Nov 14, 2017 by Renee Linnell

When I was desperate to find God, to find my purpose, I struggled with the dichotomy within me. I yearned for God and was willing to do anything for Freedom. In my journey towards Enlightenment I was willing to abnegate my own core essence when told to do so by my spiritual teachers. I was willing to shut down everything within me that I thought was “unspiritual”. This was incredibly damaging.

I believe the dichotomy within us holds the answer. Is the answer. As Elizabeth Gilbert said so eloquently in Eat Pray Love, "God dwells within you...as you. God's not interested in watching a performance of how a spiritual person looks and behaves. The quiet girl who glides silently through the place with a gentle, ethereal smile...who is that person? It's Ingrid Bergman in The Bells of St. Mary's– not me. God dwells within me...as me."

The Enlightened version of you is not some stripped down boring chaste dried-up sterile totally-not-fun monk woman/man wearing all white and a daisy behind your ear. The Enlightened version is the loudest, brightest, most obnoxious version of you that you can come up with. You, with all the skeletons in your closet dancing along side you. If we ever want true joy in our lives and on our planet, we must unleash the force within us. And…drum roll please…it starts by owning your story. Owning all of it. Not just the pretty pieces. The ugly pieces are undoubtedly as powerful as the glowing pieces. In fact, I would argue that they are more powerful. So let’s excavate them. Let’s drag them to the surface. Let’s wash off the black sludge with a power hose and let’s hold those puppies up in the light. Let’s look at them. Let’s dissect them. Let’s get the juice out of them and then let’s place them on the floor in front of us and bow low to them in gratitude. Yes, gratitude. Because they were your training. They were the backpack weighing 50 lbs. that you strapped to your back as you ran up this mountain called Life. The GREAT news is: you have done the training. Now it’s time to reap the results and go out into the world and shine.