We can never be prepared for everything. No one person can anticipate all of life. In fact, over-preparation is yet another way to wall ourselves in from life. We can only respond how we might prepare for the gift of surprise that often moves in on us faster than our reflex to resist. Life is surprising, thank God. For God is seldom in our plans, but always in the unexpected. – Mark Nepo
It’s been almost one year since I launched this blog, bishopreid.com, which was also the first time I really wrote about what happened to me in Brazil in “Cancer, God, and Ayahuasca.” This seemingly insignificant decision to create a fairly simple blog, buy a domain, and write about my experience was MONUMENTAL for me and was no small feat because the moment I decided to publish this puppy, it was me deciding, possibly for the first time ever, to honor my voice, to honor my experience, and to outwardly EXPRESS what was deeply true and ringing inside of me despite all of the shoulds and shouldn’ts. You’ll never get anywhere listening to those…
The words I wrote down one year ago have become even stronger and truer for me now over the course of the last several months. Life, once again has pushed me into a sea of change that has challenged my integrity and has left this question lingering at the forefront of my mind,
Are you going to talk about it or be about it?
Its one thing to write down what you’ve learned and how you feel others should live their lives, but it is an entirely different thing to BE about your own message when faced with life’s challenging sucker punches to the face. And when the same lesson recently began surfacing for me again for the seven thousandth time I was forced to get real with myself. Let’s be honest here and just agree that if the same situation is coming up again, you probably haven’t learned it. You might understand the lesson on an intellectual level, but nothing was ever truly learned on just that level anyways.
Lesson #7,897: A lesson DOES NOT go anywhere until life sees that you have fully comprehended what it’s trying to share with you.
So here I am, arriving at an Oh Shit Moment, re-learning a lesson where I’m seeing patterns and similar lessons I thought I had learned continue manifesting in my life. This pandemic has probably put most of us into a very similar Oh Shit Moment together. If you’re currently in an Oh Shit Moment then welcome to this very exclusive club, please read on and join me for a cup of tea as we share this Oh Shitness together. Let me tell you about where mine has taken me recently.
Why of course I have been lead right back to the
ceremony I found myself in 1 and a half years ago, to the circular wooden hut in the south of Brazil where those 3 words permeated my very being. I will never forget the 3 words that may never stop ringing in my ears. The 3 words that at every turn of events, life seems to be challenging me, testing me, to see if I really understand what it means to live them, not just recite them like a pretty mantra in the morning. I have been taken right back to one of the few times in my life I had one of the most direct and honest conversations I have ever experienced, my conversation with God.
This conversation allowed me to take a hard look at who I was and what was real and true for me and the 3 words that my current Oh Shit Moment was bringing me back to…
Open. Listen. Trust.
This again??? Yes Bishop. This again. These words are so simple and yet pure magic. These words allow us to bring out what is most alive within us, which can sometimes be hard to find after a lifetime of rejecting our intuition. To remain Open to what is off of our current radar, to Listen to ourselves deeply, and to Trust what we find, this is lifes’ work. Not so easy and the lesson of my lifetime.
Those of you that are close to me know that 4 years ago I got tatted up. And by tatted up I mean I have 2 tiny words engraved on my left rib cage… En-theos, translated to, God within. En-theos is the greek word of enthusiasm. Enthusiasm has many definitions but my personal favorite and the one I choose to go by is Zig Ziglar’s, which he defines it as this…
The outward expression of an inner feeling.
I have come to see this inner feeling also as an inherent inner knowing that we are all born with. Our relationship with our inner feelings, this innate inner knowing is a direct reflection of our relationship with God, life, the universe. (try not to get too caught up in the wording here) When we ignore our inner knowing, intuition, we disregard what is alive inside of us and what is real and true within us. We go against God, nature, our being and we wind up depleted, fatigued, and down right frustrated.
I don’t know about you but I have a lifetime of doing this. A LIFETIME I TELL YOU!
Can I ask you something personal? Yes? Was hoping you’d say so…
My questions for you are this…
Have you ever made any of your human experiences less than or unimportant, apologized for them or pretended like they didn’t matter?
Have you ever downplayed your feelings, your experiences, your strengths, the stories, opinions, and ideas you have?
Have you ever minimized your hopes and dreams and decided to believe that someone else knows what is best for you and your life?
Have you ever made the oh so subtle choice, that no matter how strong your inner pull to voice your feelings, opinions or thoughts on something are, you decide to ignore them, push them back down, reject them and decide not to trust them?
Yes to any of these? This is how you form the habit of disrespecting yourself, of completely dishonoring your essence, your God within, how you live a life with a lack of integrity and trust. This is the perfect how to guide to disconnect from your intuition. By not accepting yourself wholly and fully you go against the very nature of life itself.
I am writing this because I very recently had yet another honest conversation with myself because well… life pushed me to do so. (Insert another eye roll)
And this time I surrendered and said, “Okay fine you win, let’s hear it.” This time there was no shaman, no cute wooden hut in the south of Brazil, no plant medicine as my guiding light. It was just me, myself, and my lessons on lessons, stranded on my own socially isolated mountain taking a hard look in the mirror. Yes, I physically looked in the mirror and shot myself straight, a pandemic activity that comes highly recommended.
What I am about to say to you I am sharing just in case you haven’t sharpened your own honesty set of tools recently and may need a kick in the pants, like I needed. So here it is… You are not a VICTIM to your present circumstance. Stop NOT listening to and disregarding yourself and what is deeply true within you. It’s inauthentic and it’s NOT cute.
To the degree that you’re not able to be with your own inauthenticity, to that degree you are unable to be. –Werner Erhard
Read it again. Ok now exhale…. When you’re spoken to honestly, whether it comes from within you or someone else, it feels a little like freedom doesn’t it, like some part of you was liberated. Or maybe you’re just pissed off and that’s acceptable too.
To honor God, to honor yourself, means to live enthusiastically, expressing outwardly what is inward, and not to judge whatever/ however that expression manifests DESPITE what is happening around you. In other words to live authentically even when it is scary and feels unaccepted by everyone else, is to honor your inner God and your very being.
Let this Oh Shitness move us into greater authenticity. Some simple ways to connect with this authenticity amongst all of this Oh Shitness? Glad you asked… Ask yourself the following,
What is true for me today?
What is real for me today?
And how can I lean into this versus away from it?
How can I Own, with a captial O, what is alive in me right now?
How can I stay true to myself? (Hint, this is not a time for compromises).
Things have yet again come full circle for me as they usually do and this 26th year around the sun is wrapping up in a way I know I never could have even imagined up… Quite literally, I think even my most creative brain could not have made up a scenario like the one we are currently in.
For now, I commit to meeting each moment with honesty and authenticity because this is quite literally all I can muster up doing for the time being. I will let this Oh Shitness in and through me and ask that it continue to show and guide me into even greater authenticity. I will end with the quote below because her new book, Untamed, inspired these thoughts to manifest the way they did in this very blog.
There is one thing that would be worse than feeling it all and that is missing it all – Glennon Doyle
I hope you choose to feel it all everyday and not miss one single moment of it, even if it is one Oh Shit Moment after the next.
P.S. If you’re feeling up for it, please share your OSM (Oh Shit Moments) with me. I find Oh Shit Moments are much more enjoyable and valuable shared.
Sending love and light wherever you are in the world (hopefully at home).