Once we accept that there is something wrong at our core, we are ready for the next crucial step on the healing journey that the process of recapitulation offers. That step is to be open. Being open means allowing life itself—the universe, our bodies, our psyches, and our spirits—to show us what we must face about ourselves, the fears, truths and potential that lie hidden inside us.
If we constantly turn away from what comes to guide us, we may not really be ready. Our steps into our inner world may be so frightening and uncomfortable that we cannot hold ourselves together. We must question whether or not we have the energy or the time to commit to the deeply investigative and healing process that is recapitulation.
Are we truly ready to find out all that troubles us? Or are we better off waiting until we are more ready and available to take the changing journey of recapitulation? I was forty-eight years old before I was finally ready to face what constantly nipped at my soul. Before then I lived with the discomfort of knowing that something was not right, yet I just could not face what it was or what it might mean. I made the choice to live with my defenses and my demons, to struggle along as best I could in the stranglehold of depression, dissociated from life and Self, until I no longer could.
If we are not ready, if it is truly not the proper time to open the door to input from all that we are, our choice then is to get busy with life, to forge ahead into career, family, or creative endeavors. The truth is that we must be able to give ourselves the care and attention that a deep inner journey will require. We must have forged a mature adult self, capable of guiding us through the process. If we have not yet forged a strong adult self then that is the first step to work on as we contemplate our future inner work. A strong adult self capable of guiding our inner child self through the process is a necessary prerequisite of any inner journey.
In addition, if we are at the beginning of forging our identity in the world, still building our ego and finding our feet as independent beings it might not be the right time either. Perhaps its better to put our energy into being fully in the world. However, if our attempts to be in the world repeatedly fail, it might actually be better to tackle what lies within while simultaneously making our way in the outside world. It really depends on who we are, what energetically presents itself to us, and what we are capable of handling.
Whether it is the time for us to begin a deeply life-changing journey or not can be a matter of personal preference and choice, but as with so many choices we are often pushed into them because we have no other recourse but to acquiesce. Some people have life changing events occur that force a change, a serious accident, a near-death experience, devastating illness or circumstances that require starting over, often with a decidedly changed persona and intent. In my own case, I felt death breathing down my neck. I literally felt like I was dying. Though I had no physical disease, I had deeply gnawing spiritual dis-ease. It was time to stop running from it. I knew that if I did not do something for myself, find someone to talk to, I would die.
Death was so close I could smell its stench. I was soon to discover that the stench of 16 years of childhood sexual abuse, rotting at the center of my being, was a far more preferable traveling companion, because it meant letting the breath of life in. Soon life was breathing down my neck, urging me on, and the scent of death wafted away with each word I spoke and each breath I took. As B. K. S. Iyengar says in his book, Light on Life: “We carry so many toxins in memory, feelings that we have stored away and allowed to stagnate and fester. We get so used to carrying this sack of rubbish around that we even conclude it is just part and parcel of our character.”
Basically, when our discomfort shows us that we need healing at our very core, we have two choices: to tackle it head on, accepting what comes, or asking it to wait until we are more ready in our personal lives to handle the full impact of it. It’s okay to not be ready, but the question of readiness itself needs careful attention and consideration.
Once we make the decision to begin our recapitulation, or once our recapitulation begins without our total approval as is sometimes the case, we must shift into being open in a way that we have probably never been open before. Openness evolves as we let the process begin, as we become keenly aware of the world around us and the world inside us, as we begin to examine everything that happens to us in a new way, everything that we dream about, everything that we smell, taste, feel, hear, touch and remember.
Our dreams might be the first place our recapitulation shows up. At the beginning of my recapitulation I had a dream that basically laid out the entire first year of my recapitulation. After that I had subsequent dreams showing me where I would go and how things would unfold. It was only in retrospect, as I worked on my Recapitulation Diaries books, that I clearly saw this process. We all dream. As we open to recapitulation, our dream recall improves and we learn to trust that our dreams will guide us.
Another place that recapitulation may show up is in our body. What do our aches and pains really mean? Are we sick or are we being shown where we store our memories? Are our chronic symptoms symptoms of our spiritual dis-ease? If we allow our body to show us what it knows we learn about where we have been and what we have been through. During my recapitulation my throat ached for months as I was unable to speak or cry. I felt a huge ball growing. I painted pictures of it, but it was not fully released until I faced what it really meant about my child self. All that she held in had to be felt and resolved, all hers fears and pain, all her shame.
Being open means learning what it means to suspend judgments and blame, to lose our inflations and self-deprecating criticalness, to drop our protective defenses and humbly revision ourselves as part of a grander universe where all are equal, equally vulnerable and equally unique. Being open means we learn that its okay to have feelings and emotions, to care about ourselves, especially if we have spent our lives caring only about others.
Being open means letting go, gradually at first and them more readily, of our need to control our world. Granted this is a necessary defense, keeping us from falling apart, but eventually it has to go too, because recapitulation means that sooner or later we are going to totally fall apart, not because we are not able to withstand the impact of our deepest truths, but because we are fully ready to handle them. Letting go is trusting that we are enough, that we have everything we need inside us, as we dare to put it to the test a step at a time.
Being open means saying, “Okay, I’m ready. Show me what I need to know about myself. I am ready to take the changing journey of recapitulation.” And then we wait for what comes to show us the steps that we will take along our personal path of recapitulation. Once the journey begins we don’t really have to do anything, as it will take us! We just have to keep being open, unfolding like a flower as it turns its head toward the light.
Still walking the recapitulation path, in the light of every day,
NOTE: See my previous blog First Step Of Recapitulation: HERE