered if you’ll ever be free of that heaviness of your past? Do you long to feel as good on the inside as your life looks on the outside?
In this podcast, you’ll discover the story of who you really are, and how to set yourself free. Together, we’re going to travel into those wild spaces of our inner landscapes, and dive deeply into the rich soil of our lives, reclaiming Soul through Story and healing our Hearts. My book, Love Lies Beneath is the map. Be sure to subscribe to this podcast so you don’t miss any of this enriching journey. And now, let the adventure begin.
Episode Three is all about finding our way in the wilderness.
Life is so messy. It can feel like wandering around in the wilderness without any clear idea of how to find our way back home and what is really amazing is there are and will be moments and people and conditions and events that will cause me to feel even more lost. What I want to explore today is how understanding the nature of what feels like an enemy, those moments, those emotions, those people, those events that feel threatening to me, how understanding their true nature will allow me to find my way in this wilderness.
For so many years of my life i have felt lost. I have found myself in quicksand, thrashing my way through brambles and briar patches, and climbing my way up the side of cliffs that are just loose rock just tumbling down onto me. As I go I’ve also had these times in my life where I feel like I am in Shangri La, where the view is beautiful and inspiring and the surroundings feel welcoming and friendly.
And how those moments in my life felt were how I decided whether it was something helpful or whether it was something there to hurt me. When we feel that we are threatened in some way, and it can be on the physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual level, our brains are wired to help us and that’s where we get into the fight, flight, or freeze response. The challenge has been to untangle that evolutionary biology and that wiring in my brain that says when I feel threatened to fight or to run or to freeze.
And even more, the challenge has been to see through the experience that I’m facing to see the true nature of the feelings I am having in response to that moment, to go beyond seeing it as a threat and be able to understand that there is a much deeper, much more profound, and meaningful reason for the struggles.
In order to explore this more, I’m going to read a couple of sections of my book. In Part one, they are Lost In The Wilderness, and Spoons & Stones, l
Lost In The Wilderness. If you were lost out in the wilderness, and heard a voice call out to tell you how to return to safety, you would follow it. Along the way, you might stumble into some brambles and get stuck in mud up to your knees. It is likely that you would fall trying to climb over boulders that were in your way. The nights would be icy cold, and the wind would dry out your skin. You would also feel the friendly warmth of the sun on your upturned face. Drink in the clean waters of the murmuring stream, and feel the ageless comfort beaming down from the starry night sky.
Your life is just like that. You are following a voice calling you to return home. This voice is the Love that lies beneath all of the stories and events of your life. It does not wish you to suffer as you make your way back. Yet it understands that all of your experiences are what make the journey rich and meaningful. This Love knows that there will be trials along the way, each one designed to help you awaken to yourself. When you hold this awareness in front of you, the experiences you have will transform from adversaries to allies. It will not always feel easy or pleasant. To be sure the discomfort and hardships along the way are real. They just do not mean what they appear to mean. They are not messages telling you that you deserve to or need to suffer
Stones & Spoons. In the movie The Matrix, Neo meets an extraordinary child who can telekinetically bend a metal spoon. Neo has only recently learned the true nature of existence and is still reeling from the knowledge that the world is not what he has for so long believed it to be when this gifted child shows him the bending spoon. Neo decides to give it a try. The child’s explanation is simple and brilliant. “Do not try to bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead, only try and realize the truth…There is no spoon.”
This is what I have discovered about suffering. I have learned that, like the spoon, it does not actually exist. Disappointments, betrayals, grief, loss, and all the other painful moments, what are commonly thought of as suffering are in fact, calls to take a journey to discover and recover the story of my true nature. They feel like enemies, but they are not. This may seem hard to believe. However, the most profound truth is that love underlies all experience whether it feels good or bad.
What I have believed to be the truth was in fact, my version of my experience. I don’t mean that what happened to me or what I have done throughout my life was not real. There is no doubt that those events occurred. They are the facts of the case, so to speak. Understanding story has helped me sort out my interpretation of what those occurrences meant about me and my worthiness.
The moments of my life were like stones with which I constructed the story of me. They were the building blocks of my identity. The mortar I used to lay each one in the wall of my life was the meaning I had assigned to it. I could erect a fortress of fear and protection or create an entrance to the wellspring of love. That is the source of my life. My perception of what each stone meant, determined how I put it to use. I was either staving off an enemy, or welcoming a friend.
Today, when I experience hurt, fear, anger or sadness, I understand that what ever awakened those feelings is a messenger. I have learned to hear them as voices of my Soul, calling me to find my way to the eternal life giving spring of Love that lies beneath. Listening in this way is not an avoidance of my emotions, because I genuinely feel them. Instead, I am able to recognize that they have a different purpose from the thoughts that accompany them.
The key is that the story I see, hear and feel in the moment makes it possible for me to know what path to take. As I follow these guides, I drink from the healing waters, and restore my heart to wholeness, no longer lost in the wilderness. Now, I am a sojourner present to the vitality of the moment, I am able to take in a wide variety of flavors, textures, aromas, and sounds. And while they will not all be pleasant, they will all be rich. In that richness, I find meaning. In order to tap into that meaning, I must uncover what lies buried in the origins of my stories.
The image that came to mind when I was writing, this was that scene in The Matrix with the child bending the spoon. And it was just a great mirror for me to look into and see that I often have and still continue to look at the problems in my life, the way that Neo was looking at that spoon. How can I bend it? How can I make it do what I want it to do? But because its true nature is that it is not a problem to be solved or an enemy to be vanquished any attempts to dominate or conquer or control will fail, and just lead us to greater frustration. And with that, probably greater pain.
Once I’m able to understand that there is no spoon, it allows me to see that I’m not here to make the spoon do what I want it to do. When I see the nature of the spoon, that it doesn’t exist, then it is free to bend and turn and change shape and become anything I desire. And that is the truth of those painful experiences in life. They look like something I am supposed to conquer, to dominate, to overcome, to bend to my will and turn into any shape I want.
When in fact, what I am being invited to see and to know, to become and to experience is that there is no enemy there. These painful moments are those voices in the wilderness saying, Come this way. Safety is here your home is here calling to me to move in that direction. And it’s just unfortunate that, you know, sometimes we only listen when life says something in a voice that doesn’t feel good.
It’s in learning the true nature of these painful ,disappointing, fearful events in our lives that we also gain the ability to shift how life communicates with us. In the same way that Neo could not have ever bent a spoon to his will, I cannot bend painful events to my wi ll. In the same way that Neo realizes there is no spoon. I can realize these painful events are not my enemies. They are not here to harm me, no matter how much they may look like it. The way to understand this is to dive deeply into the origins of my stories, to recover, and reclaim the parts of me that hold this truth about the nature of my suffering.
The piece I want to leave you with today is to trust that there is a voice calling to you in the wilderness. And it wants you to find your way home. It wants you to feel safe and loved. It wants you to know that you have always been loved. And so as you move through these days, weeks, months, even years of your life, and those scary or threatening or painful moments appear, leave just even a little space in your understanding of them, the same way that Neo was leaving space in his understanding of the spoon. Now you can leave space in your understanding that these painful, threatening, challenging moments do not have to be an enemy. In fact, they may just be the deepest part of you that truly loves you and wants you to be reconnected to the love that lies beneath everything.
I’m Zette Harbour. Don’t forget, subscribe to this podcast so you don’t miss a single episode. I look forward to the next step in our journey. Go raibh míle maith agat!