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  • Writer's pictureNancy Willbern, PhD

Traveling Mercies

 (This post was originally published on March 16, 2017)

I’m going to tell you a well-kept secret. We do not come onto the planet earth empty handed. We come with two essential traveling accessories. They’re sort of like little hidden treasures that show up whenever all else fails. The first one is a candle that sits on the inner alter in the heart, our very own spark of life, our inner North Star. Its job is to help us live our truth and to guide the way when we get lost. It inherently knows how to make all course corrections.

          The second is a set of alarm bells. The bells ring whenever we leave our inner alter, when we lose touch with our guiding light. These two traveling companions always work together.

          It’s a simple, elegant system. Whenever we leave the alter, the bells start to ring. We know the bells are ringing whenever we don’t feel good inside, when we feel anxious or guilty, ashamed, irritated or rageful, whenever we feel unloveable or not enough or too much. From the other direction, the alarm bells are silent when we experience inner peace. From our usual default position, we assume we are feeling bad inside because whatever our inner critic is telling us about ourselves must be true - we really should feel guilty or ashamed or unloveable. We assume the alarm bells are sounding off for us to wake up and shape up. More often than not, this leads to a lot of trying harder which rarely works, which of course makes the alarm bells ring even louder, which leads to our trying even harder, which leads to our feeling even worse and the bells get louder and on and on it goes into a never ending, self-defeating feedback loop.

          The only way to bring this to a stop is to remember the bells never ring because we are not enough or need to try harder to prove our worth. They ring to simply remind us to return our gaze to our inner North Star. It always knows the way. And that is all we ever need to know. Traveling Mercies...

Photo found on Pininterest: Brian with and Eye


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