Gathering the Gifts
by Nancy Privett, MA, EFTCert-I, BBSH
A version of this article was originally published in the December 1996-January 1997 issue of New Consciousness Newsletter. It also was the precursor for the “Fulfilling Our Destiny” chapter in Stepping into the Aquarian Age: A Guidebook for the New Evolutionary Cycle by Nancy Privett.
Let it come full circle in me.
I shall spit out chain and bondage
and teach the freeing things
to come home.
I came for this very task:
to gather only the gifts.
Our Soul’s Longing
As part of our evolving self-awareness, one important attribute to develop is the ability to accept our lives as being continually beneficial. However, it is not easy to focus our awareness on the blessings of the lessons inherent in a situation which looks and feels painful. A significant step in our growth is when we are able to take an experience such as illness, and accept that the illness can be used as guidance, even though it may be wreaking havoc with our daily lives, our emotions and our mental quietude.
The pain we experience is to get our attention and direct our awareness to those places in ourselves where we have not cultivated our inherent Divine qualities and allowed them to emerge. When we take a moment for introspection, and examine the qualities that we most admire (or are jealous of) in others and at the same time feel are lacking in ourselves, we can be sure that those very qualities are the ones that we are challenged to develop in this lifetime. The qualities that seem most unreachable, most alien, to us are connected with our soul’s longing. Healer and author Barbara Brennan says that the energetic configuration of the soul’s longing appears in the physical body in the upper chest, above the heart chakra, not in the energy field, but in a deeper dimension on the hara line.
A Metaphor to Understand the Soul’s Longing
We can use a metaphor to describe this. We come into the physical body endowed with a lush interior garden in which there exists the seed of every single quality of the Divine. All we need to do in order to grow everything in our garden is to nurture and cultivate the seeds. But we can be sure that if the mandala of our soul’s longing reflects that our task in this lifetime is to grow roses, we will come into the body in an environment where rose-growing is not allowed, not known, or considered too threatening to even attempt. As we grow up, our family and other influential group structures will not at all model for us how to grow roses, and any attempts we may make will immediately be discouraged and squelched.
We soon accept our family’s beliefs about growing roses and give up trying. However, the imprint of our task is always readable in the seat of longing in the upper chest. On some level, we still feel this longing, although we probably are not able to describe or define it, and it may simply feel like an irritating emptiness. We dream about our longing, and we try to fill our empty ache with material goods, relationships, work, and other diversions, none of which are able to quench our thirst for our true longing.
The absence of the metaphorical roses in the garden of our life is accepted by us on a superficial level, and we offer many reasons why we should not even consider growing roses. These reasons surface when we see someone else’s rose garden, or when the itch of our longing threatens to break through into our conscious mind and begin shaping our lives.
The Negative Statements for Abandoning Our Quest
The statements for not growing roses come from distortions in each of the seven energy centers of our bodies. From the root, or first chakra, we say: “Growing roses simply is not allowed, not accepted,” underlining the belief system of our family. From the second energy center comes the statement: “I’m not powerful enough to grow rose,” and from the third center we say: “I don’t deserve roses in my garden.”
The fourth center, the heart, convinces us that only lovable people (unlike us) can grow roses. From here we also aver that we don’t really love roses all that much anyhow (too thorny, too susceptible to disease – how difficult it would be to enter into a relationship with such a troublesome plant!) The fifth center of the will simply states: “I cannot,” while the sixth center convinces us that there is no reason to grow roses; they are only a flower, after all. The seventh center, from which we secretly pray to be able to cultivate just one rose, tells us that our prayers are not heard, and God just isn’t that interested anyway.
Even with all this confusion and negativity cast around the idea of growing roses, the truth of the matter is that we came into the body specifically for this task, and in our heart of hearts, all we really want to do on this planet is to grow this one particular flower.
Transformation and Resolution
So how does a situation like this ever resolve? Our subconscious, ever amenable to suggestion from our waking mind and all the statements it makes about growing roses, follows the directives from our negative beliefs and makes sure that in our life, there is not one single rose, nor anything that even smells like a rose. This becomes a tremendously painful situation and compromises the flow patterns of our energy body, flow patterns that were – wouldn’t you know it – originally set up to accommodate a flourishing rose garden.
The resolution comes either of two ways. We may be aware enough to recognize that something feels misaligned in our lives, and voluntarily agree to explore this. In doing so, we will have to move through all the negative statements, and the belief systems from which they were born, with a strong intention to transform. However, many times, in order to embark on this path of self-exploration and healing, we need a bit more urging, what Caroline Myss calls a “kick in the astral.” And that is where crisis and disease come in.
In our metaphor, we came into the body in order to cultivate and grow the inherent Divine seed within us that will manifest on the physical plane as a garden of glorious roses. What crisis and disease do, is to make it clear to us that to not follow our soul’s longing and our heart’s desire, is exceedingly painful. Crisis and disease can serve as strong incentives to go into the heart of what we have been avoiding looking at for so long, and help us realize that the only way out is through.
The Emergence of the Soul
In examining, witnessing, feeling, embracing and loving the parts of us that have continually told us why we should not and could not grow roses, we open an energetic passageway in the body for the longing to emerge. This emergence is part of our healing and provides an underlying support for the transformed energetic patterns in the energy field. The emerging longing holds the energy field in perfect alignment with the task we came into the body to carry out.
At some point in the transformational process, we are awed by the perfection and precision with which the Universe teaches us the lessons that we need. Whatever our crisis, we realize that is was a bridge for transformation, a bridge for our evolution. But not only that – with transformation comes the gift of realizing that there is a Divine Force that cares for us and is available to carry us during every single moment of our pain.
And when we look back over our shoulders at our lives, we begin to sense that every single moment in our lives has been leading us to the insights that we have recovered. We realize that every single moment has been directing us, teaching us, preparing us, so that when we finally begin to retrieve our longing, we find that not only do we have all the tools to do so, but also that we are perfectly suited to carry it out.
In our healing process, we take full responsibility for all the choices we have made, as well as the subsequent consequences of those choices, including pain felt by others because of our actions. Owning that responsibility is very painful and takes courage to do. It also entails realigning our intention to have the energy of our will support only those actions that follow Divine Law. (This is how we begin to work with karmic debt.) As we do this we begin to realize that there was not one arbitrary moment in our lives, whatever the paths we have taken. Every choice we ever made was what was needed in the moment, and our judgment of those choices as “positive” or “negative” is irrelevant. Blame, of ourselves and others, also becomes irrelevant. Whether the road we took was straight and short, or bumpy and circuitous, we see how we were provided with exactly what we needed in order to grow and heal.
The Transformational Statements
There is a saying that we “grow stronger in the broken places.” The fact that we can believe for so long that growing roses in not available for us makes the act of finally growing them even sweeter. We will know the process of growing roses intimately, and we will cherish the entire growth process as well as the resulting beautiful flower. We will cultivate this flower over and over for the sheer pleasure of it and by our very energy we will help others, who also need to grow roses, learn how to take the risks to do so.
Substitute whatever it is you long for in this lifetime for the phrase “growing roses” in the paragraphs above and re-read them with a new awareness. Even if you don’t know what your longing is, you do know how you would like to feel. That is a doorway in. In either case, set your intention to transform the distorted statements from each of your energy centers so that they read something like this.
1. My life/my longing is accepted and supported.
2. I have all the power I will ever need to carry out my longing right now.
3. I am worthy of the gift my longing will bring.
4. I can express my longing through my love.
5. I can create my longing.
6. My longing is the reason I incarnated.
7. My longing is part of the Universe’s Divine Plan.
We must always look more deeply into the painful aspects of our experiences to find the inherent gift in each. We may never understand the painful things that happen to us on this planet; we never want them to happen in the first place, nor ever happen again. Crisis has no explanation, no logic, and healing in spite of it comes about from having the courage and faith to move forward anyway. It is possible that crisis is merely the forest of thorns surrounding the golden castle. All the while we feel we are lost and defenseless, we need only to ask to receive the impenetrable shield, the magic sword, the valiant steed and the wise guidance of our spirit helpers. If we can believe in the gift – if we can work at the soul level – our challenging journey through the forest becomes not only meaningful, but heroic.
Writer and artist Patricia Spear wrote: [Our crisis] may be physically excruciating, mentally incomprehensible, and emotionally devastating. But spiritually, in some way, it is perfect.” If we allow it, Spirit will carry us through into the perfection.