secret knowledge

What’s the deal? Who is the keeper of the secret knowledge? And why has it taken me so long to be privy to it? Or maybe the knowledge isn’t all that secret, maybe it’s more a matter of having the scales removed from your eyes so that you recognize it.  Maybe you have to reach the end of your own rope, or reach that middle age of your life, or maybe hit a place in your life where the old rules no longer work, or have some life experiences that act as a key to the lock box.

In my experience I had to reach the end, meaning I could not continue on the same path I had been previously traveling.  It was intolerable and would have resulted in one of two options had something not shifted inside of me.  I would have either become more and more a zombie version of myself or literally dead.  It was at this point I had to choose to embark on a spiritual journey.

So I’ve spent the last three years searching for the keys to the lock box of secret knowledge.  Three years seems like a long time and that I should be singing Zippity Do Da at the top of my lungs because I’ve been entirely recreated into this dynamic, energized, solved human being.  In truth though I think it has taken me that long to absorb all the lessons, to process things, to grieve and mourn, and try on new ways of thinking and behaving.  I believe I’m at a new crossroads.  It’s time to leave the nest.  It’s time to leave the safety of all that accumulated wisdom and start living it.  Time to tap into my courage, which I have in spades I’ve discovered, and take ownership and responsibility for creating the kind of life, and relationships, and meaningful work I’m craving.

Previously I would have berated myself for taking so long, but I embrace that part of my contemplative self and the little girl that had to realize it’s safe to come out of hiding.  I’m grateful too for the muck that brought me to a place where I was so hungry for the secret knowledge that I went off to find it.  And any worthy journey requires solid and steadfast companions.  I’m thankful for the ones I’ve found along the way and the ones that were there from the start.  My quest for knowledge is ongoing, but I don’t want to stop with the accumulation of wisdom – I want to live it out, and I want to share it.

Here are a few of my latest discoveries:

Joan Didion on self respect found via Susanna Conway

A Season of Unlikely Happiness – a memoir which helped me to learn how to let go of control

The Pioneer Woman – I’ve read her blog off and on over the years, but lately I’ve picked up on her positive, laugh-at-herself attitude and decided she’s a woman I could take some lessons from.

The Summer of the Great-Grandmother – I’ve learned from the stories Madeleine L’Engle shares about her own great-grandmothers.  The main lesson being that no matter your circumstances you are in charge of your internal locus of control.

Susan Cain’s TED talk – The Power of Introverts.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Ah, Grasshopper…may the spirits be with you! Having been on spirit-quests of sorts about 6-7 years ago, I, also, have been feeling like I need a refresher. It’s important as we grow and change to check in and see what things mean and how they apply to us “NOW”. I re-watched The Secret a couple of weeks ago and need to do it again. Keeping a positive thought out long enough for it to catch has not been an easy task of late…

    I wish I could read more…for some reason I haven’t been able to sit and read a book without falling asleep on it for years! Very frustrating! If you find a good vibrant read, though (usually in 1st person I can latch onto and imagine it is a conversation) let me know!

    Good luck, Spirit Pebble!

  2. Patricia says:

    Wow, Jackie, I read this piece early this morning, before the craziness of the day started, and it has stayed with me all day long. Each sentence is a conversation in itself. What I keep coming back to as I think about this post is what a wonderful mystery our lives are and the world is and really what joy/sorrow there is in finding out what it’s all about. We can’t see the Truth of t all at once. It’s like putting together this endless puzzle. It’s frustrating and slow but there’s just so much to marvel at when patterns start emerging, when the big picture reveals itself in little details. Thank you for your bravery and honesty in sharing your quest.

  3. Mousy Brown says:

    Having read most of what you listed above I am now reading and am getting the same feel I did from the Madeleine L’Engle books…thought you might like it too?

  4. Lori DeMoss says:

    Wow, Jackie! So, there is a light at the end of the tunnel? I’m still (after MANY years) trying to figure out how to put my knowledge into practice–need some of that courage you have in spades. Let’s get together soon–maybe some of it will rub off.

  5. golittlered says:

    It’s a long, and sometimes, hard road. We have to make our own map and figure out the best travel plans. Still working on it here and the longer I do, the more gratitude I have for those roadblocks that rear up now and then, the detours and the washouts. (Well, most of them.)
    Love, e.

  6. Lisa says:

    Ahh, I hear you. I came to your blog because of a beautiful reply you posted on Brene Brown’s blog. There’s so much to read and do but it’s so exciting. Enjoy the fun.

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