"The cave (castle, body) you fear to enter holds the treasures that you seek."
Caroline Myss writes, "This interior place- your castle- is real. These aren't just words or an exercise in active imagination. They are sacred forms and images...entering your castle enables you to begin dialogue with your soul and with God. I cannot emphasize enough, nor can I tell you how exquisite that dialogue eventually becomes. But it's work. It's work to get to know yourself, and why you are the way you are, and why you love what you do and have the passions you do. You require work...you are complex and creative, conscious and unconscious."
Entering the castle...I love that image. We have this incredible world inside ourselves, one few dare to enter. In fact, most do not go except through great suffering or because they are dragged there, kicking and screaming. Why? Because it's work. The work of unraveling ourselves, finding out why we are the way we are, wrestling with our shadow, healing our wounds, growing up our stuck fragments, learning to love ourselves....it's work.
But oh, the reward! That feeling when you uncover parts of yourself and can deeply love and embrace them, and really, truly be in awe of how you put yourself together, how incredibly resourceful you were to even survive. There is nothing quite like that.
This work of entering the castle, peering into every room, looking down every hallway, seeing what belongs and what doesn't, discovering rooms that hold treasures that have been totally hidden from us until now, finding old wounds that need healing. Yes, it's work, and sometimes really seeing ourselves is painful. But with it, is incredible possibility. Really, sometimes all that is needed is seeing our pain, letting ourselves feel it and giving to ourselves whatever it is that we didn't get...compassion, love, attention, understanding, mirroring...whatever it might be that we need. Plus, this is the only way we really find our treasure....in fact, it's definitely not the first thing you find upon entering the castle...it's past the dragons, the dark hallways and unopened rooms, way in the back, or down the stairs...
For me, I look at this work as gathering. I'm gathering lost parts of myself....things I once had but have lost sight of, tucked away or sent into safe keeping. This is true for all of us. We start out with our full, whole selves but through trauma, pain or regular life, we learn what we are allowed to be and what we aren't, what our families will accept in us and what they won't. The rest gets locked away, inside the castle. Even our great stuff can get locked away in there. For instance, some families don't allow anger, compassion, humour, brains, teaching, adventure....so, maybe we lock away our angry selves, our funny selves, our loving, compassionate selves, our smart selves etc. As little kids, we can only stand so much inner turmoil and we would rather be connected then not, so we do what we have to do to survive (thank god we do that), even if that means locking away some of our own precious resources, our own fullness, our own aliveness.
The castle is always there, waiting, inviting. Whenever I enter, which I do through bodywork, soul work, deep imagination, or asking big questions, (like, "hmmm, I know I used to be more precocious, where did that part of me go?) I try to enter with my arms wide open. I am in awe of how creatively I survived, how intricate my castle is, how many rooms there are, just waiting for me to discover. Always, with an attitude of gratitude to myself for surviving and keeping these treasures safe until such a time as I was ready to see them and maybe offer them to the world.
The world needs our integrated, gifted, ensouled selves. It needs us to enter our castles, do our work, find what we've tucked away, get to know our dragons, discover our treasures. When we change our inner dialogue, we can change our outer dialogue, we can see the whole world and other beings as treasures to discover, rooms waiting to be opened. We are a little more alive, a little more integrated and present with every room we open, every discovery we make.
If you are feeling drawn, feeling the pull to really enter your castle, I just want to encourage you to go. There is more of you to discover, to unlock, to love. It's worth the work. Like Caroline Myss said, the work is exquisite and will forever change your relationship to yourself and the world around you.
Go! "The cave (castle, body) you fear to enter holds the treasure that you seek."