Our very being is fulfillment of the greatest desire, and the culmination of eons of absolute and unwavering faith and trust. Fulfillment doesn’t come from what we do or what we have, it arises in response to an experience of authentic truth.
Truth cannot be concealed anymore than it can be known.
When we try to change, we meet hardship. When we merely open, we become changed.
When we are learning a new skill, we experience a heightened and enjoyable feeling of aliveness. Our minds believe it is the activity that we are enjoying, but actually it is the feeling of being alive that we enjoy.
This is confirmed when we look at any activity that has become second nature to us. When we first learned a particular activity, there was a sense of achievement or accomplishment. An energy flowed through us and we experienced a deep purr of satisfaction coursing through our veins.
Given enough repetition, however, those same activities now are the very ones we dread doing. We procrastinate them or try to push them off on others, but eventually they fall back to us to make sure they get done and get done “right”. Where is the joy in those activities now?
I promise you, it is still there. We need only shift our focus in order to chip off the crust of those activities we so begrudgedly do in our day. It may seem like you are the same person doing the same activity with the same materials, but I assure you everything about each moment is completely unique and amazing.
Life is in a constant state of flux: physics shows us that. Life is an ocean of energy, which can neither be created nor destroyed, in ceaseless motion and transition. When we think we are doing something, truly we are just facilitating the transformation of energy from one form to another. When we experience the depth of that truth, our focus shifts from what we are doing to how we are doing it.
When we bring fresh and curious eyes to those seemingly life-draining activities, we begin to sense an air of excitement and mystery. As we spend time allowing our energy to merge with the energy of the task at hand, we begin to feel alive again. We come away from those tasks renewed and invigorated, and a window of inspiration begins to open.
But don’t make the mistake of believing it is the activity itself that is the source of that feeling: that joy is simply flowing into the world through you because you are no longer identified as a personal self who is “doing”. It is that experience of presence, of “being”, that is the source of this newly discovered dimension of joy and fulfillment. That experience is available in everything we do.
And when we discover the significance and mystery in those most mundane tasks, our own significance and mystery is revealed. We are the highest expression of life in form. We are the vehicle through which life has the most precision and accuracy to effect change.
And when that change comes from a place of abundance rather than a place of lack, from love rather than fear, everything about the world begins to open to new experiences of wonder and possibility. Here we realize the unique opportunity of learning life’s skill of “being” in each moment. In doing so we tap into the limitless source of joy and aliveness that fuels authentic creativity.
Life will always seem like a trade off until we can open to the fact that even the “bad” stuff is critical to our ultimate fulfillment. Then the concept of “settling” no longer resonates, and all that remains are simple choices to be made and an experience of fulfillment which precedes and permeates each choice.
Too often we exhaust huge amounts of effort and energy condemning the actions of others. That very process not only limits our effectiveness, it also inhibits our experiences of joy. In those moments of judging what someone has done, we are blind to what we are doing right now. Condemnation is often used as a shield of righteousness, but really it is reflecting the fear that is contained in our hearts.
Forgiveness creates the possibility for change. One way to begin is to forgive ourselves for not always having all the answers. In that act, there is a recognition that we have done the best we could with the information we had at the time. We recognize that we are here to learn and grow, and that making mistakes is an essential part of that process. In the willingness to make mistakes, we become willing to accept that others will make mistakes as well, and we become gentler with ourselves.
That gentleness can then extend to those around us in the form of compassion, allowing us to refocus our energy on more healthy and productive activities. Rather than fearfully trying and blame, eradicate, or insulate ourselves from the actions of others, we are now empowered to make authentic changes in our lives from a space of wholeness.
Our lives then begin to reflect the love in our hearts, and there is no fear anywhere that can withstand the intensity of deep compassion. Without someone to fight, there can be no war, and when we stand in judgment of another it is really just a reflection of the battle being waged inside ourselves.
Forgiveness is something we do for ourselves because we love ourselves and because we honor this life that birthed us. Forgiveness does not condone the behaviors and actions of another, it simply frees us to experience the abiding Love that is all forgiving. Forgiveness is a vehicle that delivers us to an act of grace: it does not make us right, it simply allows us the possibility to not always have to be right. From that platform, we are empowered to try things we never have before. Our actions arise in celebration of a life lived on a foundation of love, and we experience the limitless joy that is available to us right now.
Possession may be nine-tenths of the law, but not when it comes to the law of love. When we are ready to play in the upper leagues, we need to forget all the rules we have learned while playing in the minors. Those rules only serve to limit our ability to experience an abiding state of love unlike any we have ever felt before, even though it has been available to us since the beginning of time.
In this age-old game that we are only beginning to discover, self-love is revealed as the core principle because all other aspects of authentic intimacy flow from that. When we love and accept and forgive and are compassionate and at peace within ourselves, we experience ourselves as an extension untainted. We realize that this source of all love does not possess anything because it is those things, and the concept of possession simply does not resonate anymore. Fear no longer colors our interactions, and boundary lines begin to disappear.
From here, there is no longer a need to possess anything, least of all another person. Transplanting a flower to a new garden changes the structure of that flower as it begins to integrate the nutrients from the new soil. In the same way, another’s beauty is recognized as an integral part of their surroundings, and so we realize that removing them from a situation or relationship would change the very essence of who that person is. We allow a person to remain where they are out of our absolute abiding love for our self.
In freeing someone to live as they are, we free ourselves in the process. Now when two people genuinely come together, there is a celebration of authentic sharing that occurs. No longer are there power struggles and resentments, just a freedom to dance together. Only then can true communication and intimacy occur, because there is no fear that the other will take advantage of our unguarded self.
Feeling love for someone else may incite potent responses, but loving ourselves as an expression of life propels us far above that mortal love we have all come to believe is the brass ring that we could never quite reach. In this experience, we are free to love someone for who and how they are because we love ourselves for who and how we are. We no longer need them to love us the way we want to be loved, and instead honor the ways in which they feel organically inspired to express their love for us. There is no longer a perceived deficit because we are now overflowing with pure love from the source of all love.
And when we love someone for who they are and value how they show their love for us, they feel free and valued and loved. Possession does not even factor in anymore. If a person is fulfilled in a relationship, then there is nothing in the world that would get them to leave, and if a person we love is not fulfilled, we love ourselves and them enough to let them go because we realize that trying to get them to stay does not serve the higher expression of love.
A promise of love, whether it is one of eternity or just until death, is only a poor cousin to an expression and experience of untainted love in this moment. The ability to love someone for who and how they are is the best indicator as to whether or not a relationship is healthy. We can only gain that skill, though, if we first completely love our self, and we can only completely love our self completely if we grow beyond the limiting concept of possession.
How many years have we spent ineffectively trying to change the things in our lives so we can have some sense of fulfillment or success? We exhaust so much time, effort, and energy on trying to keep those things we want, push away those things we don’t want, and wrangle to get what it is we still feel we need. It is an exercise in futility, but it is the only way we have learned to try and affect change towards cultivating the life we feel is still just beyond our reach.
True change can only come when one stops trying to change the things in their life and instead changes how they interact with those things they already have. Until that time the same patterns of fear and resistance and unhappiness will continue to persist, and regardless of what changes we make externally, we will still end up with the same feelings of dissatisfaction.
Rather than focusing on what we wish was different in our life, try looking differently at those things instead. As ridiculous as it might sound, I have found that my least favorite chores and activities contained within them the fulfillment I had been longing for the whole time: things like dishes and laundry and cleaning and ironing. It is not that those tasks are in and of themselves fulfilling to me: fulfillment arises by opening to and honoring the process of doing them. These chores simply provide the impersonal landscape for my own joy and insight to be liberated.
And when I look back at all the years I resisted those activities, I realize how my dismissing them as mundane and unimportant was an outer reflection of my inner state. I was trying to make myself more important than what was in front of me to do. I paid those chores little mind, and would rush through just to get done, or I would ignore them completely, telling myself that I would do it later (but not really meaning it).
I discovered is that those burdensome activities concealed within them more insight and inspiration then I could even begin to process. It was while folding laundry that I unfolded purpose. It was while detailing the kitchen that the details of how my life would evolve were revealed. It was while cleaning out the garage that my fears and limitations were swept away. It was while sorting through paperwork that my mind was freed of its clutter.
Don’t get me wrong: It’s not that I’m all about cleaning now…anyone who’s been in my house can attest to that. But I certainly recognize now how negative feelings about things I have to do anyway only serve to limit myself. That awareness is all it takes to help me open to those activities and discover what treasures might be hiding inside.
If you are one of those twisted people who love to clean, :) then you will need to find what it is you resist and open to those tasks instead. While there may be limited pleasure in doing what we love, the clues leading us to our absolute and abiding fulfillment are lurking in the depths of those things we tend to resist most.
Our task is not to change our life: we need only stand still and find the joy where we are, and then life will change around us to best reflect our inner state of fulfillment.
When we posses something (even if that “thing” is an experience), it makes it difficult for us to celebrate it or appreciate it for very long because our thoughts of it are soon replaced with desires for something new. We see those things as extensions of who we are, and we believe that somehow having those things makes us more special. The desire for things comes out of a place of lack: before we “had” it, we felt “less than”, and so we believed we needed that thing to fill the void.
In the process of desiring something, we think about it, long for it, dream about it, talk about it, and imagine the fulfillment we will experience upon acquiring it. When we do finally get it, initially there is a sense of relief and a feeling of “specialness”, but eventually that experience fades away.
The structure of desire, however, does not fade away: it remains intact, and so eventually we find something new to focus our desires on. It is important to recognize that the feeling of relief does not come from the thing or experience acquired, it comes from the momentary reprieve of desiring.
The ultimate purpose for all desire is to bring us beyond the need to desire anything. If we can open to this truth, it will lead us to the end of one journey, a journey of fear, and the beginning of another journey, a journey of absolute fulfillment beyond all fear.
Who are we if we are not desiring something? Even if our desires are altruistic, they are still desires. Is it even possible not to desire? I say it is, and when we abide in that experience, we discover possession is just an illusion. We realize we are all things, including the “no-thing” out of which this experience arises. Possession becomes an obsolete notion and is replaced with a simple celebration of this experience of life.
This experience shifts the lens through which we view ourselves and the world we live in. No longer do we seek experiences for what we can get or what we can give, but instead we simply merge with it. We allow life in that moment to shape us and use us to satisfy its desire to better know itself. In each of these innocent interactions, we experience a resounding and unparalleled fulfillment and deepest joy. We no longer seek to find ourselves in the things of this life, and instead we become life seeking to experience itself in things.
Once we recognize the structure of desire, then we are able to hold desires in awareness and recognize how it limits our experience of joy. Those desires then fall away on their own because the ultimate purpose of desire has been fulfilled. The structure of desire becomes dismantled, and our interactions in life are no longer coming from a place of lack, but instead arise from a place of ultimate fulfillment.
As long as we believe that the sun is our primary source of light, then we will continue to be limited by fear. This fear arises from the misconception that the source of all life is outside our self, and this belief causes us to feel vulnerable, limiting our ability to trust our self to know the truth of the mysteries of life.
The illusion of moonlight arises from the sun reflecting off the moon’s surface. In the traditional sense, the moon has no light of its own. If there was no sun, the moon could still be there, but there would be no way of outwardly recognizing its existence. It is not the sun that creates the moon, nor does it create the illusion of moonlight. A third factor is key: a perceiving awareness. This perceiving awareness is the light of all life, and is what brings all objects into existence.
If one can open enough to trust their own insight, it is possible that inwardly we would be able to recognize the existence of the moon even without the sun. This is because the force that creates and holds the atoms of the moon together is the same force that creates and holds the atoms of our forms together. It is all one force, and so we are intimately connected with everything we see, as well as everything that remains transparent to the light of the sun.
In this contemporary culture, we rely too heavily on the notion that “seeing is believing”. This is a lazy form of knowing, and it prohibits us from being able to authentically see and authentically know. But because our society is so advanced and so automated, we are afforded the luxury that past generations have not had: the luxury of time to turn inward and reflect on what it is we truly know for certain.
As long as we are trapped in the illusion of separateness, we will continue to be limited by fear, and that fear will continue to skew our ability to perceive the forces at work, both within and without our form, that create this experience of life. As long as we continue to view the world only through our minds, we will continue to trust our eyesight more than our insight. As long as we continue to feel that we have to know something for certain before we can believe it or trust it, then we will remain separate and afraid because the source of all life is beyond knowing in any conventional way: at best it can only be experienced.
When we look at the moon, or any object for that matter, realize that it is the light of life looking at itself in another form. Try looking inwardly beyond the form itself and you may experience this truth. Even if you are in a completely dark room, unable to see any objects, realize that it is our inner light that we are that sees the darkness. Know that this light is the source of all light, and that this light will continue even after all objects have faded to black.