Conscious Living

I have nothing to sell you. Nothing here that is “new”. I invite you to set aside your spiritual concepts and second-hand knowledge, that you may abide wholeheartedly in the fullness of your own true Self.  – Shambo ~ Mark

Castles In The Sand Relationships Writings Flower
Photo Courtesy of Makenzee Jae Montague

Castles In The Sand

(Part One of a Multi-Piece Writing on Delusion, Illusion, & Dysfunction In Modern Romantic Relationship) 

As far back as I can remember as a young boy I was a devout mystical, hopeless, romantic it seemed. One whose gifts of limitless imagination were such a welcomed comfort and at the time a true survival tool in light of the very challenging environment I found myself born into. 

It’s no wonder that children who survive very challenging home environments characterized by violence, addictive dysfunction, and oftentimes outright abandonment can later become some of the most powerful lights, healers, and creators as adults. 

If through divine grace, wisdom, and perseverance for truth one is fortunate and brave enough to be able to transmute one’s own suffering, it can be transformed into the beautiful flowering of consciousness that we call awakening.

I have no regrets about my childhood. I would not change one iota of it even if I could. It was the very best Sadhana (spiritual practice) for my own spiritual evolution possible for me in this lifetime. It took years to come to know this, but of this truth I became certain of long ago. 

It took me years to come into the loving, profound, realization that although my parents had made huge parenting mistakes, they too were both deeply wounded beings as children and were simply doing the very best they could in their young adulthood as unprepared and obviously unequipped parents could. 

Unhealed and unremedied, our wounds can’t help but to wound others around us. Even our own children whom we may love very deeply will suffer our wounds if we are not mindful and learn to heal our own selves.

I would pick wildflowers for my mother as a young teen during the summers I spent with her in Alabama. She had left my sister and I with my dad to raise when I was just 5 years old. Moving out of state she would find herself in a decades long, very dysfunctional, highly addictive, relationship with another deeply troubled soul. 

When I was just 15 we buried her body on an unusually cool and overcast July day in South Georgia. 35 years young, her own wounds had led her down a path of no return. At least in this lifetime.

Her drunken lover had crashed their car while traveling at speeds in excess of 99+ mph returning from a midnight beer run to the liquor store on a North Alabama highway July 4th. Do not be sorry for me. Although painful and tragic her life and that form leaving also served as one of the deepest, most life altering catalysts for transformation and subsequent awakening in my own life. 

It would take me years and almost cost me my own physical life on more than one occasion before I could fully assimilate the pain, suffering, and lessons contained in my own interactions with my mother and the way she left in form. The wildflowers I gave her as a teen during my last summer visit to her are now perennial flowers in my own heart through divine grace and understanding. Particularly today within the contexts of my own interactions with authentic, divine, feminine energy when I’m graced to be met with that beautiful energy even in the most casual of relationships. 

My mother gave me such a beautiful and perfect lesson. A beautiful, powerful, lesson that I could have never gotten in books nor from a guru, saint, or spiritual teaching. It was a critical piece of my very own Sadhana (spiritual practice) and today I choose to see it as a beautiful gift.

I could never “feel the love” from my mother that I knew that she had for me. I tried so hard. I picked her flowers. I even wrote her beautiful poems and letters. She would always write back and would be in and out of my life but not frequently and always only at her convenience. For most of my life I used to think it was because she didn’t love me or perhaps more damaging of an erroneous thought… that she loved her lover more than I.

In truth she loved me deeply but her own unhealed wounds were deeper than her capacity to give and show love to others. Even her own children. She was starving for love herself and was too consumed with chasing love “outside her own Self”. Over and over she was building castles in the sand for a prince that had lost his own crown too.

The ebb and flow of the ocean’s tides won’t allow castles to stand for long on its shores. Nor will reality allow relationships to endure and be life enhancing and supportive if they’re built upon illusion (untruths or unrealistic expectations). If ignored you’ll find yourself continually having to rebuild the same castle (relationship) over and over again. Each build becomes more disheartening knowing in your heart of hearts that this version won’t endure either. It can’t. It has no foundation in reality.

I still have the Vasana (behavioural tendency or karmic imprint which influences the present behaviour of a person) operating in me today when it comes to romantically inclined relationships with females although it arises much less frequently and I’m aware of its arising almost immediately.

If I’m not careful I’ll almost always unconsciously, yet very powerfully be drawn to the emotionally unavailable female. Or just the same, an unavailable, impossible relationship. Both are the same. It was a painful, crippling pattern I had to unlearn and become conscious of. Self honesty is the antidote.  

The true “seeing” of patterns (Vasanas) is the freeing part. You don’t have to necessarily do therapy or shadow work although it may be helpful depending upon your level of consciousness. The important fact to know is that it takes divine grace to liberate one from such deep seated Vasanas. The package that this grace arrives in is of little to no significance. 

A house or a wholesome relationship (castle) can not stand for long when its foundation is built upon the sand. Christ spoke of this same truth. While fantasy and daydreams of knights in shining armor and damsels in distress to save may be alluring…. beautiful reality will never support these castles built upon her shores. 

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Shambo ~ Mark D. Hulett is an American born spiritual teacher and nature enthusiast from Southwest Georgia who freely shares his own experience of spiritual awakening, conscious living, and Self-discovery.