Price of Transformation
Oh yes, I want transformation, right? Of course I do, I am spiritual, my ego says. But yesterday’s pain in my relationship with Pat caused great anxiety throughout much of my afternoon. It was a beautiful morning, our time together, but suddenly in early afternoon I was in a world of unexplained fear. What was the fear about on the heals of a great morning together?
It seemed to be the flame and the moth story, the moth being drawn by the light and coming so close to the flame that it could be consumed. I was experiencing deeply my longing for and dreadful fear of closeness to Pat. I could hang with the fear and recognize that a bunch of shadow stuff was at work within me, in my unconscious. I could not identify it, or understand its source as yet, but I could hang in with the fear it generated rather than defend against the fear by withdrawing or distracting myself with other activities. This hanging in with fear is the price of transformation, sitting in the pain, undefended.
And I see more clearly and feel more acutely the great price of transformation on other levels as well. Perhaps my hardest, actually second hardest, however, to my shadow side coming forth in my relationship with Pat, is letting go of all by which I have come to identify myself . Whether this inner identification be my career, my organizational life, my church life, or my family life, it matters not. I can see that these “identities” kept, and keep, me separate and “above others” in my own mind, and thus were and are a defense against life’s pain I might feel without them.
And I notice this addiction to identities creeps in often even as I say I am “growing.” They move from being “Christian” to being “Spiritual.” Or to being a “Pathworker” or a “Pathwork Helper” or “teacher,” or “Life Coach,” always needing to somehow label myself as something to be “OK” with myself in the world. Can I let go of grasping at these new identities as I drop the earlier identities which no longer work? It is challenging, but it feels to be the price of transformation, for these are but remnants of an ego trying to hang on to some kind of separate identity and thereby defending itself against Oneness, against the transformation the ego says it wants. Yes, this dropping of identity is a big part of the price my ego must pay for transformation.
And my pride is persistent, even clinging onto an identity of “I am undefended” or “I am the one in no need of identity.” And on and on. No, just stop and feel the fear of letting this all go. Let arise what wants to arise from within, something, some experience, beyond what I can imagine. But, as Pat reminds me, what arises from within can come only by grace, for the price of transformation, of freedom, is nothing. Transformation is free for the taking, but oh the “work” required to be open to the freedom grace offers!