Rantings of a Screaming Soul: Healing Through Purposefully Random Self-Confrontation
by Janet Rucker-Smith
Self-Confrontation is the driving force of the spiritual journey. It is how we grow and evolve in ways that can dramatically and profoundly alter the trajectory of our lives. We must be relentless in our awareness of our reactions and our feelings because they clearly, honestly and perfectly let us know when we are disconnected from love, peace, compassion, and happiness – from the essence of All That Is, which is what we are.
Janet Rucker-Smith’s Rantings of a Screaming Soul: Healing Through Purposely Random Self-Confrontation chronicles her unexpected inner pilgrimage through death, dark shadows, redemption, and rebirth. It is an ordinary woman’s extraordinarily raw and candid account of an emotional and spiritual awakening in the midst of teenagers, ex-husbands, death, bills, and loads and loads of laundry. One day she’s basking in the gloriously infinite and eternal bliss of divine love, and the next day she’s on her knees in the tormenting depths of hell begging to be released from the excruciating agony.
Shall the truth set one free? Indeed it will, but only when we finally remember the most profound truth of all: We are not our problems or our hurts or even our successes. And although our experiences may shape and color the masks we wear, our eternal being is always and forever perfectly well.
Dead Ends, Rantings, and Coming Home
Everything seems crystal clear in hindsight. Too often, though, when we’re smack in the middle of the storm, there’s so much debris flying that we can’t see a damn thing. For instance, over the last ten years, I quit my religion, I quit my three-children-in-five-years body, and I quit marriage number one.
Gaining momentum, I quit my Miss Goody-Two-Shoes act, I quit being an emotional liar, and I quit pretending to like my emotional bullies.
Landing on the precipice overlooking the gates of desolation, despair, and dark shadows, I quit my ten-year career, I quit marriage number two, and I quit my gender (temporarily)—and, in turn, sex (temporarily).
Why all the quitting? My soul screamed so loud that it woke me out of my hypnosis and gave me an ultimatum: quit or die. The all-knowing hindsight, fueled by my blessedly annoying penchant for self-confrontation, clued me in to this wild and wacky, painful and profound inner journey I had been on for ten-plus years. When you think about it, where would we be without our great guru hindsight?
Remember back in the day when you were having trouble with an evil math problem, and you needed to know what the right answer was? Or if you were even in the ballpark? Sneaking a peek in the back of book for the answer felt deliciously forbidden, but at the same time, without that answer, you were banging your head into a brain-dead pulp over that one friggin’ problem. Having the right answer at least helped you see what was (and what wasn’t) working. Trying to figure out the next problem was a good deal easier and a hell of a lot softer on the ol’ noggin. Similarly, without the relentless, searing focus of self-confrontational hindsight, we would all be banging our heads against the evolutionary dead end of facing the same problems over and over and over.
That’s what my rantings are: the literary banging of my head against many dead ends, each time finding myself up against the wall and forced to an internal and external “all stop,” because that’s what dead ends do. Faced with a choice, I could either continue the numbing pain of banging my head up against the dead-end problems, or I could back up, sneak a peek in the back of my suppressed and repressed psyche, and figure out how the hell I got myself inside that insanity in the first place. Soon after, I was presented with the divine gifts of hindsight, contemplation, self-confrontation, ranting, and transmutation.
Have you ever gotten lost in one of those labyrinths in suburban neighborhoods where nearly every street corner has a sign reading Not a Through Street? They drive me and my directionally-challenged self into panic mode real fast. Help! I’m trapped in this suburban maze, and I can’t get out!
The trick here is to remember how to get back to the main road that connects all the others. In my inner travels, that road is called the soul. When my life gets too deep into dead-end territory, my spiritual navigational system unfailingly comes to the rescue and saves my sorry lost ass from the abyss I wandered into. That’s when my soul—my true self—sounds its emergency alert alarm that screams so loudly it can wake the dead within. It never fails to lead me back to the main road—the road back home—back into perfect alignment with All That Is, a.k.a. God.
What I just described is not only my experience—it’s the human experience. I am not special in my rantings, just raw and relentless. When being real and honest, most will confess a profound sense of relief that they are not alone in their silent inner suffering. No matter the age, sex, race, or religion, the joys and despairs of relationships, parenting, and creative expression have always been and forever will be in the womb of every human experience. As a species, we are in the midst of an unprecedented awakening of truth and spirit. My chronicled inner pilgrimage through death, dark shadows, redemption, and rebirth is an all-too-familiar story of bewilderment, conflicts, contradictions, faith, growth, and love.
Let me give you a tidbit of how this book came to be.
I began these writings—these rantings—during what hindsight later revealed to be the onset of a spiritual and emotional awakening. I started having weird feelings (please excuse the technical jargon) that I couldn’t figure out and that wouldn’t go away even for this master suppressor. They were strange, strong, and unwelcome. To the chagrin of my family, friends, and romantic partners, I have always expressed myself more clearly and completely in writing. Therefore, my intention was to write myself into understanding what the hell was going on inside of me. One day I was basking in the gloriously infinite and eternal bliss of divine love, and the next, I was on my knees in the tormenting depths of hell, begging to be released from excruciating agony. Was I becoming enlightened, or was I going insane? Would I perish in the dark, dank dungeon of my exiled demons, or would my fragmented self be reunited and realigned with All That Is?
Crawling through the dark light of relentless, intentional, and uncompromising self-confrontation fanned the flames that were burning away all that I knew to be me. In the hope that the cathartic process of writing would heal the emotional and spiritual mess I had gotten myself into, I began journaling.
The words that follow are the artifacts of that ongoing journey.