Many spiritual leaders have spoken of going into the wilderness for greater awareness of reality. Many people today seek this same experience to bring forth their true selves.
I believe for women, and for the very involved men as well, the wilderness is being a parent to a small child.
The innocence that is a child is such a gift, untouched by culture and expectations, they show us the reality of who we are, before we are molded and shaped to this life. And in showing us this, they free us from our self constructed prisons. The truth shall set you free, they say. I see truth every day I look in Noelle's eyes.
And there is nothing more motivating to vanquish the parts of ourselves that are small and judgemental than protecting that innocence.
The leaders talk of the demons that visit them each day in the wilderness. I am faced with them each day as well as I watch the fears, shame, or guilt that I took to be a normal part of being human pass through me to my daughter. They are brought to my awareness in those moments, and I have a choice then, to accept them and then change them, or to ignore them. My dearest hope is that I choose the former more often than the latter.
No, for me, the spiritual pathway does not lie somewhere in the far off woods.
I walk the path daily as a mother trying to be all that my little girl deserves, and, as I am learning, I deserve.