The date is drawing near for my upcoming spiritual retreat, May 18th. Last September was my first experience at this retreat, which I attended with my wife, and it was unforgettable. I was graced with more than one opportunity to be in the presence and imbibe the teachings of my Spiritual Master as well as experience a spiritual intimacy with my wife the likes of which I’ve never known. I am looking forward to the purifying inner work and the energetic and physical cleansing provided during and after this retreat.
Often times, prior to such retreats I experience an increase in the level of my emotions that often makes me uncomfortable. Things from the past mostly, things that I’ve been working on for years that seem to rear their ugly head at times like these. Trust issues, self-doubt, unworthiness, anger and irritation, etc. These are feelings and emotions that my “small self” would love to bury rather than experience in their fullest, in turn freeing me from their egotistical and dualistic worldly bondage. I’m in the midst of those feelings now. Part of me knows they are temporary, yet my ego wants me to believe the opposite. How do we get to the point of being able to free ourselves from this internal ego-generated madness?
Know Thyself – this is the theme that I’ve been contemplating this month as part of my daily spiritual practice. This contemplation and daily focus gives me true knowledge of myself and answers the question above. I’ve had to train myself to see me as God sees me. Repetitively change and/or stop that endless cycle of thoughts and judgments that crop up from my ego. Know that I AM worthy, I AM trusting, I AM self-confident, I AM deserving. Simply know I AM.
After my retreat I will quickly forget how I feel now, because, like last year, the feelings now have reminded me of similar feelings I had prior to the retreat last year. In so many ways I have grown as an individual and as a husband. How I’m reminded today the work I still need to do. I AM knowing myself, my “higher self”. Life is a journey and these internal struggles are resulting in an increased intimacy with myself and others. A conscious evolution of my soul all within the context of my God and Masters’ Sacred Grace.