Like many other things, the term alchemist is at least ambiguous if not obscure to many. Long story short (even if this particular story is interesting): alchemists wanted “to make gold out of coal”. Of course, this is a metaphor, and compared to others used in this “domain”, it is a pretty clear one. It means to transform something without value into something valuable. Furthermore, this association implies that there is intrinsic value in the “coal”, or that everybody has a hidden potential inside that with adequate techniques and methods can flourish-”transform into gold”.
On the other hand, from the perspective of the symbol of the gold which is a synonym to Sun and Sun to God, alchemy can be seen as the practice of rebecoming One. One with ourselves, One with our community and One with life as a whole. Why? Because you feel sad, directionless, empty when you are disconnected- alone. You can reclaim our wholeness by learning to love.
You need to start loving yourself, for who you are. To accept and embrace your limitations and flaws. May they not define you but be part of you. When you stop loving yourself, you grow thoughts such as “I am not enough”- smart enough, old enough, pretty enough, etc. You are afraid what your ego and others might think, therefore you put on masks to hide what you think you lack. This instrument, in particular, isolates you more from your true nature and others. Thus it is very dangerous, and you have to start removing your veils- it is painful, I know…
Love is the way
You are part of one or more tribes. We are social beings, without the community, we would not exist. You learn to love others while you are learning to love yourself- now you’ll know how to love the flaws of others because you love your own.
Life is not good or bad, life just is. How it is, is up to you, up to the way you perceive what is happening. If something goes bad you can either see it as an opportunity to grow or as a tragedy. How life is, full of love or fear is exclusively up to you. Furthermore, the fact that you are not only alive but conscious about your state, despite all the adversities the Universe presents is astonishing. Learn to love the moment, learn to be present, it is a miracle just because you are, just because it is.
In order to become a modern-day alchemist, you must remember this truth: everything is connected. Even you and me, two strangers that know nothing about each other, are having a conversation (this article). I’ve been “monopolising” our discussion until now, please share your opinion in the comments.
Before that, do this exercise: on a piece of paper write 3 reasons why you love yourself