04 Jun Why the Path of Love Journey Continues as a Staff Member…
And why being part of the staff team is so valuable. Be prepared for the unpredictable!
Today, I can still say that Path of Love was the best experience of my life. What I was able to experience there and how this experience changed my life cannot really be described in words. It was the most beautiful and certainly the most challenging gift to myself when I made the decision to enroll. And many more gifts followed as I became part of this wonderful community of people who I feel more connected to than I can describe. It humbles me to be allowed to be part of a process and transformation where people are allowed to be met in an honest, profound and authentic way. It is a true gift to be allowed to hold space for people who want to explore themselves. Whose longing and pain makes them become seekers.
I would like to share my experience of why the staff member experience is so valuable and why you should not underestimate it and the potential it holds. My life has been put to the test again after Path of Love in ways I could not have imagined. I had to cope with great challenges in my health and in my personal life, and once again learned that healing is not linear. And once again I remembered…everything is a preparation. You must live life forward, but you can only understand it afterwards, as the saying goes.
After a few times now at Path of Love as a staff member, I would like to share what I now understand. Every Path of Love is different. It depends on what people share in it, it depends on what you have been through or are going through, it depends on what inner state you are in. Be prepared for the unpredictable. Each time there have been unpredictable surprises, encounters and inner liberations, but also painful processings that I didn’t expect.
I am so profoundly convinced of this process that I will continue to come. When I received feedback from POL friends that it was important for me to staff a few more times, I didn’t quite understand why. I was excited and absolutely motivated anyway, but I underestimated what it would give back to me. My ego tried to talk down the experience again. What is going to happen, how is this going to help me? I also didn’t understand or want to believe that the process as a collaborator can also sometimes be as intense as it is as a participant.
Being allowed to be on the other side as a collaborator and part of the process, you sort of enter a new stage of development. It’s like a maturation process that happens quietly and; as you walk this path, it can feel like nothing is happening or development is regressing. While staffing my last Path of Love, I thought it was going to be an easy ride…I thought because I know some people now, that it will make it easier for me to get there and settle in. Instead, from day one, I was faced with my own barriers and fears, shadow sides and very personal challenges. The place where I felt safe for the first time ever in my life didn’t feel safe at all. I also didn’t understand what was trying to show up inside of me. I didn’t understand my own sensations and emotions in the slightest. The things that weren’t allowed or able to show themselves in everyday life seemed to have been waiting to finally be noticed by me. To be felt. I wanted to be like so many others who seemed to be light, joyful, full of love and ease, and able to enjoy this week without challenge. I wanted profoundity and authenticity, but without feeling myself. My ego had only harsh judgments for myself and although I was not the only one who struggled and everyone meets themself individually, my ego wanted to tell me something else and tried to block this out.
In the meantime, I thought that I can hardly stand this, and I have not learned anything. I had great doubts and at the same time my inner compass told me that it is good to process, to mourn, to feel. Repression is not processing, after all. In the last months I have been numb. I wanted to feel again, but please not this deep pain or that intensity, this overwhelming sadness and helplessness. I also thought I was doing everything wrong. I felt wrong, guilty for feeling triggered and partially lost in my insecurities, projections, and fears. I could only barely perceive the heartfelt caring and reaching out towards me from one of my most important, cherished and beloved friends.
At the same time, a small voice inside of me was saying and pointing out the small developmental steps I was taking. But the perceptions of challenges and sometimes pain were enormously loud. I continuously asked myself, what am I not paying attention to? What do all these sensations want to tell me? I needed help, and I looked for exchange here and there.
The most painful things I have experienced and survived have had a great impact on me. But I have lived my life numb, with a mask that is no longer helpful now. It is hard to let go of it because it was always my safe haven. Although I have worked very hard on myself, there are still some construction sites and I see for the first time how much they keep me from love and life. How much I manipulate myself with them and they are no longer helpful. They have recently helped me to live through various things and I can rely on them, but I am allowed to retire them.
It is hard to let go of things when they feel familiar and safe. And I don’t know how to free myself from them. All of my experiences have shaped me and some of them I don’t like at all. I have felt heartbroken, vulnerable and I have grieved endlessly. With realization comes sadness and true self-reflection.
But only now do I understand what was showing up and how it has integrated. I understand now the feedback I received, and am grateful for every trigger. My dear Path of Love friend who was visibly unsurprised, said to me, “this is where the shit can show up”. Don’t get me wrong: it’s not about acting out in a non-responsible way. It is that the real issues, which are under a deep wall of barriers, show themselves layer by layer.
Staffing in Path of Love has unmistakably revealed the “construction sites” within me that have not been adequately taken care of. I can hold them accountable and integrate a little more. Things that I never wanted to admit or which I thought had no influence, were nevertheless always subconsciously part of me. But in rejecting them I wanted to believe that they were not part of me.
Now they are on the surface. Now they have my attention and I can deal with them more responsibly. They are not necessarily resolved, but they have calmed down a bit because I can accept them, and they got my attention. I try to go over my limits less and vilify and stand by them less. I have ideas on how to take better care of them. It’s a process that doesn’t stop… step by step. I see how great a chance I have to learn from this, especially now. It’s like a little piece is coming back into place inside.
Being a Path of Love staffer offers so many opportunities to grow inside, to heal, and to go a little deeper again and find yourself. To get in touch with and explore those things that are really important for you in life. To recognize the opportunities and have the courage to look at what you most want to avoid. There is no safer place than to do that at Path of Love.
What did I take away? I found how much I suppress my desires because I hardly dare and because the shame is so overwhelming and thus the helplessness comes back. So I suppress them and don’t even try. When a very trusted POL friend proactively inquired about me, I thought I was doing something wrong, because I am not used to people honestly and genuinely caring about me. How hard it is to admit that and not overplay it or meet it with suspicion. How difficult it is for me to receive and accept love and care. Also this person said to me that she appreciates how much I try and bounce back, how she feels my strength and lifeforce. Now I can hear her words and I am deeply touched, grateful and feel deeply seen.
Above all, I have gotten back in touch with my longings and the fears and barriers that come with them. I am deeply touched and grateful for what the people at POL teach me, receive me, and support me. What I went through this time was big and intense and now in the middle of the integration phase I take all these insights and barriers in hand and develop solutions. For example, I am afraid of people, especially strangers. I have developed a great distrust and at the same time I long for real contact. I feel strength inside me that I want to honestly share, but I need time and safe people around me that I know and trust. I am not someone who hugs everyone quickly, that would be too much for me and my nervous system. One step at a time. I can easily give when needed and am often the rock when things get stormy for others. But when it comes to my vulnerability, I have a hard time accepting, receiving, allowing, and letting people in. With a little time, I am able to meet people with my heart and love and also to receive their love, warmth and hugs.
For me it takes an incredible amount of courage to let go of all my fake parts. They were helpful and necessary in the past, but now they hold me back and block me.
On a very personal note, I would like to try again. With all my strength, with everything that belongs to me, the good and the not so helpful. I want to bounce back one more time and dare to ask for help. It is time to let go of my mask. It is time to be myself, my true self.
I remember the quote that a Path of Love friend sent me some time ago… It has now arrived. From Almaas: “Your conflicts, all the difficult things, the problematic situations in your life are not chance or haphazard. They are actually yours. They are specifically yours, designed specifically for you by a part of you that loves you more than anything else. That part of you that loves you more than anything else has created roadblocks to lead you to yourself. You are not going to go in the right direction unless there is something pricking you in the side, telling you, “Look here! This way!” That part of you loves you so much that it doesn’t want you to lose the chance. It will go to extreme measures to wake you up, it will make you suffer greatly if you don’t listen. What else can it do? That is its purpose…”
From the bottom of my heart I thank my Path of Love friends, the brave participants, the whole Path of Love Team, who all help me to find myself and whose courage, light, love and trust let grow in me whole new little plants. Thank you for waking me up, one more time.
I can only recommend everyone to be curious and to continue on the path. Maybe until the next Path of Love …