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As I perused meditations this morning, I came upon a paraphrase of something attributed to Jung. Here is the paraphrase from Forward Day by Day,  (2013, Vol. 79 , No. 2, p.42):

“Years later I read Jung saying ….that we spend the first half of our life climbing up a ladder of ego that we then discover is propped up against the wrong wall.”

This is a seemingly innocuous sentence in and of itself. So, why did it jump out at me?

The answer is simple. I realized during the last few decades (I am a slow learner!)  that I had propped my ladder on the wrong wall. I defined my  own self-worth or ego in terms of what I accomplished professionally. I had an “aha!” moment (or several) in which I realized it was my soul I needed to nurture rather than my ego.  I had to move my ladder.

How did I do that? What did I move it to? First, I had to figure out who I really was and stop defining myself as a nurse, a writer, a professor, a consultant, an addictions expert, etc. That started me on the road to retirement, and being retired has given me more time to “find myself.” In nurturing my spirit I have focused on building a stronger relationship with God, and, like any good relationship, I have  to devote time in building and maintaining that relationship.

In the process of coming closer to God, I threw away my ladder. Moving it won’t work. So much for the song, “Climbing Jacob’s Ladder.” My spiritual pathway is enmeshed in a non-linear, non-hierarchical process. I can’t climb a ladder to love. I have to just “be” love….to be a receptor and sender of God’s love. Ladders don’t have a place in a loving relationship. Circles and spirals….maybe.

Here are some of the things I have learned during the last couple of years since I put my ladder down:

  • It is okay to drift
  • My path does not have to be straight or put me ahead of or “even” with anyone else
  • God loves me just as I am; I don’t have to “buy” His love with accomplishments
  • It is important to accept God’s love so I can share it
  • Accepting and sharing God’s love is the real purpose of my life

The above bullets are truths I’ve found to be important to me. My intent is not to imply they should also be your truths.

Please share your thoughts on this “ladder on the wall” concept. I look forward to hearing them. May God bless and keep you.