When you’ve passed the trials and the tests, when you’ve come through the dark night of the soul, what then? What do you do with this holy grail (of self-discovery, or inner peace, or freedom) that you’ve found?
Metaphorically, the search for the holy grail is the search for Self, for a deeper, conscious connection with the truth of who you are.
Finding the grail is finally coming home to yourself.
So, you probably think I’m crazy to be asking this question, “what do you do with ‘it'”. Especially if you are the one just setting out on the hero’s journey. If you’re doing battle with the upheaval of major change, of the pit of self-doubt, loss or grief.
“Of course,” you think, “I will be home free, once I get through this!” Out of the pit, right? Breathing easily.
Sometimes, when you’ve been carrying a heavy sword for as long as you have, your inner body sensing has no past memory of something different to rely on. Of what to do next. Or of how life could be.
And eventually, you begin to wonder whether what you’ve come through, and who you are now—what you’ve learned and discovered—could be for more than just you. Maybe it could be a message for your community. A message that could make a difference in the world.
Not from Inside the Belly of the Beast
These are not things that you question when you are deep inside the belly of the beast. There, your senses are attuned to putting one foot in front of the other, of safely navigating the minefields (remember?). You simply want to get through one more day, hoping that tomorrow will somehow be different.
And when you’ve made it through, there is relief. Oh yes, even tears of release from all that you’ve had to carry. But you’re probably feeling a little lost, too, amidst that relief.
Because this is when the feeling comes of, “what now? Who am I now?”
How do you answer this?
I’d Like a Road Map, Please
Frankly, there is no real road map for any of this.
But there are markers that can help you find your way.
First, it takes some dedicated time and space to settle into this new space, and to become familiar with this altered landscape.
Because you realize that you cannot go home again. At least not in the same way as before, because you are changed. The relationship with important people in your life may be upended. How you choose to spend your time will be different. What you value has undergone a metamorphosis.
Then, when you have finally caught your breath, there are new questions to be asked.
Questions like, what are the universal lessons in your experience? What is the gift (the new learning, clarity, freedom) that was granted to you? And then: what are you to do with it? How do you give back from what you have learned, to your world?
Now, as your feet start to trust the firmness of the ground beneath you, your vision shifts from your inner landscape, to the glow of the outer dawning light…and the light you see shining in another’s eyes.
The Transformative Essence of The Holy Grail
Only then do you feel the space to begin to know the deeper story of your journey. In sharing your story, the transformative essence, the gift of the grail, becomes woven into your cells. It anchors in your body so that your expression of who you are in the world, takes on new luminosity.
The gift, the learning, the magic elixir, the holy grail: they are the golden ore that has been mined in your subterranean journey. The story becomes the decoding of your journey through the belly of the beast. It becomes the message, both for you and for the world.
Now is when you realize: finding the Holy Grail is not the end of the journey. It is both an ending and a beginning; a new and magnificent journey where you feel the strength of your inner connection, self with Self, rooted in commitment and purpose.
Spiritual insight is not an end in itself, but a means to transform our life on earth from mere survival and dominance into compassion and service to others. – Caroline Myss