Spiritual Growing Pains

To say the vibrations of September have been intense, would be just a bit of an understatement. There’s been a tremendous amount of build-up, spiritually, and quite a substantial wind of change coming about. Not the kind of change – for most of us, at least – that is tangible and alarming, ground-quaking and “in your face.” It has that feeling, yes, of monumental presence, but it’s a bit more cryptic, impalpable, below the surface. The kind of sensation you can’t exactly identify, but that can have you writhing in your own skin. It’s nothing we can really grab onto, having no real texture or weight, but it’s there. I feel it. You feel it. Intentions set long ago, seeds planted under moons past, are coming to fruition. Dreams are being made manifest.

And it’s really…fricking…uncomfortable.

If you feel like you’re bobbing around in a cauldron of simultaneously cruel and exquisite passion, feeling like you’re undergoing this miraculous and life-saving operation, just without the anesthesia, please know you’re not alone.

Mercury goes direct tomorrow (thank GAWSH), the Autumnal Equinox is Thursday (read: HUGE ENERGY SHIFT), and the Full Harvest Moon and Lunar Eclipse was this past Friday (if you were wondering why you’ve been feeling all the feels).

That is a LOT of energy, celestially, subtly, astrologically. I mean, I’ve cried two dozen times in two days. I feel the fibers of my astral body stretching as I squirm my way through this phase. As I cope with these spiritual growing pains.

I find myself feeling there aren’t enough hours in the day. I find myself “making trouble.” By that I mean, I find my poor, frayed mind seeking out trouble that isn’t there. Venturing way down the imaginary road that is “the future” and worrying over potential obstacles that don’t even have any context in my current life.

Am I speaking to you?

As my divine teacher (also known to me as MOM) always says, “Don’t go making trouble where there isn’t any.” It’s really so true. I know this to be true because I make such trouble on a regular basis. I always have, actually. As a child, I was a “worry wart.” As if that were really a common thing, ordinary vocabulary for any seven year old.

As an adult, I’ve taken it upon myself to constantly be checking in on my own stress levels. Rather addictively, even. I make daily potions of tonic herbs to support my adrenals and my organs and moderate my anxiety. I practice daily yoga, mantra, meditation and pranayama to try and chill myself out. I journal out all my fears and worries so as to unburden myself of stress and “leave it on the page.” I tell myself that stress ages the body, and then I get stressed out that I’m stressing in the first place. And then I go to sleep and wake up again the next day, lacing my existence with the same lineup of healing practices to calm my precious, fragile nervous system.

Sometimes I think that souls as sensitive, tender, and vulnerable as mine weren’t manufactured for a world this chaotic, this unpredictable, this powerful.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for my awareness and for an arsenal of self-care alchemy to combat the cumulative stress that IS the experience of being alive, and of “adulting.” But I can’t help but laugh at the irony of it all. I try so hard at everything I do. Sure, some aspects of life are purely effortless. But as a “Type A”, highly sensitive, people-pleasing, worry wart, perfectionistic individual, I walk through the world enveloped in emotion, with landmines of potential disappointment or over-analysis at nearly every turn. And sometimes, I can’t help but think that people who just don’t give a fuck, striding through life without incessantly reading and sponging up the energy of their surroundings, are probably doing so with a lot less stress, discomfort, and worry. That they must skate through life in all of their “not giving a fuck-ness”, free of all the jaw-clenching, hiding in the bathroom to think, mind racing existence of the highly emotional person. Raise your hand if you feel me.

Perhaps they do, I’ll never really know. And frankly it doesn’t make any difference to me. Because, I’ll confess, I wouldn’t trade my experience for all of the stress-free, smooth-sailing, giving no fucks-ness there is. While it can be a burden to experience the world through a lens of such intensity, there is also so much endless, boundless, incomprehensible beauty and feeling that would be utterly and irrevocably lost without this sweet, tender perspective.

Recently, my divine teacher (again, MOM) sent me a book. I’ve only just begun it, but already it’s becoming my bible. It’s The Highly Sensitive Person, but Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D., and I quite honestly spent the entire introduction, cross-legged on my bed, highlighting every other passage and ugly crying…

Slight chance I’m a highly sensitive person, just possibly.

I highly recommend this book if you at all feel that it calls to you, or have ever felt like you’re the only one who must feel everything and process the details of this world the way that you do.

I have always been crushed by the quote,

“It is both a blessing and a curse to feel everything so very deeply.”

I mean, that’s just it, isn’t it? Well, that’s the thing. I say that, but you may be reading with a furrowed brow thinking, No…no, that’s not really it…I’m not even sure about this “it” to which she’s referring. And that’s totally fine. That’s kind of the whole point. We don’t all experience life this way. But as highly sensitive people (HSPs), we vacillate – well, I should speak for myself – vacillate between the assumption that everyone else also sees the world and our interactions this way, and acute disappointment/shock/emotion when I’m met by the harsh reality that they, indeed, do not…followed by the harrowing realization that I must be alone in this hypersensitive, fiercely potent manner of intuiting/feeling/projecting/analyzing/reading others and that it is just plain an exhausting way to live.

I mean, when someone hurts my feelings or offends me, I get more worked up over how my reaction to that is going to affect them! It only recently occurred to me that not everyone operates this way. It only took 28 years for me to come to that conclusion. *Going strong.*

I suppose the point of that is, with all of these astrological and celestial events occurring, plus my God-given orientation as a Cancer Sun, Aquarius Moon, and Cancer Rising (hellooooo, waterworks!), I’ve been really knees deep in the spiritual growing pains lately. The “I can hear the threads of my auric waistband snapping” sort of growth. Which is a good thing, despite it’s aching discomfort. Just as my joints and bones ached as a child when I’d go through four to five inch growth spurts in a single year (seriously, kept up at night crying for the pain in my ankles and knees, *shudder*), those agonizing nights are what facilitated my transformation into this evolved (ish?) adult that I am today.

No transformation occurs without discomfort. 

That is the bottom line. No psychological growth, physical metamorphosis, emotional renewal, or spiritual advancement is complete without (usually, a gross amount of) hardship. Even if it’s a relatively smooth ordeal, you’re sure to undergo at least some mild irritation. This. Is. Life. I am only just now, in my late twenties, coming to fully embrace – well, let’s not get carried away – coming to accept that no obstacle will ever be the “last.” I will never heave myself over the final hurtle (if I expect to keep on keeping on with this earthside journey, that is). There will always be trials, perceived or actual. There will always be pain and discomfort, fleeting or prolonged. But they will always pass. We will always grow from them. The earth will continue to spin, the stars will continue to align (and, then, stir shit up again like a ninja sorceress). Life will continue to bring us to our knees over large and small experiences alike, testing our limits, expanding our consciousness, and exploring our emotional metronome.

There is mystical alchemy afoot, energetically and seasonally. The most magical season is upon us. Richly transcendental spells of golden hour melting each late summer day into inky night, gliding us closer and closer to the Equinox, where everything will shift and we will shed all that no longer serves us. Stepping into a quieter, more grounded, introspective time that is equally energetically expansive and spiritually charging. We will be provided the darkness, the cold, the quiet that invites us to turn inwards. Into ourselves, into our homes, into our rituals, and relationships. We will be provided the external framework to catch up to our internal rewiring. An intimate peek inside our own beings, to listen to the whispers of our souls, the musings of our higher selves, gaining understanding of all that has occurred within and around us.

We are moving towards the time of year where we can settle into the calm after the storm, the comfortable sensation after this aching round of spiritual growing pains, before the next bout sets in. This is where the magic really lingers. In the realization that we may be uncomfortable, but we are okay. That comfort is just up ahead. And that, even though more discomfort is sure to come – because what is the spectrum comfort without discomfort? – we know how to navigate these spells.

We have the tools and the resources, the spiritual foundation and metaphysical infrastructure, the faith and surrender that we need to always be okay. We have ourselves. We have God. We have each other. We have the dawning wisdom that no level of discomfort would ever be worth the sacrifice of our very birthright…our sacred Awakening.




2 thoughts on “Spiritual Growing Pains

  1. Thank you, Sara, for easing me into Fall, tumultuously. I noted this gem early on, among many to come later: “If you too feel like you’re bobbing around in a cauldron of simultaneously cruel and exquisite passion, like having a miraculous and life-saving operation but without the anesthesia, please know you’re not alone.” It cuts to the core of our exquisite discomfort. It’s a beautiful piece about change and its cost, the painful price we pay for vitality. I feel better about my unease.

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