Companionship on the Inner Journey
For many years I thought I could solve a lot of my problems by turning inward, thinking things out, problem solving, and then applying the solution. Yes, in some cases, it works. Like making a decision about a big purchase. Or deciding to tell a friend about a problem I am having with him.
When the issues are deep seated--childhood wounds, conflicting values, confusing emotions that remain, relying solely on myself has not led to greater wisdom and clarity. If anything, loneliness and isolation has followed.
I have learned a few things in the last couple years about finding balance between turning inward and having trusted friends to help me. I have been active in a 12 Step Fellowship, Al-Anon. I have been turning inward, exploring my inner world, with a twist. I have kept a trusted friend within an arms reach. A sponsor to help me work on the 12 Steps, a fellowship of Al-Anon members, journaling, and my Higher Power according to my own understanding.
I guess when you find something that works, your heart sings. My heart sings with delight. I have found a comfortable fit for me. My loneliness has diminished, I spend less time ruminating. If I start thinking too much, around in circles, coming to the same conclusion, it is time to reach out and connect with someone or my Higher Power. I feel more balanced. Progress not perfection they say.
This is only one way to make the inner journey more successful. For you your companions may be a therapist, a trusted friend, a partner, a spiritual teacher, a coach. Give yourself permission to journey inward. Keep props or supports as you go. You alone take the journey inward. But with a twist. You have someone to bear witness to your journey. Someone to hold a flashlight. Light dispels darkness. Light does not fight darkness. It gently and penetratingly illuminates darkness. One step at a time, one day at a time, darkness breaks up, softens, and melts away.