We’ve all heard the saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”, and I believe this. I’ve also come to see that we ourselves, are both the student and the teacher. When I really want an answer to any situation that seems to be troubling, or beyond my understanding, the answer is already there. The solution to the “problem” that I am struggling with isn’t hidden from my view, as a matter of fact, it is so clear that I don’t see it as a limiting personal/group belief that I’ve accepted as truth, I see it as “reality”.
Like many of us, I was raised in a home and religious tradition where divorce was considered wrong, bad, and a sin against god, so when I knew in my heart that my first marriage was over, and that I wanted a divorce, a part of me couldn’t accept this. If divorce was wrong/bad, and I got divorced (and even worse, it wouldn’t be flung upon me so I could feel like an innocent victim) then it would make me wrong/bad. Just the thought that I wanted a divorce reinforced the idea that I was a bad, flawed, and unspiritual person.
I began to have dreams that I was about to walk down the aisle to get married and as I stood in the back of the church, I’d realize that I didn’t have to do it and would feel elated until I also realized in my dream that I was already married, then I’d feel depressed. Night after night, year after year, I’d have this dream; a dream that tortured me, until I made the decision to get a divorce, and then I never had that dream again.
The teacher that I needed was coming through in my dreams, since I wouldn’t listen to her in my waking hours. She was showing me that I’d accepted a “rule” made up by some other person/group in some other age, as my rule and then I lived within the confines of that rule/cage: hating captivity but fearing the horrors of hell if I escaped. I also began to see that before I’d had the courage to get a divorce, I’d been one of the most judgemental and critical people regarding it. I looked down on those divorced ones as less than moral.
I can usually spot a limiting belief/rule/cage now by how I react to others. If I find myself being hyper-critical then “my teacher” is very aware and actively trying to say, “Look there Mary and see yourself.” Our limiting beliefs are not hidden away in some dark recess of our minds or psyches. They are as plain and clear as our critical judgements about ourselves or others. When I am ready to see, I see.
It’s also important not to beat ourselves up when we finally do see these not-so-pretty sides to ourselves. We’ve suffered enough by not seeing ourselves clearly and projecting our garbage out on others. See it, own it, accept it and release it…and then, if you can try to smile at yourself…maybe do a little victory dance. Be easy. We are all learning, and if you are brave enough to face yourself, then you are a courageous being who deserves a little recognition from the teacher. Give yourself a gold star today!