“Alchemy, at its root, is the transformation of self,” via Paradise Awakening. The idea of alchemy always fascinated me, the idea of turning the mundane into magic, the worthless into priceless, the idea that anyone could have what they wanted because they could turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. Of course, we never consider the subjective nature of worth because we judge by the opinion of masses. It’s easy to follow the group and decide what is valuable based on their opinions. It takes a keen eye and a firm sense of self to say, “This is valuable to ME.” Everyone’s eye is different.
It’s easy to look at the external and to make it appear a certain way. It takes work, but you can get the result you’re looking for. It may not be functional but it will seem that all is well. Our society is obsessed with appearance over functionality. We want to look a certain way but we never stop to ask how what we’re doing feels. The feel of life is much more important. We know what feels right, and if we are looking to improve or change our circumstances, we have to take the time to become deeply familiar with how we want to feel. All of life speaks to us, we need to get quiet and pay attention.
Change is never an easy process—we attach meaning to everything around us and if we have to change then we don’t always know what that means. Certain changes never bother me but when it comes to creating the life I say I want, letting go of what I have always holds me back. Change always involves destruction even, if it means letting go of what you know and walking into an unfamiliar world. Destruction isn’t always a bad thing. While we are trained to create a sense of security for ourselves, anything can happen. Making a conscious choice to let go of what we thought we knew might destroy our tenuous hold on this world, but it will most certainly align us with what we are meant to do.
It’s only when we look at what needs to change inside of us that the outside reflects what we are really looking for. Nothing we do on the outside matters unless it’s authentic. That requires a breakdown of everything we think we know and a deep dive into honesty—that isn’t always pretty. I wrote a few days ago about recognizing my own toxicity in my relationship with my husband and that has started a deep transformation in me—one I thought I was almost through. The reality was I am just beginning that transformation. Knowing how off I was, how wrong I was left me unbalanced and numb for a few days. I still don’t know how to act around my husband because I can’t tell if he is relieved and willing to stay or if he is relieved and ready to leave. It’s completely out of my control. That is the point—nothing is really in our control except for who we are.
Lifting the veil on the identities we wear like armor is simultaneously relieving and terrifying. We have to admit we are wearing the armor if we want to remove it. Acknowledge the weight of what we’ve put on. Then admit why we put it on in the first place; we want to appear a certain way to blend and fit in, all the while we cover the tender reality of our hearts that were never meant to fit in, but to stand out. There comes a point in our personal evolution, when we accept change, when we accept that we no longer want to carry what we’ve built, that freedom comes in. That is alchemy. From there on we are transformed. No longer a shell, no longer living in a false image of who we are. Alchemy is not only about transformation, it’s about recognizing what is already there—breaking through. Releasing the armor and standing in our truth and allowing others to do the same. The world changes when you get in tune with yourself. Sometimes it isn’t about changing into something else but changing into who you really are. That is a beautiful destruction.