7 March 2015 4 Comments

Managing Your Energy, Part 40: Rapid Spiritual Growth and Rage

“Because true belonging only happens when we present
our authentic, imperfect selves to the world,
our sense of belonging
can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”
~ Brené Brown

Exposure to energies that promote rapid spiritual growth almost inevitably brings us up against the that prevent us from sustaining those energies within ourselves. When we are passionate about transformation, we view this as an opportunity to stretch ourselves with respect to these limitations. We are, however, rarely of one mind about it. When the going becomes painful, we are apt to view these challenges as an affront. Here we are, doing our best to be all that we can be, and it feels like we’re being tested or tormented, let alone receiving support.

One of my readers brought up what she aptly calls “the universal 2-by-4.” I would like to speak in part to those who have experienced sudden awakenings and transformational life experiences which they were not actively courting. My reader was brave and authentic enough to admit that she felt resentment toward God after having such extreme experiences.

I understand. In the face of this kind of experience it is easy to feel resistant to growth, fear of more pain, angry, and stuck.

About twenty years ago I went through an episode of acute spiritual agony. I was mad at God. Even if one kills one’s self, I reasoned, one could not escape suffering because it is nearly impossible to step off the Wheel of death and rebirth. I did not recall choosing to participate, maybe back at the beginning of being a distinct, individual soul, or agreeing to the intensity of the challenges. I resented that so much learning comes through distress. Why not through love?

Whatever we believe and however we couch it, intense suffering can bring up rage. On the bright side, rage can assist with transformation. It focuses a huge amount of energy. Rage itself is life-affirming. We do need to use this force toward positive ends.

While I do not hold with rigid belief, I do believe that the urge to grow is part of our nature. We experience fulfillment through growth. We experience fulfillment by cultivating our hearts, and meaning through involvement with The Greater Whole.

The more we feel separate from God, others, the Universe, etc, the more we suffer. When we feel at One with It, we feel better and are more likely to experience meaning. If we cannot feel it now, we can aim to remain open.

IMG_1785Life is what it is and does what it does. We want to think it could be “fair.” We attempt to apply logic, to hold life to human standards of what should and should not happen. These standards were usually taught to us as children. Sometimes we regress when we cannot understand Life with our minds.

Apparently The One Being That embraces Everything does not maintain our biases against suffering and death. Much that we can experience directly, through our hearts, cannot be rationalized or explained. This includes the paradox of Divine Compassion.

Life is a big fat mystery. It full of paradox and both-ands. It does not and will not conform to our expectations. When we resist, we hurt more. I can understand resenting that.

The more I do practices that increase my ability to remain in my heart the more I experience myself as participating instead of feeling done-to.

How do YOU feel about using difficult circumstances to grow?

What brings you a sense of having a choice?

To progress in our Inner Work, we need to be willing to observe
our resistance to reality, our attachment to our self-image,
and our fear. (Understanding the Enneagram)

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4 Responses to “Managing Your Energy, Part 40: Rapid Spiritual Growth and Rage”

  1. Kelly 7 March 2015 at 5:24 pm #

    To progress in our Inner Work, we need to be willing to observe
    our resistance to reality, our attachment to our self-image,
    and our fear. (Understanding the Enneagram)

    And here we go, Teresa et al…..

    Life is eating itself. This is life. Making peace with this is no small task, but you might find yourself belly laughing and wonderng where this is bubbling up from as you sit with it. That belly laugh is the truth, it is you. Really.

    This takes me back to the work of shifting identity from the body/mind to the essential ground of being. My word of caution is an echo of Trungpa, which is something to the effect that it is better not to start, but once started you better finish. I say this because I watch my mother in law, oblivious to anything beyond social occasions and her garden and she is so flipppin’ happy and vital. The spiritual trip we speak of here would be ruinous for her. I mention God and she waves her hand to dismiss this notion and offers another glass of wine. She is happy and old and needs nothing of this inner landscape to feel alive. I used to wonder about this, but can now appreciate it. I on the other hand must finish the journey. She asked us to drop her off at the mountain pass when it is time…..Amen!

    Every way is valid. Some of us will just be dropped off on the mountain top in the end while others of us are walking up that mountain. I feel it is important to accept, enjoy and squeeze everything out of your journey and let go of wishing you got a lift! We get what we get and that we got, is the gift! Rage and all.

    For those opened to the throws of God, a guide helps as does prayer or intention. I think that the degree to which you can be just full on honest in the face of everything, with yourself and that which you seek guidance from, you’ll be alright …..EVENTUALLY. Rage and all. Turning away can build the beast still bigger yet or consume you in ways unrecognizable until you are really in over your head-or so it feels. We have bound ourselves and we have the scissors to snip the lines that bind. It can take years to realize this which is why a guide who knows the terrain can help.

    My words of hard earned wisdom…Be prepared, knowing that parts of the spiritual journey are like a roller coaster, once you say yes and climb on board you aren’t allowed off the ride until it comes to a stop. That is not the whole journey, but there are parts of our inner process of falling away/surrendering to repeated failures to have control over the direction of our life that are just like this, while others are more like a road trip where you can pull over for a break when you decide.

    I made the mistake of thinking I was powerless rather than seeing I had said yes to something that had a course to run before I got to have a say again. This is a big one to recognize and it will help you relax more deeply into the ride! How we choose to relate to the movement of life is often times the only place we have choice, but we are free in this. Now, I prefer to throw my hands in the air, but some drops make me grab the bar, white knuckled holding on for life!

    Honest, sincere rage at God can initiate the ride, this I know-now. The ride can bring the rage too, but I say let it rise while you watch everything from below and you’ll likely discover a hidden jewel.


    • Teresa Dietze 8 March 2015 at 1:16 pm #

      Kelly you are amazingly articulate. I couldn’t agree more.

      Yes, people are at different places in their spiritual process, including like your Mother-in-Law. It is important not to assume that everyone has to take it on, and important to be able to honor the journey of those who do. I, too, have looked at people who are not actively on a spiritual path and pondered. We are all in the same caravan. For some of us this particular crossing is the first part a much longer journey. For some this leg of the journey is close to the end. We have different burdens to carry. As we move along we gain confidence in the way we need to to walk it; that there is no set way for every traveler.

      I agree about rage too. Watching everything is a key to those who have opted in (whether or not we remember doing so.)



  2. Therese 7 March 2015 at 7:12 pm #

    It has finally come to me that I do not grow through pain. It is when I am finished with being in pain that I begin to look around and within for love, acceptance, and compassion for myself. So, I have changed my view to one of learning through love and joy. Now, when I feel pain, I look for the love and joy. Since I’ve just begun this practice it is not automatic but I expect love and joy will become my automatic response to life.

    With Love,

    • Teresa Dietze 8 March 2015 at 1:18 pm #

      Ha! I am laughing because I see that this is true for me now too. I wanted that for so long, and now I am learning to intentionally look for the love and joy, not as an avoidance, but as a way to soften into greater acceptance.

      Thanks for your note.



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