I Love My Fellow Warriors-In-Training.

{Photo credit: Carrie Hilgert}

{Photo credit: Carrie Hilgert}

There was no warrior who ever lived and did not endure some kind of trial by fire. I naively thought my previous 40 years were such a trial. But now I see that they were more of a preparation for the trial.

There comes a time in a warrior’s journey when all else must fall away. This is nothing romantic to be plastered on a meme and posted all over the internet. If you were to see the insides of me at this moment, in the midst of this fire, it would be nothing beautiful or inspirational. I might be labeled a crazy woman or unstable. I should’ve known why I was looking for any way out. But I have no mother, aunts, cousins, sisters, shaman leaders to prepare me for what to expect, as in the old days. In these modern times, we’re left with only our inner voice and the pull of the Universe. Down paths that look like the wrong way altogether. Full of mirrors that show us how we’ve betrayed ourselves. We hear the cry of the majority of humans telling us to act one way, and then feel like we are betraying everything we were told we were when we set out on this path. We are surrounded by spiritual practices that are band-aids for the fight we are in. The fight to cut through the illusion and love our wholeness.

So now, a warrior begins to wake up, and our ancient DNA activates, and whispers instructions. But we say, “No… that can’t be right.” That would be treacherous. Isolating. Lunacy. I’d have no friends. I’d be alone. I’d be an outcast. We might search out readers and healers, and if they’re worth their salt, they’ll push us inward without a word of advice. We search out the next book, and the next practice, and the next… whatever. What are we looking for? I can’t say for you, but I know now for me. Any answer but the one I’ve been told inside my own bones. My body is trying to lead me in the way I was born to go.

And it’s a fire of initiation. But I am clawing at something and I have no idea why or what I am clinging to. I am utterly lost. There is no instruction manual. Deep inside, I am hearing it. A list of instructions is not how warriors learn. We’re led to the desert with minimal supplies, and told to find our way out. No one else is there to help us. It’s do or die. This is how a warrior is trained. To go inward. To come to a place where only that still small voice is heard. And learned to be trusted. There is no turning back. I couldn’t stop it if I tried. I can’t get comfortable, no matter what. There is only my breath, filling my lungs and emptying again. Sometimes very raggedly.

This path isn’t for everyone. If you’re a warrior, likely you already know it because you’ve spent most of your life bleeding. Screaming into the darkness. Fighting for the truth. Never satisfied with the patty-cake answers you’re being spoon-fed.  Fighting for love like your life depends on it. It does.

If you’re a warrior, love isn’t a fluffy concept meant to make everyone comfortable. You tried that and you betrayed your own boundaries for so long, you are angry as fuck that you let people walk all over you. Love slices your heart with every decision that brings truth to the surface. Love is looking in the mirror and seeing how you cling to everyone’s opinions and loving yourself anyway. You dare to forgive the most important person: You.

Love is realizing there is no one left to tell you what to do. And so you go in and in and in. You beat your drum and howl into the starry sky and scream in rage until you have no voice left.

And then you feel it. The wholeness of bone and spirit pulsing through you. There are no words for this really. But it is utter recognition that no matter what kind of shambles your life is in right now, you are a fucking warrior. And this is your training.

I have lost money. Relationships. Time. Sleep. Blood. Tears. Clarity. Direction. Passion. Inspiration. In short, my whole life has turned fucking upside down and there is no sign of it stopping. It was when I was in Yoga class the other day when it finally sunk in. I was in one of the warrior poses (not even kidding), and I was struggling. Sweating to death, even though this is usually a pleasant pose for me. And I knew that just like the ancient warriors before me, the Universe was leading me through this initiation. For what? I don’t even know. But I cannot deny it. The only difference is that I don’t have a tribe of elders, and my insides told me to stop reading books and other writing so I can hear my own voice better. So I will.

I had a real moment of clarity where I looked at my upside-down life. The roller coaster of emotions I’ve been on. The constant purging that is making me feel fucking crazy. And I saw a direct correlation to what warriors maybe had to go through in their own way before. I’ve had the initiations in my journey visions. I mistakenly thought that was the last bit before it got easier. Nope. If I were to read anything right now, it might be some history on warrior training. I think I would find some interesting stuff there.

Nothing can become what it is meant to be without some pain. This might fly in the face of so many thoughts out there, but any athlete will tell you that the training is never fun. It hurts, it’s rarely pleasant. But in the end, you see results. You change. You become. You remember yourself. The deep parts. For me, I have gone soft as life pounds me with her training. Complacent. Rolled over. I hide when it gets hard. I sleep. And it served me for a time. But now, the Universe is sending me every opportunity to be fucking pissed. And when I get pissed, I breathe fire. I burn cities down. I destroy. But that fire is so needed. I don’t feel any shame for my anger now. And I’ve had many episodes of rage lately. I used to go to sleep at night flogging myself for being a terrible mother, wife, friend. How my anger ruins things. How I ruin things.

Guess how I’ve been sleeping lately? Great. I stand in my anger and say what I need to say, and I am not sorry for it. This is all in the privacy of my own home (mostly), but this is my training. I am learning to channel this anger into movement. Change. Transformation. Boundary-making. This is an essential tool for a people-pleasing empath.

My feeling is that the Universe is building an army of empath warriors. The least likely to be warriors are being transformed into them because these gentle souls have a great power. They just don’t see it. They feel victimized and used. Co-dependent on other people’s happiness. Wrung out and tired. But their hearts? Nothing like them. Doesn’t it make some kind of sense that this world would change if somehow the energetically sensitive of the world somehow remembered that their wounds were the source of their greatest strength? Isn’t it just like an amazing story for the underdog to actually be the one who pulls everyone out in the end?

Three years ago, I made life lists. A page full of stuff I wanted to do. Every six months I made a new one, adjusting. I found them the other day. And my eyes filled with tears because written on several of them was: Build an Army of Empaths and Take Over The World.

I have no idea why I wrote that at that time. I wasn’t aware. But something inside me was. My blueprint had already been activated.

And so, I feel inclined to write more about this journey.  Because my fellow warriors-in-training don’t need another book telling them which spiritual practice will get rid of the unrest in their lives. We need each other, and to know that all this shit is not for nothing. I am in the thick of it with you. I don’t have any answers. As always, I am just sharing my experience. Let’s sit around the fire and dress each other’s wounds and stomp our feet and paint our faces and hold space, while we each travel through our desert training.

I love you, warriors.


CarrieHilgert01Carrie Hilgert is a conduit. As such, she uses a variety of media to bring light, magic and healing into the world. To show you the unseen, the subtle and the forgotten. To show you the truth. She has been using art since the third grade to communicate the magic she sees, and has since discovered her calling as a shaman and a healer. In addition to painting, she also uses photography, writing and energy work to bring healing and a heart-spark of remembering to all those who are called to her. When you buy her art or any of her work, you are inviting ancient medicine and energy into your life that has been described as a catalyst, a spark and ever expanding gift of magic. She does everything 100% with her heart and a sacred fire to practice radical self-love. Carrie lives in Ottawa, Kansas, with her family, as a shaman and creatrix. Find out more and join her online community of beautiful souls, or find her on other social media as well.


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