Searching for Something More
“When we talk about Something More, it isn’t wanting a fancier car, a bigger house, or a designer dress. Something More is what we need to fill our spiritual hunger.”
– Sarah Ban Breathnach, Something More
What have you been reading this summer?
I’ve been reading, yet again, one of my all-time favourite books: Something More; Excavating Your Authentic Self by Sarah Ban Breathnach (author of Simple Abundance; A Daybook of Comfort and Joy).
Something More is based on the premise that “the authentic self is the soul made visible.”
Alas, as is often the way with matters pertaining to the soul, it’s a book I find to be more unsettling than encouraging – but in a good way. Its candour cuts to the core of some pretty deep truths about women’s lives, particularly about the danger of…settling.
“Our choices can be conscious or unconscious,” explains Ban Breathnach in Something More. “Conscious choice is creative, the heart of authenticity.”
But when we fall asleep at the wheel of our own lives (and I suspect it happens to most of us at some point) and begin making small but significant decisions on auto-pilot – that serve to keep the peace but aren’t necessarily for our own highest good – we can run into trouble.
So how do we prevent this from happening? By pulling over to the side of the road, of course, and taking a time-out. Or put another way:
“Be still, woman, and know who you are.”
– Sarah Ban Breathnach, Something More
But many women don’t STOP because a) they lead very busy lives (and likely manage several other people’s busy lives, as well) and; b) to stop means to think and that could lead to reflecting and that could lead to change and that could lead to all sorts of uncomfortable things for all sorts of people. So, on some level, it seems wiser to keep moving – and the status quo intact.
But here’s one problem, among many, with that strategy: “When we lose touch with our true natures,” explains Ban Breathnach, “we become unable to create boundaries that protect, nurture, and sustain our self-worth.”
Been there, done that, got the (very expensive) t-shirt.
So how do we know when we’ve veered off track…away from our soul’s authentic path? By how we feel.
“The soul is here for it’s own joy.”
“Many of us confuse happiness and joy,” writes Ban Breathnach. “Happiness is often triggered by external events, events we usually have no control over – you get the promotion, he loves you back, they approve your mortgage application. Happiness camouflages a lot of fears. But joy is the absence of fear. Joy is your soul’s knowledge that if you don’t get the promotion, keep the relationship, or buy the house, it’s because you weren’t meant to. You’re meant to have something better, something richer, something more.”
If you know, deep down, that you need to make some sort of significant change in your life, here is a passage from Something More that you might find of help:
“The medical-intuitive Caroline Myss…tells us that when we know we are supposed to move on or out of a situation that is stunting our soul growth and we consciously refuse to do so because the uncharted terror of choice and change scares us, a celestial clock starts ticking. “If you’re getting directions, ‘Move on with your life, let go of something,’ then do it. Have the courage to do it. This is the way it is. When you get guidance to let go of something, it’s sort of like a time warning that says, ‘You have ten days left. After that, your angel’s going to do it.’ So the desire to hold on is not going to stop the process of change.”
If I had read that when I was 17, I would have thought it ridiculous. But now that I’ve experienced life on this planet for almost 50 years, I know that a mere desire to keep things the way they are is NOT going to stop the process of change. Time and time again, I have found this to be true in my own life.
However, I do think we get plenty of sweet – and not-so-sweet but still small enough to be ignored – little nudges from the Universe to help us make the changes we know we need to make, in ourselves and/or our lives, before A Big One (health scare, loss of a loved one, financial crisis, divorce, etc) potentially arrives in all its heartbreaking, life-altering, soul-waking splendour 🙁
But here’s the good news:
“If you can learn from hard knocks, you can learn from soft touches.”
– Carolyn Kenmore
Thankfully, I have found this to be equally true 🙂
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Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and the Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her weekly blog, please sign up here.