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The More Human you are, The More Divine you are...

We need to stop projecting unrealistic and violent ideals of perfection and desires for salvation and blame our shortcomings on those who teach, guide, and hold spaces of healing for us.

None of those life callings or missions are about standing on a pedestal, cloaked in the illusion of flawlessness, but about sitting in the perennial seat of the student, forever learning, forever growing. Everyone is human.

Teachers, healers, and guides are not the custodians of eternal sunshine. They are not spared from life's stormy weather. In fact, the ones who taught me the most, gained my most profound respect, and supported the unleashing of my becoming have had some of the most tragic and demanding lives. They never pretended to hold all the answers nor aimed to embody any kind of perfection.

Their commitment is to authenticity, not perfection. So, do not blame them for being authentic or imperfect. Do not blame or shame their humanness. Do not get lost in the fake intimacy of gossiping. Do not let your fragility make you run away from their imperfection as you often do from yours.

You will not find the truth without imperfection.

You will not find wisdom without the uncomfortable vibration of authenticity.

Those sacred guides have traversed the murky waters of pain, grief, and adversity, not once but continuously, wearing their scars as badges of humbleness, finding the teachings they share with you in those most painful cracks. Most often, even when they teach you, make space for you, and hold space for you, they also have tremendous complexities in their lives that you do not yet know about.

The Elder and Teacher Awakening

You see, the unresolved pain, struggles, and shortcomings are teachings in their birthing process. Those seeds, those babies, are sacred; respect and honor them.

Their wisdom does not spring from a bottomless well of serenity or from having unraveled the mysteries of existence. Instead, it blooms from the soil of their own struggle, from their intimate dance with darkness. They have understood that sacred knowledge is one's relationship with one's shadows. It is what defines the luminosity of one's light.

They can live and swim in the deepest darkness, as it is where you will often need to be guided. This is where you will need to learn mastery.

This eternal studenthood journey is not about conquering one's demons in a quest for a blemish-free spirit. It is, instead, about shifting one's stance from a war against the darkness to a harmonious coexistence, recognizing that our so-called flaws are not pitfalls but portals to deeper understanding and compassion.

In this reframing, the shadows transform from adversaries to teachers, guiding us through the labyrinth of our inner world with lessons of resilience, strength, and unconditional love.

In this process, it's imperative to cultivate a culture of kindness and compassion, not just towards others but towards ourselves. It's about dismantling the pedestals and thrones we've erected for those we admire and allowing them — and ourselves — the grace to be human, imperfect, and falter.

Recognition of our shared humanity and vulnerability is where we find the essence of connection and support. This is where we foster a community where we can all be work-in-progress, unafraid of not having all the answers.

The making of an elder, an authentic spiritual guide, is not marked by exhaustive knowledge or an immaculate spiritual record but by true wisdom that's far more elusive — the wisdom of being still, of smiling in the tempest of life's trials, of finding bliss in the embrace of the unknown.

Elders understand that wisdom is not accumulated by having more answers but by nurturing better questions, ones that might never be fully resolved. They've surrendered to the beauty of not knowing, to the art of inquiry without closure. And that my friend is to be admired.

In this relinquishment, they've discovered that being divine is, in essence, often being on their knees with those who have lost their prayers and hopes.

There is such a profound misunderstanding in a world that often equates spiritual ascension with a detachment from the body and the physical and has such a nauseating disregard for social justice and collective liberation. That is the brutal truth of our present reality.

As we descend and fall upward, as more light permeates our being, the veil is lifted not only on the beauty but also on the pain and darkness that coexist within and around us. The true spiritual elevation is not an escape from this duality but a deeper immersion into it, a heightened sensitivity that allows us to navigate the spectrum of human experience with grace and empathy. To bear and feel all this weight that this heart-opening asks of them and us is what needs to be praised.

So, please, break the notion that darkness is an antithesis to light, that pain is a detour on our spiritual journey, and that somehow there is a better place or destination than being a heartbroken human in the present moment. These, too, are facets of the divine tapestry of life, integral to our growth and evolution.

Can we instead honor how gracefully we navigate our pains and how courageously we stand amid the storm, unwavering in our commitment to growth, transformation, and the service of this world?

In embracing this paradigm, liberation transcends the superficial constructs of success and spiritual purity. We find freedom in being unapologetically whole — in all our mess and in all our glory.

For it is in our imperfections, in the joyful and always daunting relentless pursuit of questions without answers, that we uncover the most profound wisdom: to be fully human is to be fully divine.

Angell Deer

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