The Beauty of Being Your Own Teacher
I caught the second half of an interview with Cheryl Strayed today by chance. She said something that really struck me when asked about her writing practice. She said: “You have to do the work and you have to teach yourself what the work is.”
The way she said it seemed casual - almost like an afterthought - but I think the concept of figuring out what the work actually is is a profound statement and central to the struggle so many of us find ourselves in when it comes to wanting to change what’s not working in our lives but getting overwhelmed in the process, by the process.
We have to teach ourselves what the work is. We have to know our themes, our perpetual pitfalls, our shitty narratives. We have to spend the time to really, deeply, honestly know ourselves. From there, with that conscious knowledge, we can chart the course for our freedom. We can be our own teachers, leveraging all of the deep wisdom available to us out there.
We can recognize: I tend to procrastinate. I tend to sabotage my efforts once I start picking up momentum. I tend to attract toxic partnerships. Once we know the tendency, we can work with ourselves to transform it.
I feel so fortunate to have studied and sat with some truly incredible healers in my lifetime. But no healer, no coach, no guru can actually compare to the power you hold, within yourself, to know your truth and guide your own way towards it.
You are the authority inside your own life.
A good healing practitioner holds the mirror steady and believes in your capacity to change. But the actual understanding of what the work is and how to undertake it inside of your life comes from you. And when I say “you” I mean your Soul, not your Ego/personality.
Beneath the turbulence on the surface, where there is self doubt and the noise of other people’s opinions: the Soul knows. The Soul holds the roadmap.
We teach ourselves what the work is by carving sacred, quiet time to tune in and listen to our Souls and to make that relationship the highest priority in our lives.
Your healing is my healing and my healing is your healing.