Suzanne Guldimann is the editor of the Topanga New Times, and also TNT’s resident naturalist. She was recently asked to give a talk on being…
These days, the terms ‘love and light’ get thrown around like cutesy little cosmic frisbees. Being ‘spiritual’ is the new ‘cool.’ Self-help jargon has become the norm. There is a giant marketing campaign centered around the word ‘love,’ for gosh sakes. Wearing ‘love’ on your t-shirt and signing your emails with ‘love and light’ is sweet, but if it doesn’t have significant meaning for you, then, let’s be real—it’s nothing more than a bunch of words.
In my experience, the journey towards self discovery is far from cutesy. Honestly, if you’re really doing the work, it’s mostly messy and ugly and full of tissues. I can’t even count how many times I have found myself on my knees, lost and confused. And then there are those amazing, less-frequent, peak moments where you watch your Authentic Self rise out of the mud, like a brilliant, statuesque goddess. You radiate with genuine pride, clarity, and focus because you did it! You believed in yourself. You pushed through the negative mind. You overcame the fear.
Your path was wrought with self-doubt and fear, you chose Love and growth anyway. These! These are the moments when you can truly call yourself a Spiritual Warrior, in my opinion.
We must always win the war within ourselves first.
This requires more courage than anything else you could possibly undertake. I’ve seen strong men who are victorious in battles whimper at the first glimpse of diving into their own darkness. The word courage is particularly poetic in this sense. It comes from the French word coeur, which means heart. Courage literally means strength of heart, and courage is one of the most necessary ingredients to be a Spiritual Warrior.
To be a true warrior of the heart means that you will be presented by one learning opportunity after another. It means that you are actively asking for growth. It means that you are (consciously or subconsciously) welcoming uncomfortable situations that will force you to stretch past your comfort zone. It also means that you will probably walk your own path up a treacherous mountain, and not only that, but you’ll be asked to help others find their way up their own mountain too. When you step into this new way of being, a lot will be asked of you.
With this spiritual warriorship comes a lot of responsibility. You need to learn to be response-able. When life gets challenging, the spiritual warrior doesn’t run the other direction. Sometimes, she knows she must sit calmly in the middle of the storm and bring peace to herself and those who need it. Sometimes, she is the storm, if she needs to be. Whatever challenge is before her, she approaches it with compassion, strength, integrity, grace, honor, and love. She approaches it with the courageous heart of a golden lioness, here to protect and serve and nurture the world within and around her.
Now, that’s some serious Love and Light.
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