My Experience on the Path – by Angela Shearon

Angela ShearonHello. My name is Angela. I was introduced into Pathwork in the fall of 2019 and have been working the path since then, close to five years now.

My long-term pain: In my youth until now, I have always had a sense of a darkness, a block in the center of my being that I could never fulfill. It was always yearning for something more.

My most recent adult pain that triggered me on a downward spiral was:

I had several significant losses in a one-year span that included my father-in-law, my mother and then my husband.

I sought grief counseling and was seeking more depth into my spirituality.

I felt like I lost my identity—well, I did! I was no longer a daughter or daughter-in-law, no longer a wife. I no longer had parents, grandparents or in laws and NO husband—all the things in which I defined myself and found I myself not knowing how to be ME. My roadmap of the kids being grown and flown and it being time for my hubby and me to live a little – were ripped away drastically.

And now a new identity: WIDOWED. Like, how much darker can it get? I truly felt unknown to myself and the dark block in the center of my being seemed to be growing bigger.

My therapist provided me many resources to look into which were based on spirituality—and then, one resource among so many he suggested was to look into the Pittsburgh Pathwork program.

I went to the internet, searched for it and pulled up the Pittsburgh Pathwork site.

There was no doubt that I was in the right place. On the front page they were advertising a workshop called—

Claim Your One Wild and Precious Life! If that wasn’t a sign?

This workshop was about the basics of Pathwork looking at what is termed. 50/50. In layman’s terms, 50/50 is what is. 100/100 is a no-win situation. It’s all or nothing and I was often stuck there. With 50/50, yes, I can be happy some of the time and not happy some of the time. I will have both. It’s not possible to have happiness all of the time.

My 2nd experience of Pathwork was Another workshop — it was more of a deep and moving type of workshop. Encouraging some processing of feelings and experiences.

My third experience was an in person First Wednesday. Well, after going to those 2 intensive workshops as my introduction to Pathwork, First Wednesday was not on the same level. I was disappointed and felt confused by the rhetoric of the Pathwork lecture being taught. So, I decided at that point, Pathwork was not for me.

Several months later, COVID set in. I was confined to my home, had limited interactions with others and it really set me back in my initial progress with my grief.

The black block was calling! I noticed I continued to receive emails from Pathwork. They started offering meetings and learning on ZOOM.

I figured I had nothing to lose since I was home bound and not enjoying my own company. Why not take another go at it, the offerings were online and free!

I began to understand and interpret the Pathwork lingo into ways that I could better understand. It took a while to accept the lingo and over time with repetition and learning, I was able to make sense out of the lessons to be learned in Pathwork.

I started to see Pathwork as a way of living, a practice, and a way of discovering myself and my spirit within. It is nothing like a structured religion or specific faith.

I became more involved, attending two years of Pathwork foundations course online. When COVID sheltering lifted, I engaged in some in-person groups.

While working Pathwork, I am finding who I really am and letting go of who I “thought” I was.

I signed up for a “helper”. Not a therapist. The helper walks the path beside me, helping me interpret the lectures to better understand them and to relate the lessons to my own experiences. My helper offers me a safe space to share my old thoughts and unnecessary beliefs about myself and encourages me to give myself more love and compassion for that part of me.

I am now in the Transformation Program. The program takes a deeper dive into the spirit within to chip away at the obstacles of being my true, authentic self.

Pathwork has taught me to look inside of myself, to acknowledge and experience the pain and learned negativity of the past, and how to meet that part of me with compassion and love.

I have always felt a darkness inside of me that never felt fulfilled.

Through the learnings and practice of looking at myself and acknowledging that dark part with love and compassion, feeling the feelings connected to it, I have found a sense of freedom. It has given me a lighter feeling. The beliefs I held onto had a purpose when I was a young child, and now, those beliefs no longer serve a purpose in my adult life.

I have confronted so many blocks to life and my true self. I held on tightly to fear and anxiety—the biggest blocks to living, loving, feeling and being.

I continue to tend to those blocks, breaking them down, taking time to understand that buried part of me that negatively anchored me in so many ways in my life. The big dark block in the center of my being is beginning to lighten up. I feel lighter, less reactive to everyday life. I experience more peace and calm. I feel more connected with myself.

It’s an ongoing lifelong process. I still hit walls and roadblocks; however, I often have more awareness to meet myself kindly and move through so I can move on.

So, my questions to each of you: Do you have a big dark block in yourself that never feels fulfilled? What are you willing to do to break the block down and feel freer and loving?

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