I’ve just finished rearranging furniture in my apartment to make room for a sacred space where I can go to escape and refresh my mind. I haven’t yet finished designing this space to suit my needs, but while I was cleaning I had the clearest revelation hit me like a bolt of lightning. Lately, I’ve been feeling what I can only describe as periods of intense spiritual dissonance, a term I only just coined out of necessity. It’s kind of like cognitive dissonance, but the struggle is more of having inconsistent feelings than thoughts. As I was cleaning out the office, going through and throwing away stuff I don’t need anymore and making room for a sacred space, it hit me that what I’ve been going through emotionally is now reflecting itself in my physical life. I’m shifting and expanding in more places than one!
This dissonance I’ve been experiencing relates to my feelings of authenticity. Am I being 100% authentic and do my thoughts and actions line up with my beliefs and feelings at the time? I am constantly growing and changing to try and fit whoever I am or whatever beliefs I hold at a certain time. Because of this I try to be as real and organically me as I possibly can be, but I realize that maybe this can be too much for some people and can make some feel uncomfortable. This creates conflicting feelings that I’m left to suss out within myself.
As far as I can remember, I’ve always been a “spiritual” person but to differing degrees. The trend currently is as I get older this spirituality grows and strengthens. As a result, much of the journey I go through spills into my day-to-day life. Those who truly know me understand my needs and give me the space to just be whoever I am, but I have to choose how much I want to share with people in my daily life who don’t know me as well without looking like I’ve totally gone off the deep end. This feeling creates the dissonance. For instance, I’ve been doing a lot of reading in the self-help/spirituality genre (which I totally would have scoffed at five years ago), and I feel inspired to share some of what I’ve learned with others. On one hand, some of the stuff I read and just roll my eyes because there’s still a part of me that thinks this stuff is complete hocus-pocus and quackery. On the other hand, I’ve had experiences where I know some of the far-out things I read about have actually happened to me. On the other other hand, my entire life I’ve been trained to think critically and I sometimes call into question the accuracy my own perceptions. So, you can see where things might get a little confusing.
In this spiritual dissonance, I also have a niggling feeling of wanting to expand further but then some of my feelings are contradictory. I often wonder if all of my yoga/meditation/mantra repeating/energy cleansing/crystal healing/clean eating/affirmation reciting/yada yada yada hippie-dippie granola journey to the self stuff is actually for me. Sometimes, it’s just too much. I wonder if I’m being authentic by occasionally sharing parts of it with the world, or am I doing this stuff outwardly because it’s trendy? BUT THEN, I think to myself that I would do this stuff even if I never shared it with another soul. To make matters even more confusing, sometimes I’ll look at a person doing the same things and think that they’re not being 100% authentic, they’re just doing what’s trendy right now. Am I projecting my feelings onto other people about my fear of being inauthentic? And THEN I realize my judgmental thoughts aren’t aligning with the expansion I’m going through, so I have to throw these feelings as far away as I can and start all over again. It’s a never-ending cycle of expansion and contraction and then expansion some more and then throwing things away and clearing space and then bringing more junk in to be dealt with. Ah, such is life–a never-ending spring cleaning of the soul.
In getting these feelings down, I guess what I can come away with from all of this is that I need to not think so much about what other people are doing and only help and encourage others in their own personal journey. I can only do what feels right, live my truth, and not to think so much about what others might think about me. More importantly, I need to think less of what I think about me and just do and grow.