What I call the veil of survival looks a little bit different for every man and woman who wears it. It consists of the stories we tell ourselves, lies we hide behind, and the mile-long daily to-do lists that save us from ever having to look within ourselves and face what’s hiding beneath the surface.
The veil is woven over the course of a lifetime, carefully designed to help us stay afloat in what I often refer to as the cacophony of chaos. That is, the constant din of outside forces calling us to look away from our own needs and truth.
The veil is made of the very same fabric we have used to craft our public-facing identities, the ego, and it does exactly what it promises to do: it allows us to survive. Wearing the veil, we fit it; we can swim in the mainstream.
The ugly truth, though, is that if we are constantly existing in that survival mode, we can never truly thrive. Lifting the veil of survival is our only choice if we truly wish to live our best and most fulfilled life.
If this is the first time you’re hearing that from me, you’re probably wondering, “what’s the big deal?” It certainly sounds like the reward is worth whatever process is required to lift the veil, doesn’t it?
The answer is yes, it’s definitely worth the work, but it’s going to be exactly that: work. It’s going to cost you every story and every lie you’ve ever told yourself, so it becomes a matter of giving up your entire identity. For so many of us, that identity has been held very close for a very long time. It can be hard to let go of all of that, but it’s important to understand that by removing your limiting beliefs, you’re giving yourself the limitless potential to be so much more. (Please notice that I said you can be more, not do more.)
It takes a lot to spark that urge to change, though.
When we talk about grief, loss, and major life transitions, we could be talking about any number of things that happen throughout the course of our lives. A diagnosis, the death of a loved one, an economic fall, the loss of a job, betrayal – all of these examples qualify. These are the kind of events that create an internal crisis, which then calls us to change.
Transitions like these involve the loss of something that we thought could never be lost. They call us to question what we once knew to be a certainty. So, naturally, the outcome is one of extreme internal chaos. It’s the very definition of pain and turmoil. It’s often at these low points in life, the dark night of the soul, that we are finally humbled enough to reach out.
Now, I don’t want you to mistake what I’m saying here. I’m not encouraging you to “reach out” to a virtual course or audio tapes from your favorite self-help guru. “Download this, and you’re fixed!” That kind of thing doesn’t have the ability to tend to the deep wounding and programming that lies beneath. You can’t just listen to someone speak and then go think your way out of the depths of despair.
So, when you finally experience whatever it is in your life that is going to spark the change, please don’t mistake a book or YouTube for healing. Healing is a process that is held and taught in sacred space, and you can’t initiate yourself.
We must be challenged to remove our veil, and as we do, we need to be witnessed and honored and held in the deepest love – both emotionally and physically. All of this, the death of who you once were and the rebirth of your true essence, is part of the process of coming home to yourself.