Living Below the Surface
Sounds good...but it is hard...at least for me. I seem to like the surface. It is sunny, warm and you have a good vantage point to see what is going on up here. I guess my biggest problem is the distortion that appears between my two worlds. What I project to the world above is not really indicative of the world I have going on below.
I also allow too much of the image I want to project in this above world to dictate what I allow to be seen, examined and felt below the surface.
Recently I have been confronted with some rather unpleasant below the surface stuff. And I will admit that the reason it became uncomfortable was because it didn’t stay below the surface...it bubbled up and out into the world and became seen and known to others. And I didn’t like that.
But it did create an opportunity for me to examine myself, my motives and how incongruent those things were...perhaps, just maybe, there was some shit that was below the surface that I needed to work on...again...still.
I made a commitment to live a spirit based life a long time ago. It has been the most important and fundamentally life changing event of my life. It has also been the hardest thing I have ever done. To commit to really examining what drives me, what motivates me and how I show up for this life...is far too often not so pretty.
But spiritual living is not just about seeing all of the messy stuff we keep shoving below the fray. It is about allowing it to surface, or in my case recently, dealing with it when it surfaces like a dead body broke free from concrete...when some rather nasty things about yourself come popping to the surface, putrified and full of bloated decay. A reasonable response to swim as fast as one can as far away as one can. But for me, living this spiritual life, means having to stay and clean up the mess. I have to look at how I buried that proverbial body anyway...and now deal with the landmine that just pierced the surface of my life.
It is smelly, gut wrenching and ugly work. But I really want to live below the surface. To dig deeply and see where I am warped, instincts all out of control and messy. There are good reasons for my oceanic dumpster fire. They are not excuses, but reasons that have long existed but now need redress in a more current and immediate fashion.
I lived life at surface level for a long time and I guess I am amazed at how much I still was although I would not have thought so a couple of weeks ago. I was pretty dedicated to ferreting out the stuff that I like not to share, to keep to myself and allow to fester. However, this one took me by surprise. It pushed me over an edge that I cannot return from now. I see it, so I have to do something about it.
I guess what I am really aiming for is to move forward having the stuff below the surface more mirror what I projecting all over the surface. To do the work that cleans up that distortion as best I can. And I need spiritual help for that. I cannot do it alone. I need the Divine and also the human. If I only sought Divine assistance, I would end up likely never really showing my cards...it could just be me and God’s little secret. And if I only did the work with another person here...I would never really get to what festers below. I need both, human and Divine aide.
And today I know how to access both. I just don’t really want to. I, like everyone else I know, want to not do the work, or marginally do the work and have that be ok. Have that be enough. Who really cares that the below and above do not match?? Who really cares?
I do. I care. I committed. I have to seek congruency with the life I live below and the life I live above. There might always be some distortion between the two, but that does not obviate my need to do the work to rectify. In fact, it creates a higher obligation...I will never be perfect, but I committed to progress, not perfection.
I am going to spend the weekend doing below the surface work. I am optimistic that I will come out the other side better...but I have to be honest and say that I would really rather do something else. Life below the surface is just fine and I am going to the beach instead. But it isn’t. I am not ok. My two worlds colliding lately in a way and manner that brings me up short and horrifies me. So I do the work. It is all I know to do.
Living below the surface is hard. I have to hold my breath a lot and dive deeply into murky waters that I feel would be better left unexamined and left alone. But I can’t because life below the surface affects the life I live above. And what I am learning is that while it may seem that the one above is the most important...it is in fact not. It is the one I live with myself every day, the one that I keep to myself, the one that I do not show the world that really dictates how I show up in this world. Am I creating wreckage or brining love and communion to others? If I do not do the work below, the surface will always reflect the truth eventually. So I dive again into places that scare me, where I have feared to swim, one more time willing to examine all I find and endeavor to bring all that darkness towards the light.