We are all on the same journey. Though we move at different paces as we make our way across varied landscapes, we all must take the same steps. And what every traveler eventually discovers is that these many steps aren’t carrying us forward but inward, farther into ourselves to discover the secret of who we really are and what exactly that means. It could be said that the spiritual journey is cloaked not only in mystery but also in irony, for it is often the desire to become that leads us on a long, spiral-like journey to discover that all we had to do was learn what it means to be.
It’s for this reason that each person must follow their own route, and why no one person can show another when and where to walk. The path is invisible to all but the one who walks it; and the process is the most deeply personal one that this life has to offer – developing and nurturing an intimate communion between one’s own mind, body, and soul. It’s as subjective as a thought, as unique as a smile, and as transcendent as a spirit.
The deeply personal, inimitable nature of the spiritual journey is what always leads teachers and healers to the same conclusion: that the highest calling is the humblest act.
It is simply to love.
Perhaps the job of the teacher isn’t to be a guide so much as it is to be an architect. Maybe our noblest endeavor is to build a cocoon for the soon-to-be butterflies of the world. In this cocoon of love and acceptance, they need not waste their precious energy worrying over, doubting, and trying to hide who they are – instead, they can focus that energy on who they may yet become.
The longer that I walk my own path, the more I believe that it isn’t about pointing the way; nor is it about pointing out flaws. It isn’t about pointing at all. It’s more about letting people know that the path is within them and that it’s okay to look in there – that if they walk through their shadows they will discover that their own light is waiting just on the other side.
And the best way to teach someone not to fear their own shadow? It is to show them that we aren’t afraid of it ourselves. This means that we do not judge one another, for judgement is nothing more than an expression of fear.
True change doesn’t happen from the outside in but from the inside out; we must love and appreciate the caterpillar for who she is, without criticism, so that she might accept herself enough to venture in there and get to work.
Let’s aspire to become the architects of love. Let’s resolve to build a community that allows and encourages people to be who they already are so that they can – in their own time and their own ways – learn what it means to become all that they can.
©2016 Cristen Rodgers
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