Say you find yourself in a hole? You have been in the hole your entire life but you just never looked up. But one person then another person told you to look up. And now you know you’re in a hole.
There are several choices you can make. If you are actually slightly mentally imbalanced, you can convince yourself that that was some kind of dream and those people are crazy, not you. And then you can continue to live in the hole and forget you ever saw you were in a hole.
You can become obsessed with the fact that you have just realized you were in a hole and run around screaming to everyone that “we all live in a hole!”. That will probably get you nowhere. They may even shun or stone you because they do not want this information. They may be overwhelmed by that fiction because that would mean having to look at their lives as lies and then start a whole new life of hole awareness.
Or you can turn to those that showed you that you were living in a hole and ask them how you can all help each other out of the hole. Because you know once you’ve seen this, you can not unsee this. And your integrity understands that the most challenging moments in life bring you the greatest and most beautiful lessons.
For me, this was exactly how I felt when I began to understand how I have been a victim to the patriarchal society all of my life. How I have been applying their judgments to myself and my body. No one has had to keep me down because I’m still doing it myself.
What does this analogy bring up for you? Have you found yourself here before?
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The first thing that this brought to my mind was the period when I’ve been in a fundamentalist and cultish religion. It lasted years and years—too long—but I eventually got out. And after I’ve got out of it I went through different stages that you describe here. I’m glad to have found your article, thank you for writing it. It’s somehow comforting to know other people, too, had periods of their life that felt similar as yours, even if the situations can be different.