Transformation is all about letting go of the stories we tell ourselves. The stories that are hardest and scariest to let go of are the stories we have been telling ourselves for a long, long time; stories that were passed onto us by our parents, stories that were woven into the fabric of our being. For me, one of these stories was that we need a savior. Being raised in a conservative christian family, I was permeated with the idea that man needs a savior, Jesus to be precise.
I had what is called learned helplessness. In the first six weeks of my life, I had been taught that no matter how hard I cried no one would listen; that I would not be touched, fed or cleaned when I asked for it. It had learned that I ha no control over my life, whatsoever. This instilled in me the sense that I was powerless, that I could accomplish nothing on my own, that my actions had zero impact on the world. It is no surprise that the story of a personal savior resonated deeply with me.
Years ago, when I needed to let go of the story that what is written in the bible is true, as it was conflicting with my rational mind and causing havoc on all levels, I let go of Jesus and God as well. To my surprise, after two weeks, that what I used to call God was still there, a presence larger than me that I felt very much connected to, that touched me like nothing else. Jesus and the bible were fell in a different category; both concepts were caught in a web of man-made stories, and I kept them at bay for a long time because I knew that would not be able to see through them yet. It took more than a decade for me to see them with fresh eyes. When I let go of my religion, my need to be saved was still very much present. What I did not recognize was that post-Jesus, I found a substitute savior.
It wasn’t until last Friday afternoon, after letting go of the story that there is a divine plan, that I did not feel the need to be saved anymore. I had become my own savior. The feeling is impossible to describe. What probably comes closest is the image of a bird sitting on a branch, the branch breaking, the bird spreading its wings and flying off, undisturbed. Until this moment, I might have known intellectually that I could fly, but I never experienced it. Now with the branch gone, I automatically spread my wings and flew. For the first time. It was utter magic. I have never felt so light in my life, so free, so powerful. Again, everything has changed.
I can now see with the utmost clarity that the divine plan replaced Jesus’ role as my savior. What I know for sure is that when you believe that you cannot do anything on your own, when you are waiting to be saved, life itself becomes the deadlock. The only way to break free is by discovering you are the key. As for the divine plan, the grand scheme, it simply has become irrelevant. Whether there is a grand plan or not, it will no longer have an impact on how I live my life, because it is beside the point. As I see it now, the point of life is to be able to look back on this day, this month, this year, this life and feel love for myself, appreciation for my choices and proud of my accomplishments, to know that I was true to myself and my dreams, to be at peace with this one life. That’s all. Me discovering this may be part of a divine plan, but that doesn’t concern me, because it is outside of my circle of influence.
Image by Sias van Schalkwyk