Any time you wish to make a personal transformation, there is a pretty good chance an initiation is required. Initiations are by definition, the beginning of something. Spiritual initiations are ones that transform the individual being initiated.
Spiritual initiations aren’t just the first moment that starts the change. A spiritual initiation is only “completed” when the transformation is “completed.” As such, an initiation is really a process of change. One where you drop, or are forced to drop energetic structures, belief systems, and identities which are forming the barrier to your own becoming.
Seriously, Its All On You Man (or Woman)
What you may not realize, is that initiations are often begun at our own request.
Sure, sometimes initiations come because we are called to do some work, such as what happens with shamans. In this case, the decision to do this work may have occurred before we were born, and therefore maybe its not something we asked for in recent memory. However, often, our desire to grow and transform is a type of request for change. When our desire/request gets answered, an initiation begins in order to enact the changes needed to achieve the transformation.
The process tends to disconnect you from things you thought were great, but aren’t serving you anymore. It disconnects you from things that made you feel safe. It may even seem to dissolve parts of you that you thought were the best parts.
Innocently, we often ask for an initiation without realizing it. Or we ask for something, and don’t realize what it really takes to get from here to there. It often seems like something is being done to us, if we don’t see the connection between what is happening and why it is happening.
Also, I’ve come to realize that sometimes we are giving the spirit world some mixed messages. Let me sketch out the general form of how this type of mixed message goes:
Person: Please help me to become a bright shining light for those around me!
Spirits: Rubbing hands together… OK, LET THE TRANSFORMATION PROCESS BEGIN!
Person: Wait… why has everything become so hard on me all of a sudden? Spirits, please take away these difficulties from me!
By spirits I mean your guardian angels, power animals, ancestors or whomever your making a prayer to in order to request a change.
What the Heck was I Thinking?
One of my own delightful encounters with initiation, was certainly at my own request.
I had the innocence, or alternatively, the rampant stupidity, to ask that my uterus be totally my own. Which basically amounted to wanting my creative energies to be totally my own, but I did specifically ask for my uterus.
This beautiful and nobly conceived request, failed to take into account the many social, ancestral, political, and wounding issues that go along with an organ that is considered to be public property. Energetically, we do not live in a society that believes a woman’s uterus to be her own. You would not believe the amount of cording that arises due to the uterus’s public property status. Everybody has got a piece of this action. I mean…really. I’m still shaking my head over making this request.
After three years of initiation which included: uterine fibroid bleeding that sometimes went to the point of zombie like anemia, a trip to the emergency room, about forty hours of deep spiritual healing sessions with a Rohun therapist, and two major myomectomy surgeries, one of which knocked me on my butt for every moment of the six week post surgical recovery… I am now the proud owner of my own uterus.
It was a major healing. A very major gift from the spirit world.
Something so precious, that I have no words for its value.
It was a gift that was given to me because I asked for it. It was three years of initiation, because I asked for it.
I would do it again.
I’m pretty sure…
Really, fairly, almost very sure that I’d do it again… Would I actually have to do the three years again, so that it was like six years…?
I’m joking in a way that may not let you know how gratefully I am for for this gift, or how blessed I feel. But you can’t underestimate the feelings related to the idea of undergoing it a second time. What is a good word for awe, that includes a sort of nonplussed stunned feeling over the idea of having to do something again?
Not every initiation is equally intense as every other. When there is a significant gift being offered by the spirits, the ground does have to be prepared in a way that is commensurate to that gift.
De-cluttering Your Spiritual Stratosphere
Actually, its has some similarities to those TV house cleaning shows, where a team comes to help a family with hoarder-ish tendancies to clean out their home. Not the ones where a person has a clinical issue and whose health is at risk, but those people who have trouble clearing things away. Often, when the de-clutter team arrives, the people being helped are shocked when they are asked to get rid of certain things.
Wait a minute… I wanted you to help me, but I didn’t think you’d ask me to get rid of that! (That being a full sized grand piano, which makes it it impossible to move around in the living room… the only room big enough to hold it. Or some other equally problematic object, fill-in-the-blank.)
I’m not sure if the humor I find in their reactions is mean or not. Their shock is often so innocent, that you really do wonder if they ever watched other episodes of the show. My humor does come from a place of knowing I’d probably have the exact same reaction to something that I was asked to get rid of. Its not that the people didn’t watch other episodes of this show. Its just that they didn’t have any attachment to the other people’s stuff, and the issues that came up in the other house cleaning episodes didn’t seem like a big deal to them.
Until they asked me to get rid of my grand piano!!! Who in their right mind would get rid of a grand piano???
In effect, some of these people are asking the Whiz Bang TV de-cluttering team to come and clear out their house, but please do so without getting rid of anything.
This, my friend, is exactly what we do with the spirit world. And, please know that I am speaking as a person who has done this exact same thing myself, so there is no judgement here.
The Joys of Spiritual Transformation… NOT!
(Do you hear the spirits laughing? Seriously I think they enjoy us, as much as I enjoy house cleaning shows.)
Change is painful. That is because a deep spiritual transformation requires the death of old patterns and identities. You can’t bring in the new, if the old stuff is acting like a beaver damn, holding back the waters of change.
If we had no attachment to what were were letting go of, there would be no pain.
Probably, those pieces that we aren’t attached to are cleared out so quickly, we don’t even realize that it has happened. Everyone is attached to something, however, and its natural that these are the hardest things to let go of. The harder we hold on, the more force is required to pry it from our grasp.
Initiation is almost always a spiritual death. That is because an initiation is always a spiritual birth. You can’t have a birth without a death, because you can’t have it both ways. To become something, you really do have to stop being that other thing.
While I feel humor over my continual innocence about what is actually entailed to move in a direction in which I have asked to go. And I do find a humor in that same innocence in others. This humor contains a joy. It is a joy of knowing the true potential of what people can become. Even though it can be painful, the incredible beauty of what comes after is the true source of my humor.
Its a type of hysterical laugh that says, holy shit, I really don’t want to do this part. Its the joy of losing your stomach on a roller coaster, at the same time your asking why the hell you got on this ride. Its a fear-joy that transmutes itself into the pure joy when a transformation comes to fruition. “YES! I AM! I have become all that I dreamed of becoming!”
Showing up for your initiation is about opening the door to the infinite. Its your first real breadth of air. Its the madness of a jump into the unknown.
I often think that if we took a running leap into our initiations, they could be a hell of a lot of fun. I say, as I cling desperately to the edge of the cliffs of change by my last finger nail… I don’t like change any more than you do.
Ask yourself the question: Is the change worth it?
What would it be like if you could truly become in a way that has only been your dream of becoming? Maybe you have the courage to go into it with the running leap.
Initiation isn’t about what you may lose. Initiation is about What-You-Can-Become.
Lauren Torres – Lansing, IL
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