Healing is not a straight path with a finish line.
I haven’t written a joy tip in three months. I’ve slowed down my posts on social media. I’ve been quieter in my life in general. I’ve been quiet because SO much is going on that I am not even sure where to start. You see, I’m in the midst of a tidal wave of revelations, insights, and deep rooted shifts. AND, this process is tender, raw, complicated, messy, and completely unexpected. I am LIVING the tower of change.
The Tower is Struck.
Back in September during a time of big cosmic waves, I picked up my trusty Tarot deck, to tune in for guidance. I wanted some clarity on all of the big feels I was moving through and pulled a card. As I flipped over the card, there she was. The Tower card...in reverse.
The startling image on the card of a tower on fire after being struck by lightning is feared by many. Let’s face it. Overall as a society, we are not conditioned to thrive in change...especially when the change is connected to our very identity and foundation of being.
If I were to sum up the process of spiritual growth...it would be the Tower. Not a lifetime with one tower. Rather, a lifetime where our ego will build and life will tear down many towers over the decades. The Tower is the ultimate archetypal process of awakening, growth, and evolution because it is through the break down that we find the break through.
When our tower of self-created illusions have been struck by the light of our Higher Self, from the Universe, this stunning energy shakes the very foundation of who we are to invite us into who we are becoming.
These illusions can be outdated beliefs, relationships, understandings of life, and most of all...a sense of self that we have finally outgrown. Clinging to our old identity the Universe strikes it down to force us to...let...it...go.
I love tarot extraordinaire, Rachel Pollack’s commentary on the Tower. Pollack suggests that a tower moment happens when we use the floodgates of our conscious mind to hold back what’s happening unconsciously underneath the surface. Eventually the unconscious breaks through. Whatever we’ve been repressing, stopping from unfolding, denying, comes spilling out. These moments are ALWAYS uncomfortable. VERY uncomfortable.
And so, in September, the tower of my being was struck by one of the biggest bolts of lightning I have ever experienced. As I move through this wave of healing I feel compelled to talk about a lie that many of us on a path of personal and spiritual growth have bought into in society. The lie that there is a point where we “arrive.” A life shattering moment where our personal and spiritual growth produce unwavering comfort, ease, and peace. Where:
We finally land the perfect relationship.
We finally create the business that runs by itself.
We finally never doubt ourselves.
Where after hours of investing in ourselves we can finally say “and she lived happily ever after.”
Movies, television, and marketing sell these ideas to us. Instagram and other social media platforms show a perfect snapshot of reality and not the 100 takes it took to get the picture. Or the secret struggle under the surface of a smile.
I’m intimately familiar with the secret struggles under the smiles because I work with them on a weekly basis in my client work. Over time, my client work combined with my own inner healing work taught me just how unhealthy and damaging this illusion is to our wellbeing.
Buying into the illusion of “happily ever after” built on external circumstances and a certain amount of inner work is not our fault. And yet, if we do want to live a happy life, we do have the responsibility to acknowledge a far more complex path of healing that is messy, cyclical, nonlinear, and spiraling.
How can we draw medicine from an extremely uncomfortable moment? Let go of control.
Unravel, unfurl, and undo to let the light come in.
I’ve been investing in my own healing process and spiritual growth for 12 years now and every time, I am surprised when the tower comes to visit. After tracing back roots upon roots upon roots of behaviors, thoughts, and feelings to shine light on the dark corners of my psyche, I am always in awe to find...another layer. And to discover that with this layer...another tower must fall.
Recently, I didn’t just find another layer to my own healing like I have danced with before. This time, I found the biggest layer to date. An entirely different creature, made of different DNA. Right now this new experience feels like THE layer. A macro pattern that seems to weave every single piece I’ve ever healed during my time on Earth together. This layer stunned me. Stopped me in my tracks. And took my breath away. Because suddenly, everything made sense.
I’m not ready to speak about this layer. I don’t know when I will be...or if I will be. Right now, she is my personal process that I’m exploring with one-on-one with my mentor. What I am willing to share is that when I found what I will call “THE Layer” for now, I started experiencing big waves of emotions, body pains, and shifts of experiences. This is common during healing processes as we finally give energy that has been trapped in our system for months, years, decades, maybe even lifetimes to move. Knowing this, I let go of control and simply held loving space for myself as my pelvis felt like it was broken for three days straight. I witnessed with compassion the heartburn pain gnawing at me in the middle of the night. And I acknowledged the index finger that suddenly got so stiff without explanation, that I could not make a complete circle any more between my index finger and thumb on and off for more than a week.
No one said healing was easy.
Allow the alchemy aka awakening
For many of us, our learned response in moments when discomfort arises is to clamp down and to try to control the situation. My old habit would have been to try to get to a doctor asap when these physical symptoms arose in my body to try to shut them down. Instead, these days I’m doing my best to give all of my process buckets of space, love, and compassion to do exactly what it needs to do...process.
While controlling a wiggling tower may provide some short term relief, eventually the tower comes tumbling down anyways. How hard it falls depends on how much we have resisted what is inevitable...awakening.
Awakening, or in other words, seeing clearly through our self-created illusions, becomes medicine for the soul as the process alchemizes the dark patches of ourselves with the light of truth. And the greatest medicine is our very own awareness. Attention, acknowledgement, and honesty of the truth of our being.
In other words, it is in the unraveling, the unfurling, the undone, and messy nature of change that our very own light expands.
So I say dear one. Let go of “happily ever after.” Don’t beat yourself up if you’ve done a ton of inner work and discover something new. This IS part of the process. After all, we all have infinite layers to our being.
If you are experiencing a tower moment, know that you don’t have to be with the crumbling alone. With each major falling tower in my life, I enroll the support of professionals, mentors, close friends, and loved ones at different points along the way. Right now I’ve enrolled a very tiny team for such a tender process.
Above all, if your sensing a tower that wants to fall, don’t resist. Let the tower crumble. Because when the tower falls, what the Universe has waiting for you on the other side can come in. Let the light in and let the change be.