I was listening to a webinar recently about the ancient mystery schools of Egypt, in which initiates had to face their fears by swimming down deep into underground tunnels past a slew of alligators. Once they reached the opening and came up for air, they were advised that, nope, you’ve reached the wrong opening. They were then instructed to dive down again, past those same alligators, and into a tunnel that was both more daunting in its depth, and also the right one to come out of in order to reach their goal.
I think a lot of us can relate to these long-ago spiritual trekkers who were probably exhausted and exhilarated all at the same time as their heads popped up into what they thought was the finish line. Only to be told that although they had been brave and strong, they still had missed the mark. There were more obstacles to navigate in the deeper waters below.
Those poor trekkers probably already knew that they no longer had the element of surprise on their sides for their second swim past those alligators. Apparently, a lot of them didn’t make it through the initiation after that.
The reality is we all tend to resist the hard work that comes after lots of hard work because our hopes seemed dashed, and our spirits insist we deserve better. But it’s that very insistence that has to be the driving force which allows us to muster up enough strength to dive down to the core of our fears, straight into the heart of our issues, all while staring every so-called “monster” in our path straight in the face to let them know we mean business.
I can’t say for sure, but it’s my strong intuition that those swimmers who did just that with those alligators were probably pleasantly surprised to find the animals swimming ahead to show them the way. After all, meeting others face-to-face and eye-to-eye is exactly how enemies turn the tide on fear to become friends.