So, as I wrote about last week in Self in Recapitulation, what eventually occurs as the recapitulation journey is taken is that the old self breaks down and a new self begins to form. As this new self grows stronger and more present it becomes clear that old defenses, once so important and necessary, just don’t cut it anymore. The world, we discover, does not have to function as it once did because we don’t need it to. We realize that it’s safe to change and we find that in changing ourselves the changing world finds us quite likable and acceptable in return, greeting us with open arms.
Through deep self-exploration and with self in containment—adult self in balance with inner child self, ensconced in a supportive environment—this change occurs over time, naturally, in a process that we can handle. As we take the recapitulation journey, for as long as it takes, we begin to experience a new, expanded self. In bits and pieces or in leaps and bounds this new self presents itself to us in a myriad of ways, in deeply personal inner changes, in our dream work, in our relationships, and in how we handle the vicissitudes of life itself as we make our way in the outer world. Eventually we may discover that this totally new self is someone we never even imagined we could be.
Even while we are deeply entrenched in our recapitulation process we are offered glimpses of what it will mean to become whole and fully present in this world. We are constantly offered moments of magic and awe. If we can accept them purely as such, as instances of a fully present self projected forward, perhaps months or years ahead, we grasp the deeper meaning of change, of what it will mean to finally attain a new self. We grasp what it will mean to assimilate our fragmented self, to integrate all our parts and become whole.
Recapitulation takes work. The first work is in finding an adult self we can work with, within the context of who we are at the moment. We all have a mature adult self inside us somewhere. We all grew up, went to school, got jobs, perhaps became parents ourselves, took on responsibilities of one sort or another. We all have access to a parent self, constructed from what we grew up with perhaps, as I wrote about last week as well. This parent self, no matter where it comes from and how domineering or shaky it may be, is where we start.
Then, as our recapitulation process unfolds, we confront that parent self over and over again, questioning its choices and actions, finding out what they are based on, questioning who is really in control and why. We might find that we don’t really like that parent self, nor do we adhere to its belief system, to its fears, or its needs. We might find that it doesn’t belong to us at all, and then the real work begins as we explore who we truly are as our own separate and unique being.
As we allow ourselves to leave the old world and the old parents behind, acknowledging them for having gotten us this far, we take over our own lives. We become fully responsible, knowing that we alone are enough.
There came a point in my own recapitulation when I knew this, that I was indeed all I needed to navigate life, that I was all I needed to be balanced and whole, to be contented, fully responsible, fully present and fully alive. And that was the point when I learned what it meant to love myself, for being who I am, for my daring, adventuresome, strong, and capable self. And then I learned that there was even something more important than self.
Finally freed of old ideas of self, I was then ready to learn what it meant to love another human being, intimately and purely. And in allowing myself to be loved in return, I learned the meaning of universal love, of giving without needing anything at all in return, simply because love is always available to give. I learned how to simply be.
In taking over responsibility for our own journeys and moving forward into life in our own unique way, we have the opportunity to live differently—always—abiding by a new set of proven principles, our own, firmly and forever in alignment with our spirit. We may make some mistakes, even some of the same ones that we’ve made before, and we may have to recapitulate quite a bit of old stuff, but with those moments of magic and awe leading us onward we just keep going, knowing that the world we grew up in was just one aspect of our lives and it does not define who we truly are.
By taking up the challenge of our recapitulation in a mature manner, by answering the call to do deep inner work in full awareness of its many challenges, we allow ourselves to change ourselves and our world. In giving ourselves permission to face, dismantle, and pore over the pieces of our old selves, we move on into new and different life, evolving life, taking with us only that which truly works for us.
In alignment with our spirit’s intent, now with our truths in hand, we find ourselves on a new mission, eager to learn more about life, why we are here and where we are going. Now we know the real value of recapitulation, because we are living it. We are living life more fully, without fear, the world greeting us each new day without fear in return.
Each day I learn something new. I learn the lessons I personally need to learn. I learn that we are all students and teachers, parents and children, selfish and selfless, lover and loved alike. Every day, I ask the universe to enlighten me a little bit more, to help me as I continue my journey.
Show me my failings so that I can confront them, I ask. Show me my beauties so I can enhance them. Show me my goodness so I can share it. Show me my magic so I can evolve. Lead me on my journey so I can be of service. Thank you for teaching me to be humble, selfless, and kind.
May we all take our journeys without fear, always open to the path that unfolds before us. May we stop running and hiding long enough to take a breath of something new, aware that one fresh idea is all we may need to begin a new life.
Most humbly offered,