Embodiment, such a buzzword these days, what does it actually mean? I first heard this word nearly 20 years ago when my friend Jody, who was already a seasoned spiritual seeker, clued me in on an Indian Saint named Sri Aurobindo and his disciple, "The Mother". Jody shared with me The Mother’s teachings of embodying spiritual realization in every cell of the body. She taught that we could be integrated in our actions, thoughts, feeling responses, intentions and interactions. I understood then that my path this lifetime would be about living and breathing what I realize as the “spiritual” truths that underlie my everyday ordinary experiences, and not just espousing theoretical knowledge that I’ve learned from others.
I learned that in order to embody truth, I must take an honest look at my behaviors and see if they are aligned with my intention and deeper realized truth. For instance, if integrity is important to me because I understand it as the bedrock of healthy relating, and I know that I am being dishonest about something but to come clean may cause me to feel shame or to be afraid of not being liked and respected, then I must fess up to what I’m doing that is not in alignment with this deeper truth or I will be split from myself. When I'm split from myself, my actions are at odds with what I know is true for me deep down. While it’s not easy to scrutinize my behavior and align it with my higher ideals, not doing so creates more pain and alienation. This ultimately leads to dis-ease.
Most of us get disconnected from ourselves early on in our lives and these patterns continue unless we change them consciously. Personally, I grew up questioning reality from a very young age due to an unsafe environment. Early on, I never knew what to expect as people were unreliable and the "truth" was subject to other's emotional whims. Because what I needed wasn't readily available, I learned to manipulate in order to get such things as: love, attention, praise, and validation.
As I've gotten older, I've learned that when my behavior is aligned with what I believe then I create trust, with others and with myself. This has provided a deep sense of safety in my life. Our nervous systems wire in repetitive experiences from a very young age and are the core organizing beliefs of our identity. So, if we grow up feeling safe and loved, then we experience ourselves as secure and lovable. If we grow up feeling inadequate in some fundamental way, we experience ourselves as less than or better than, instead of on par with, others. This leads us to compensate one way or the other in an attempt to feel better about ourselves, but this compensation doesn't change our core experience of who we think we are. https://www.verywell.com/what-is-compensation-2794972
So, if I had felt more secure as a little girl I could have embodied my loving nature as the core of my identity. Due to my chaotic environment, however, I imbibed a sense of wrongness that became a limited core belief of my sense of self. In turn, I developed behaviors that didn’t reflect my true nature but rather an adapted one. This initial split, from my deeper instinctual nature of openness and love, left me feeling confused and insecure for years until I rewired my system. First by learning what was true for me, and then by acting on it.
When we live what’s true for us as fully as possible, by doing what is in alignment with the deeper truth of who we know ourselves to be, we create safety at the core of our lives. It takes seeing into limited beliefs and unraveling them so we can know and stabilize our sense of self in our original organic state. Essentially, at our core, all of us are innocent. We each have our own unique flavor of love. This love is a healing balm, to others and ourselves, when we tune in to it. In order to fully embody this love and let it inform our lives, we must come to know ourselves in our deeper truth and to align our actions with it. As we do this, we start to experience the “rightness of life” which reveals itself to us in the process of showing up more fully in our lives. When we're present in our bodies the ability to trust this rightness, and live from it fully, even in the most uncomfortable moments, allows us to live our truth at the deepest level of our being. This is freedom.
The Gates Of Wisdom
By Kavi Jezzie Hockaday
To fully live
You must shed every false notion
Of what love is
We were all taught about love
And matters of wisdom
By those who didn’t understand
The nature of reality
Except for those rare beings
Who had become conscious
That is not to belittle the fine work
Our parents and ancestors did
With what they were given
By their ancestors before them
In fact the opposite, we are honoring
Their great fortitude
In unenlightened times
But we are in a different world now
And our access to the deepest wisdom
Of what is truth and love
And what is illusion
Is upon us And that means
We must go through a great unlearning
Until we come to
The Gates of Wisdom
And we must walk through those gates