I’m in my final hours before departure now, and so much is already being revealed. I feel like I’m in the middle of a leap to my next level of consciousness. I’ll say more about that soon, but first… a very relevant story.
Heaven and Hell Down Under
In 2004, I had an incredible opportunity travel in New Zealand for a month in a campervan with my friend Nathan, who was my former boyfriend. I kept a handwritten journal, and one of the reflections from that journal is that traveling takes you out of your comfort zone, your own space, your sanctuary, your privacy. That trip proved to be life-changing for me, but it was a tough, challenging, and very uncomfortable inner journey that had me stewing in my own projections, anger, triggers, and resentment for the entire trip in the midst of such beauty, splendor, magic, and delight. Though I was able to witness myself through it, I was not able to shift the pattern until well after my return home.
Following are some excerpts from my journal (in italics) about the “setup” that I was faced with:
The Man Who Thinks He is God
The infamous Joshua finally showed up. We waited four days for him at Lani & Shiloh’s farm, which was a pleasant wait indeed. Joshua is a cute Venezuelan man Nathan met in his previous travels and whom he greatly admires. I heard many stories about him over the last year, and was not really looking forward to meeting him… especially considering that Nathan agreed to him traveling with us without asking me.
Joshua walks everywhere barefoot, has no job or home, and talks to everyone about his message of peace and God. He considers himself a messiah (deep sigh + eye-roll). He talks non-stop and tells lots of stories about how everything he needs just shows up right when he needs it as if by magic. Nathan hangs on his every word, practically worships him, and pays his way when they are together.
Are You More “God” Than Me? I Think NOT
I have agreed to go on a backpacking trek with Nathan & Joshua for 3-4 days. I am willing to give this man a chance even though I found him vastly irritating before I ever met him. While I do trust Nathan, but I definitely don’t buy into the idea that this man is any closer to God than any of the rest of us.
The past week has been very difficult with my discomfort around traveling with Joshua. We parted ways yesterday and I am relieved and thankful. I am disappointed that I could not fully come to terms with whatever it was I needed to look at that caused the discomfort, but the relief is greater than the disappointment. Nathan has been very supportive to me in my process while at the same time staunchly supporting what his friend is doing in the world. I have had some insights, and I see that what is up for me is very deep core stuff about feeling I am not worthy. For those who have not done much traveling, I can tell you that it is not all relaxation and carefree living.
Everyone here just adores this man Joshua and how he shows up. It’s all around me. It is my intention to dig deeper and make my peace and connection with my spirit and guidance, not to mention my fearful and terrified little girl part, so that I can be fully present for the last few days of this journey, whether Joshua is with us or not.
I do understand more than just intellectually that it is not Joshua that I have a problem with, but something that he mirrors to me that I have trouble looking at. I have known this all along, of course, but when I am right in the thick of it and my frightened inner child is in the driver’s seat, I have to just hang on for the ride.
The Art of Grieving
In the months between ending the romantic relationship with Nathan and leaving for New Zealand, I decided to be fully single for the first time in my adult life. I opened myself to grieving whatever I needed to grieve, especially my past relationships. Going from one relationship straight to the next was my entrenched, lifelong pattern, and the grieving just naturally got stuffed inside as I got caught up in the new relationship energy. I got involved with Nathan just two weeks after leaving my husband of 14 years.
All along I knew that my experience with Joshua was a reflection of my own issues, but could not put my finger on what. As long as I was “in it” and until I was ready to really see what I needed to see and take full responsibility, I could only stay angry with him and utterly baffled at the reason for it. After all, he never did anything to me. I was angry with him before I even met him based on all the stories Nathan had told me about him.
My big breakthrough came two months after returning home from the trip. It took the help of my dear friend Margie (who is Nathan’s partner to this very day, interestingly enough, and I take some credit for the matchmaking). She told me a story that sounded a lot like Joshua’s stories, only she was the one traveling with the shaman across the country, surrendered to his guidance and to whatever showed up. It was the magic and synchronicity that she talked about that reminded me of Joshua’s stories. As I listened to her stories, I finally got it.
Mixed Messages to the Max
Joshua reminded me somehow of my childhood sexual abuser, yet I found him attractive. Here’s a man walking his spiritual path (barefoot) from a very male-oriented, patriarchal perspective, in direct “opposition” (as I saw it) to my matriarchal, divine feminine path. According to Nathan, Joshua claims that sex is meant only for procreation and should only take place between soul mates, in direct “opposition” to my sexual addiction and recovery path. Talk about feeling judged! I could not relate to him on any familiar level. It also occurs to me that I was in a relationship [with Nathan] that was not aligned with my own soul, and that was being mirrored to me as well.
I felt powerless around Joshua, like a bad, scolded child. Just like when I was a little girl. This was not because of anything he said or did, but how I interpreted what he said and did based on my own inner projections. I drew him to me so that I could grieve my childhood powerlessness and feel my anger around it by standing in it and stewing in it for a month straight with nothing to do about it, nowhere to go with it. I shut down and shut up just like I did as a child. And of course, it was impossible to hide how I was feeling from the others I was traveling with, much to my chagrin.
My current leap in consciousness has to do with becoming like Joshua. Not the barefoot, jobless, homeless part; the part about surrendering and trusting that everything is in Divine Order, Divine Timing, and Divine Grace; that all that is needed will be provided. I’ve had this intellectually for years. My ego had her own version of it. But something Brand New has opened up inside me…
… and I will share more about it in the next installment.
Thank you for taking this journey with me. Please subscribe to the blog to get the upcoming installments! (upper right corner of this page)
Much love and huge blessings, Amrita