20th May 2016
Contributing writer for Wake Up World
“Know thyself and thou shalt know all the mysteries of the gods and of the universe” — Inscription on the Greek temple at Delphi
‘Who am I?’ is one of the most fundamental questions of existence, yet most of us are so preoccupied with what is going on in our external reality that we don’t bother to take the time to really explore our own vast internal world. Painting deep self-examination as a form of navel gazing, society tends to persuade us to look outside ourselves for meaning and clarity. But when we neglect our own inner workings we miss the opportunity to delve into the mysterious inner realm and uncover the treasures of our deep self and the universal truths that we, as fractals of the entire universe, all contain within.
Mainstream society is renowned for being stifling. Using social acceptance as a means of control, from a young age we are corralled into a socially sanctioned mould. We learn very early on in our development that the best way to avoid being shunned and ostracized is by following external directives. Conformity and standardisation are hallmarks of our education system. The media, through carefully selected icons, dictates and reinforces societal ideals of what is and isn’t desirable. Socially, our friends and families might use shame, ridicule and sometimes even punishment to ensure that we don’t stray too far from the flock.
However, sacrificing our authenticity for acceptance generally doesn’t lead to happiness and wellbeing. It is not surprising that so many of us feel dissatisfied, anxious and depleted, even when our lives are the epitome of social desirability. Often it is this yearning to break out of the oppressive mainstream framework that acts as a catalyst, propelling us to go beyond the shallow surface distractions in search of something more real and meaningful.
“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” ~ C.G. Jung
In order to access our inner gold, we need to be willing face those darker aspects of self that we have buried away. When I turned my attention away from all the external theatrics and began looking within, what I initially discovered wasn’t pretty. I found parts of me that were broken, parts that were wicked and enraged, parts that wallowed in shame, and parts that were paralysed with fear; in short, I found my shadow.
At first I thought I was a wounded freak in a population that was mainly healthy and successful. With time however, it dawned on me that we are all broken inside to some extent. I realized that successful types in Western society were often just those people who had mastered the ability to mask and gloss over their wounds. This is a civilization in which we learn to conceal our flaws and weaknesses; it is normal to invest a huge amount of energy in trying to convince everyone around us that we are ok.
Facebook has taken this phenomenon to a new level. I am sure everyone is either directly or indirectly familiar with the Facebook illusion of the perfect life. It is as if we hope that if we can convince everyone else that we’re happy, then we will be. Surface shine might impress some, but in order to really feel good we need to truly shine from deep down in our core. A true sense of wellbeing comes from within, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.
When I realized that in our world flawlessness was often only a skin deep illusion, I found it easier to accept the less desirable aspects of myself. I began to take time to work with these aspects that for so long I had tried to hide from myself and the world.
As I explored these dark inner spaces I discovered some surprising treasures. First of all I discovered that most of the elements I had classified as dark actually had two forms of expression – a positive, and a negative form. When aspects are rejected and repressed they naturally unconsciously affect us in a negative way. But when those same elements are accepted in love, and integrated, they can become allies, working with us rather than against us.
I also discovered that hidden away with all the parts of myself that I was not comfortable with, within the extreme darkness that I contained, were all my brightest and shiniest elements. In my attempts to fit in, not only had I shied away from that which I deemed unsightly, I had also unknowingly sacrificed my unique beauty. By acknowledging and owning my darkness I began creating an inner foundation that was real and solid enough that my radiant, exquisite aspects began to feel safe enough to be expressed.
The journey towards authenticity is not glamorous. There are inevitably messy moments, awkward moments, and ugly moments … and that’s ok – they are unavoidable parts of a process that is leading us out of distortion, back towards our true centre. I have found that with every step I take I am becoming more confident and willing to be myself, to speak my truth, and to honour my feelings.
I am finding that learning to trust my own internal navigation system is empowering. This internal navigation system is independent of the sway of ‘group think’ or what ‘they’ say. It is perfectly attuned to my needs and true desires. By following this navigation system I may not always look cool or trendy to others, but the more I tune in the less I care because I find myself guided towards aspects of life that make my heart sing and my spirit shine.
I trust that the more we explore ourselves, the more we align with our soul expression, our true purpose, and our unique voice. We discover who we really are, beyond who we are told to be, or who we think we should be. I believe this ability to be authentic and distinct is the ultimate gift we can give ourselves and the human collective. As more and more of us turn away from the external droning of the shallow, middle-of-the-road reality and find our own inimitable voice to boldly sing out with, the richer, more true, and more soulful our individual and collective reality will become.
About the author:
Christina Lavers is a writer, an artist, a creative enthusiast, and an inner world explorer. Born in Montreal Quebec, Canada, she now lives with her life partner and son in a rainforest pocket in the hills behind Coffs Harbour, NSW Australia. She spends her time playing, creating, growing and sharing.
Christina is devoted to assisting people to find and connect with their own creative magical current that flows deep within. She is now offering a comprehensive e-course designed to help people light up their world with passion and creativity. You can access Section One here for free!
Christina has also recently published her first full length book, a memoir about her wild awakening journey entitled Jump Into the Blue, and she is currently working on the next one.
“My journey has been about personal alchemy… exploring the mysteries of my soul and my environment, and learning to bring all aspects, the light and the dark, together with the transcending ingredient… love. The more I uncover and nurture the wounded aspects of my being, the more whole and grounded I feel and the more my outer world reflects the love, wonder and magic I have discovered inside”.
You can follow Christina’s work at:
Recommended reading by Christina Lavers:
- Are You a Bridge Between Two Worlds?
- Addictive Behavior Related to Low Levels of Oxytocin, the “Love/Bonding Hormone”
- 10 Signs You’ve Bought Spin
- New Study Shows Regular Contact with Nature Reduces Crime, Increases Social Cohesion
- Sugar is as Addictive as Cocaine – Here’s How You Can Kick the Habit
- Research Shows Just 7 Minutes of Meditation Can Reduce Racial Prejudice
- Taking Care of Our Inner Tribes – Microflora, Awakening and You
- Groundbreaking Study Maps the Decline of Wild Bee Communities in the United States
- Taking Responsibility For Our Energy
- More Evidence That TV is Dumbing Us Down
- Synchrony and Exertion of Dancing Found to Encourage Social Bonding, Raise Pain Threshold
- Quitting Smoking? Try These Herbs, Tips and Incentives to Help You Succeed!