For the past week we’ve explored the theme of sexuality and gender roles within our spirituality, and it all began with a “visit” in the shower. After that, all I could think about was the coupling of male and forms/ideals. What does it mean, how does it operate in my life, what are the metaphors and symbols used in religion? First, we dove into the penetrating and seeding force of the male aspect, which I equated to my year with Project Conversion in 2011. Yesterday it was all about the ladies. Here, we examined the embracing, nurturing, absorbing, and protective aspect of the divine feminine.

After a great deal of reflection, I discovered that I am personally within the developmental “womb” of the feminine right now, having been “seeded” last year. That is why the feminine force is always so pronounced with me. While I can sense the masculine, and am one with and in communion with the feminine.

So what is next?

This series culminates on the Christian season of Lent for a reason. A penitential time of sacrifice, fasting, prayer, and reflection, it emulates the account in the gospels of St. Matthew (chap 4: 1-11) and St. Luke (chap 4: 1-13) of Jesus fasting in the desert for 40 days after being baptized by John the Baptist. There, he is tempted by Satan with power and riches, which he rejects.

"Christ in the Desert", by Ivan Kramskoi

According to the teachings of the Catholic Church in the Catechism (para 538), this story presents Jesus as the “new Adam” who reverses the disobedience of Adam in the garden and initiates the plan of reconciliation between God and humanity. During Lent, Christians are called to emulate Christ’s journey into their own personal deserts to reflect on their natures, who they really are, and come out purified and victorious just as Christ was. In a powerful way, Jesus represents what was supposed to happen in the garden of Eden and gives us a path of reconciliation toward the divine.

Since January 1st of this year, things have changed. Everything was supposed to be different, especially after the River Temple confrontation. I was given specific instructions, a specific ritual and guidelines to train me in my path…

But I have failed.

I can count on one hand how many times I’ve carried out my exercises. Why? Because my ego and sense of worth has seeped into the cracks. I have to write a post today, then I have to work on the book, oh and I need to build another website so that like-minded folks can join in, check the Congregation Facebook page, check the comments, then I need to work on this, build that, start this, get that going, send this email, go here, go there.

Does this sound like the chaos of your life?

I had a talk with my Catholic Mentor yesterday about the nature of Lent and it turned into a 3-hour, sweat lodge catharsis about how cluttered our lives really are.

“I’ve got so much going on Andrew,” he said. “But even doing all this good work (within the church), I can’t say I’m truly happy. I can’t say I’m living authentically. I’m just…busy.”

The words slapped me upside the head. Only moments earlier I was talking about how I wish I could give up things like Facebook. “Everybody else talks about it, but I can’t. There’s too much going on with what I’m doing.”

Can’t. Can’t!…Can’t?

Why the hell not?

Here’s the honest truth: Because my ego has seeped in. I post thoughts and reflections that, for some reason, I think are important. Somebody somewhere will relate to this, I’ll think. I have books and scripture in a pile on my couch that I read every morning–not for personal reflection or nourishment–but for blog post references.

I’m feeding people, but personally starving.

My incessant efforts to turn my life-changing experience through Project Conversion into something others can use and apply to their own lives is draining me of those very blessings. Now, by saying things like “I can’t”, I’ve shackled myself to my own creation. I’ve chained myself to the modern ideal that we must constantly project ourselves further and further out into the world through social media and the like while forsaking the central nexus and core of our very being. I’ve bought into the fad of being known for what I DO instead of who I AM. It’s time I start simply being who I am instead of focusing on constantly doing or being known. It’s time I declared who my master really is. Is it Project Conversion, is it you, is it my social networking, is it the drama of my friends/family, or it is my Unnamed One?

Who/What is yours?

I’m not even happy doing what I love anymore. That’s how much corruption I’ve allowed. So now, I’m doing what I said I couldn’t do. I’m fasting for 40 days. I’m dropping everything and going “into the desert.” I’m walking away from making posts to Project Conversion and Facebook for 40 days. I’m going to reconnect with my Master and family. I’m going to rediscover the simple things that once gave me joy: creating stories, photography, walking in the woods, cooking, goofing off with my family, swimming in scripture. I’m going to focus on being who I am instead of projecting who I am.

I am now in the womb of the divine feminine. While Jesus was in the desert, it is written that he was ministered to by angels. When the Jews wondered the desert for 40 years, God is said to have nourished them with “manna from heaven.” That is what I’m going to do: I’m going to allow the Universe to minister to and nourish me. When my 40 days in the desert are over, I will come forth from the womb in whatever form I’m shaped into. That is our role with the divine: ever child, ever sparkle in the eyes of the divine, constantly seeded, embraced, and delivered into life.

I encourage you to find your own desert and walk into it. What is robing you of your true, authentic self? What is hindering your relationship with the divine/family? This isn’t just a time for Christians, but for all of us. This isn’t just another New Year’s resolution to go into half-ass only to drop in a week. Go into it as if your life depends on it, because it does.

Modernity says I can’t. “You’re writing a book, you’re building an audience. Dropping your blog and social media is career suicide. You can’t do this.”

Friggin’ watch me.

You’ve been seeded with the knowledge and conviction to do what is necessary, the womb (desert) is there for your growth and nourishment, but do you have the courage to enter the Mother’s embrace? Are you ready for the reality of your authentic self that awaits on the other side?

If you do, I’ll meet you there, brothers and sisters. Jai Vita!

More from Beliefnet and our partners