Living Just As I Am
I realize how much I have depended on context for my life to have meaning. In the context of family, it was being the good boy, the obedient boy in a family of four — Mom, Dad, brother Paul and me. In church I could play roles — all kinds of roles, from Elder to Chairman to teacher, to planner, etc. Each role gave me a sense of worthiness in the context of the purpose afforded by my church, helping to bring people to Jesus Christ and salvation. Then there was the context of school, defining myself as an engineer, being a good student, being a fraternity brother. Got married, had my own family. Here the role was husband, father and bread-winner, along with handyman.
In my adult life, in addition to church and family, there was my career, and my identity for 29 years with the company I first worked for – SDRC. All kinds of roles here. Plus roles in the community, including the United Way, and other non-profits. Always defining myself in the context of some cultural structure.
Same with Pathwork, at least until recently. The entire idea of Pathwork, as with most spiritual paths, is to strip me of role and let me live from my deepest core. Roles matter not. I have been kicked out of the nest of my cultural “home.” Or, non-home, at least in some key aspects.
This is living life without a net, no external framework with which to identify. Free and yet a terrifying “just being me.”
But a new “family” emerges, a spiritual Family. Certainly includes Pat and, thankfully, my three adult children. What is a spiritual family? A place where I am free to be me, me without context. Being accepted for who I really am apart from roles I have and do play, and accepting others, especially Pat and my children and their families, is a new space I am entering into. So much relief.
This morning I was referred to a Pathwork writing (Additional Material #1) by a friend and was amazed to read that this spiritual Family is the core purpose of a spiritual community. A spiritual community is a place where I am accepted just as I am. And where I can come to accept others just as they are. Each one a unique expression of God. Such freedom. Such joy. Such possibilities!