Tear Down This House!
I am in the thick of some pretty big life changes which include some major aspects of who I am, or who I claim to be. I am introducing myself by a different name and being seen as skilled at doing work that I have never before done professionally. It is fascinating to observe how others respond with complete acceptance as I author my story. As I share about my passion and my work in the world I literally feel like a new person; one very different than past stories of former careers, yet so familiar as I come back to deeply rooted childhood passions. In that way it feels like coming home to myself, restoring something that I had lost or forgotten.
While I am loving my new work, it is scary as heck to try to integrate, to find a way to discuss with people in my life who don’t understand what I am doing or why. When the topic of my livelihood comes up in certain circles my mouth gets dry and I feel my face reddening. I am flooded with fears that I am not fitting in, that I won’t be able to have financial security, that my work may not be valued by others. After a recent similar experience I remembered the promise I made to myself several years ago to live my life by my own rules.
In preparing for our work with the story of Lilith (see our events page) I have been moved by the notion of the Garden of Eden being like a box of rules. Sometimes I find myself following a set of external rules, societal or work-related and the like, but often they seem to be rules that I have created, or that I have decided to abide by for one reason or another.
So I have found myself asking, “Who made these rules, anyway? And why am I feeling the urge to follow them?!” Nobody has the right to tell the story of my life but me. One of my favorite Rumi poems, Tear Down This House, speaks to the necessity of doing this work. The work of changing the rules, or discarding them completely– the work of taking down the house of cards of a life-sucking story– that work is mine alone to do. And there is wealth there in the rubble. Those are the gemstones of my true nature.
There is a Stewardship of Self piece here, too. The unbridled potential seeded within me before my soul took form on this earthly plane is on loan to this human form. What I do with that has consequences far beyond my behavioral whims or ego satisfaction. When I stop and listen, I mean really and truly listen, the message is loud and clear. “Stop playing small. You don’t own the deed to this house. Get to the real work of life, now!”
Tear Down This House!
Tear down this house. A hundred thousand new houses can be built from the transparent yellow gemstone buried underneath it. The only way to get to that treasure is to do the work of demolishing and then digging under the foundation.
With that value in hand all the new construction will be done without effort.
And anyway, sooner or later this house will fall on its own. The jewel treasure will be uncovered but it won’t be yours then. The buried wealth is your pay for doing the demolition, the pick and shovel work.. If you wait and just let it happen, you’ll bite your hand and say “I didn’t do as I knew I should have.”
This is a rented house. You don’t own the deed. You have a lease and you’ve make your living sewing patches on torn clothing. Yet only a few feet underneath are two veins of pure red and bright gold gemstone. Take the pickaxe and pry the foundation.
You’ve got to quit this seamstress work. What does the “patch-sewing” mean, you ask? Eating and drinking. The heavy cloak of the body is always getting torn. You patch it with food and other restless ego satisfactions.
Rip up one board from the shop floor and look into the basement. You’ll see two glints in the dirt.
This post was written by Lucinda Sohn