“It takes courage— this is often called the path of the spiritual warrior— to endure the sharp pains of self-discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.” -Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love.

This is one of my favorite quotes because it brings me great comfort in the times of sharp pain that so often seem to accompany my moments of deepest growth. The times when my yoga mat is soaking up more tears than sweat, when, because I have asked and been willing to learn the answer, I discover something about myself that makes me shudder, when someone else is reeeeeaaallly bothering me but I know that really it is MY issue and MY wounds being illuminated, and the times when I am faced with a lesson so hard that I want to run in the opposite direction yelling “Never mind! I don’t want to grow! Growing is hard!” but I know that even the hardest things are happening FOR me and that I must surrender the outcome of these things, the things I want to have control over most.

These are the times when I spend a moment feeling sorry for myself and thinking that being on a spiritual path really just sucks sometimes. But these are also the times when I remind myself that I am wildly willing to release all that is not me, to unravel what has me bound in fear, to choose love and to remember what I am and why I am here.

When I remember why I got into the business of self-discovery in the first place, I know that these painful moments are part of the deepening of my soul and the opening of my heart. In fact, they are the moments I have been PRAYING for. And this quote reminds me that it is worth it. So worth it.

May we all have the courage to awaken, to love and be loved.

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