It was late last night, well maybe not so late, when I saw this commercial on television for this new erase stick (really not so new), which is supposed to erase all the “imperfections” from under and around women’s (not men’s) eyes and make women look years younger and healthier. I remember trying those “erase sticks” when I was younger and they never quite “erased” your “imperfections.” What makes them “imperfections” anyway? That is another reflection.
However, watching the commercial made me think about how so often when we want to evolve spiritually and transform our lives, we are looking for the “erase stick,” which we can run over those aspects of our life and somehow make them invisible and make us appear as if we are spiritually healthier then we really are. Covering up is not the same as doing the work to evolve and transform. Covering up, is like putting on a mask, which enables us to appear as if we are in a space that we are not. Not covering up enables us to be our authentic selves, it enables us to be who we are at this very moment in time, in all our current state of perfection. Striking a pose may look good for a moment, but even live models have to break their pose occasionally. Perhaps it was Fanny Brice who said it best “Let the world know you as you are, not as you think you should be, because sooner or later, if you are posing, you will forget the pose, and then where are you?”
The journey to finding that authentic you is not always easy. The questions are hard and challenging and the more I work on my own journey, the more I come to appreciate a scene from the movie The Never Ending Story where the warriors stand before the mirror of truth and are destroyed by what they see. Examining what one was raised to believe, what one believes now, what one would like to believe and what one needs to do to evolve there and the motives behind those decisions are not always easy.
For the past week or so, for example, I have been struggling with the whole notion of perfection. Some of the spiritual coaches whose work and teachings I admire suggest that perfection and our agreements about it are the hardest to dismantle. It can be the one thing that makes people want to give up and go back to their old way of being. As I have heard more then once, “It was so much easier back then.”
Just taking something as simple as what you were raised to believe about your sex and gender can be an undertaking. Most of us are not aware of, or have not given any thought to, why we believe what we believe. What are the things we have agreed to believe that govern our actions, thoughts, behaviors, feelings, and reactions? How do you know what you know? Perhaps more appropriately, why do you believe what you believe?
Mastering awareness is a journey. It is a process of not erasing what we want to cover up, but revealing our core beliefs and agreements to ourselves. It is about tapping into the internal courage to look within to where the answers are. It is about becoming, as Meg Christian sang about years ago, a submarine and diving deep within to find the answers that can bring a peace and joy that surpasses understanding.
Some of us are good at erasing. We have our own erase sticks; they are called food, work, drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, etc. Each of them serves the purpose for covering up what we do not want to reveal to ourselves. Each of them enables us to strike a pose. However, we have to remember that a pose is just that, it is about us being frozen in space and time. If we are posing, we are not evolving. As Ray Kroch once said “if you’re green your growing, if you’re ripe your rotten.” When we are posing, we are rotting. When we are evolving, we are growing.
Spiritual growth and transformation is not easy. However, as I have said to more then one person, no pleasure, no gain. Are you ready to stop erasing and start revealing? Perhaps now is the time to learn how to live without your “erase” stick.