Hair In A Bun Friday: Taking Time For Reading

I may cry ruining my make up.  Wash away all the things you’ve taken.. and I don’t care if i don’t look pretty…Big girls cry when their hearts are breaking – Sia

As a spiritual seeker, I’m always interested in finding new authors who describe their interpretation of the spiritual world.  I’m finding that everyone has a different take on the journey but there are common threads that tie them together.  Last Friday, I tied my hair up in a loosely fitted bun and started listening to Richard Rohr’s Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life.

9780470907757As a former religious person and continuous detoxer of the shame and guilt I learned from it, this book was a breath of fresh air with its little bits of wisdom shared throughout.

One of the more enlightening points I learned from the author are the words shadow boxing.  From our birth it is necessary to build a container or ego structure that will get us through the first half of life.  Richard Rohr believes the first half is from about birth to around 35 to 40 years of age.  The second half of life is all about dying to ourselves by letting go of the false self we created during the first half of life.  That includes past hurts, trauma, fear, insecurity and all the other structures the ego creates.  Not only does he use the bible as a resource but he also includes Native American tradition as well as Eastern Philosophy to back up his claim.

The term shadow boxing is used as a metaphor to describe the sometimes painful experience of having to look inward.  And if anyone knows what I’ve encountered when I’ve looked inside it’s sister Angelina.   The author even goes as far as to say that religion gets it wrong when it uses the word sin to describe our shortcomings; sin is a necessary evil that we create as human beings because we are just that – human.  Instead of trying to merit a future heaven by praying away the sin, or acting like it doesn’t exist by sitting in a church pew every Sunday, we miss the opportunity to do shadow boxing with ourselves to face our weaknesses and heal and learn from them.  In return we learn true compassion and love.

This book was a breath of fresh air especially having experienced the tiring effects of running from my own sins.  What religion taught me was to hide in shame and guilt over actions that were deemed hell – worthy.  But when I look around the world I live in and the people I intermingle with everyday, they’ve done the same as I if not worse; why was I holding myself up to such a high standard when all I was doing was being human? Religion teaches to be part of a group or sub culture that’s separate and better than everyone else, when the reality is, we’re all humans fighting the same fight.

I recommend this book for anyone who is going through a divorce, losing a job, depression or facing a death in the family.

I also recommend Sia’s latest album 1000 Forms of Fear to go along with your own personal shadow work.

sia-1000-forms-of-fear-650Because sometimes we have to ruin our eye make-up in order to set ourselves free of the pain.

“I come home
On my own
Check my phone
Nothing, though
Act busy
Order in
Pay TV
It’s agony”

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