You see, while I've attracted like-minded people from everywhere, and a few, who frankly were a long shot to like or care about what I was writing, I've yet to tell a host of my creations.
That would include friends, relatives, acquaintances and business colleagues who haven't experienced this aspect of me. (On the other hand, there are also a few old friends who have seen me go through one of these "spiritual things" before and are just waiting for me to snap out of it.)
One reason I launched this blog was because I was moved to speak freely about who I am and what I am experiencing. It's that important to me to speak that truth to at least a selected few.
But I still feel I'm living a double life. Hell, how about a quadruple life? There are many (as I judge them) less than spiritual aspects of me that people know, so many different Anthonys and Tonys running around in parallel universes --the cynical journalist, the sports fanatic, the self-absorbed prick, the frivolous serial dater, the whiny victim of everything, the party animal, the uptight control freak. Sybil has nothing on me. But where once I was very comfortable living out these roles in my hologram -- to the point of misery in some cases -- I've become weary and ready to shed them.
That leaves me in a strange place. I don't feel any serious need to tell the uninitiated about my quest for peace, wholeness and abundance. My hologram and their hologram will plug along with no discernible difference as far as I know, whether I tell them or not.
Yet, I feel sometimes as if I'm hiding some dark secret and when certain people find out, oh, the consequences, the embarrassment, the reflections of incredulity, ridicule or just plain shock. I don't want to have to explain myself -- except maybe on this blog.
Now, the chances are equally good that I will receive acceptance and encouragement, maybe even from others who have been hiding their spirituality in the closet. That's cool. So I will remain neutral and curious about what is going to manifest.
In the meantime, I'll just keep doing the Busting Loose process.
As those of you who jumped ahead a few paragraphs ago know, this discomfort is rooted in my discomfort with my spiritual pursuits. At some level, I'm still unsure of what I'm doing with this strange new practice and that's reflected back to me. I'm still not sure I accept that part of me that seeks the peace of God.
I suppose that living the first 52 years of my life somewhat out of balance and integrity may be why I am where I am now. Perhaps it is residue from my guilt-inducing Catholic upbringing, a level of cynicism engendered by working in the news business for 25 years, my disdain for preachy "born again" Christians, my disappointment in previous spiritual practices, even feelings that I'm setting myself up for a fall again.
(I've also wanted to avoid being too "confessional" about this, hence the light-hearted tone to much of what I write. I was abruptly reminded of this a couple of months ago while informing my son of how Busting Loose had changed the way I am experiencing relationship and shedding the victim mentality.
He basically answered "Dad, that's good. I've heard about your girlfriends for 15 years. If I never have to hear about them again, that would be great.")
I know I have had judgments about certain things, even when I was in the midst of a practice. For instance, I was asked once to write a story for the paper on a woman who telepathically communicated with dogs. I had to draw the line somewhere. I had written about some woo woo things in my career, but this was my limit. I was certain of public humiliation if I wrote about this.
I make fun of certain other practices that have become commonplace in the New Age. I won't mention which because it's likely that many of you might enjoy these practices and find some benefit. But even as I was searching for truth, I was judging the path that others were taking, and by inference, judging myself.
I get that as I do the Process, these doubts are likely to drop away. I get than on an intellectual level.
But at some point, I must answer one question. Is my decision to live my life another, more authentic way, more important than keeping up the facade that has served me in Phase 1?
The answer is obvious, the faith to take the leap, not so obvious.
Perhaps it is enough to find a partner and a small group of friends that I am comfortable with. Perhaps not. I guess I will find out as life rolls on.