By Leesa Collett
Sitting in class last night, discussing the current energies and what we’re experiencing, an image came to me that seems to illustrate my experience and current work and perhaps yours.
I saw a house. It had been constructed over many lifetimes. Much of the structure is beautiful and solid, but it isn’t perfect. Inside feels cramped and dark. Remodeling is called for. But the economy is lousy; money is tight; I’m busy; I’m tired; I’m afraid I’ll make the wrong decision… So I ignore the inner urge to remodel. As you might expect, that inner urge grows stronger. It becomes more and more uncomfortable living in my current house, which is confusing because I remember loving this house. Remodeling means getting rid of things I lovingly placed. I may not remember building all the walls, but they have served me well. They may now feel too close, but is that a good enough reason to tear down something that has protected me all my life? I know the roof needs to be replaced; it’s old and leaky. When it rains it’s necessary to put buckets out to catch the water that leaks in. It’s so bad that if I don’t catch the water, I’m apt to slip in a puddle and get hurt. Still, that roof is precious to me. Each shingle was hand laid. Each shingle has a cherished meaning to me. How can I tear them up and toss them aside, as though they were meaningless? Conflicted, I’ve done nothing, until my present situation finally feels unsustainable.
It seems I have several options: (1) continue to do nothing, (2) tear down the entire house and start anew, (3) keep what works and remodel the rest. Since it’s the discomfort of my current situation that has brought me to this point, option 1 is no longer an option. Tearing down the entire house when most of it is serving me well seems silly. Therefore, option 3 it’ll be. It’s time to figure out what isn’t working, prioritize and get to remodeling.
The roof is a clear priority. I can’t be comfortable in a house when I fear the next storm, knowing it’s going to bring water pouring down on me. But maybe, just maybe, this is an opportunity to bring more light into my dark house. If I remove the most damaged part of the roof, I can replace it with a skylight! Suddenly, this feels doable; I just need to figure out where to start and how to do it. The trick, for me, is to wait for a storm to approach. As the wind picks up, the damaged shingles flex, showing me where to begin. I remove the first shingle. It’s a bit stubborn, but working with the elements it does eventually peel off. Before I know it, I’ve cleared a section of roof large enough for a skylight. My house now is so much more comfortable. Think I’ll sit back and relax a bit before contemplating my next fix-it project.
This metaphor is probably in need of some explanation. The house represents our belief structure. Each shingle is a belief. The damaged shingles represent the beliefs that are restricting, hurting or in some way making us uncomfortable. We all have them, but they are so much a part of us that we don’t recognize them. We go through life supported and guided by our beliefs, not typically seeing the pain we experience as connected to a belief. For example, if I believe money equals happiness and I don’t have much money, I can’t be happy. Each time I pay a bill and see my bank balance decline, my mood declines. Over time this becomes my truth, my reality and I can’t imagine being happy without having a lot of money.
Since these beliefs are so dear to us, so real, we accept them without question. We don’t contemplate their validity. We seldom even consider them. They become like the workings of our physical body. We give little thought to what is involved in taking a breath and don’t think of doing it any differently than we’ve always done it. Someone suggests doing breath work may improve our life and we think, “I’ve been breathing just fine for years. Why should I change? What’s the big deal? I breathe in; I breathe out. Nothin’ to it. I’m fine.” However, if we experience pain when we breathe, we may reconsider our perspective. In the metaphor, the leaky roof represents the pain we all experience at times. Although the pain can be physical, I’m going to focus on emotional and mental pain.
When we experience anxiety, anger, frustration or any other negative emotion or bothersome thought, it’s a signal that one of our beliefs, or shingles, has been hit. When this happens, we can deny the pain, fight through it or use it as a guide to remodel a belief that no longer supports who we are. This is the idea behind waiting for the storm to show us which shingles are in need of repair. We can ignore the pain or figure it’s just part of us. We can choose to battle our way through; however, just as it’s dangerous to get up on the roof during a storm to repair shingles; it’s also unwise to fight through turbulent thoughts or emotions to get to the root of an issue. The storm makes it difficult to maintain your balance. When plagued by negative thoughts or emotions, try to relax your mind. This is an opportunity to get a free up-grade to our belief system! Be open to other options, such as perhaps happiness is a choice not connected to wealth. Surrender to the Light, that is, allow the Universe to heal your troublesome belief. This just may result in bringing more light into your “house.”