Like many of you, I was a child raised in the United States in the era of John Wayne and James Dean, when the rugged individualist was prized as the pinnacle of American success. If you relied on no one, proved yourself to be self-sufficient, autonomous, and independent, you won the brass ring of life’s merry-go-round. I was conditioned to believe that in order to be a valued member of society, especially as a woman raised during the feminist movement, I must avoid being “needy” or, even worse, “clingy,” and Lord knows I’d better not lean on a man or take more than I give to anyone.
Many of us are well versed in tolerating pain. Especially in spiritual circles, we may even gravitate toward painful, uncomfortable situations, milking them for all the soul growth we can tolerate and being grateful for the discomfort. But we can get out of balance this way. We can even venture into full on masochism if we’re not careful! What if the real challenge is being equally fluid and open to both pleasure and pain? What if we’re not grasping at pleasure or resisting pain, but we’re also not grasping at pain and resisting pleasure? Might it be possible to just roll with what life throws our way, relishing in the pleasurable experiences when they arrive and composting all the painful experiences as soul growth?
Intentionally invoking magic and playing with consciousness in all Her forms on “Goddess Quests” has been one of the practices that my daughter Siena and I activate to help us feel closer to the Divine. Some of you may have followed us on the Goddess Quest we posted about on Facebook last summer, but in case you missed it, let me share with you how we do this and how you can try this on your own, whether for a day, a week, or a whole year. Since summer is coming up, some of you might like to try this with your own children, or embark upon a solo Goddess quest or even just a day trip with some friends.
Stuff hurts right now. A lot of stuff hurts. If you’re not feeling at least some pain right now, you’ve probably numbed out with an addiction, psychiatric medication, dissociation from your body and your emotions, or maybe even some form of spiritual bypass, like meditating to transcend your human pain. If you’ve numbed out, that’s understandable. You’re human. That’s what humans do when they don’t have the emotional resilience to handle a broken heart. Whether chemically or emotionally, you’ve closed your heart, so it doesn’t have to feel so much pain. But it also cuts out your capacity to feel joy, to play, to love, to laugh, to feel gratitude, to cry at the heart-opening beauty of a sunset.
I have a Comfort playlist on my iPod, which I listen to when times are uncertain, and I’m craving comfort. Several of you expressed gratitude when I shared one of them—Kacey Musgraves "Somebody To Love"—on my last blog "Give Yourself Permission to Seek Comfort Right Now" . So let me share with you a few more songs from my Comfort playlist, in case they help you navigate uncertainty, trust in a benevolent universe, bolster your resilience, and survive life’s inevitable times of transition with a cracked open, humble heart.