The oppressive dunes of heartache are contained within the life-affirming ocean of bliss.
Sometimes we are the tree, and other times we are the petal of the cherry blossom carried off by the wind.
The journey winds its way through me, like a snake in search of a morning meal.
When resistance meets presence, truth is revealed.
Breathing soft depth, wisdom silently comforts the golden sparkle of logic as it screams and cries and storms through its densely wooded home.
The end of the world as we know it is merely the beginning of a world unknown.
Letting go is just another way of holding that which you love.
Healing stillness saturates even the most insidious heartbreak, brutality, and devastation.
throughout the questions
In our various stages of growth, we strive and hope and yearn to create the life we believe will provide us with the fulfillment we feel we are deserving of. Often things do not work out as we had planned or hoped, and in our efforts to figure out what it is that went wrong, we often blame others or life or our own inexperience. We set about making changes, but eventually after enough trial and error, we can begin to believe that our apparent failings in life are nothing more than a monument to our own worthlessness.
In these darkest moments, what is it that keeps us hanging on to life? Often it is our fear of how it might affect a person in our lives: a parent or a child or another who is equally tied to us but yet unaware of our despair. These are people who, although we will suffer to live another day for them, we will not reach out to for help. Somehow, in spite of how alone and useless and pointless we may feel, if we believe that our absolute absence would be harmful to even just one person, we somehow find the strength to continue. We do this knowing they will never understand the sacrifice we have made for them in living.
And while we are hanging on to those threads of mattering at least that much to just one person, there is someone far more significant who we absolutely matter to that we have completely overlooked. That person is being masked by the story of our not mattering. That person is trapped inside a cell of expectations and desires. That person is our authentic self.
And it’s not even appropriate to say that our authentic self is masked or trapped, it is just experiencing the absolute power and limitation of thought. Regardless of how it looks and feels on the surface, this is an essential, valuable, and purposeful stage in our growth. This is a large part of why we have even come into this world of form: to experience these limitations so we can better celebrate our limitlessness. And when we can experience that limitlessness while in form by awakening from those limiting hurts of the past, this brings in a whole new dimension to the celebration.
In those moments of deepest despair, we need to open to the realization that it is not our body that has to die to be released from these stories of hurt we have collected, whether they are true or not. Those human stories of hurt have worn us thin, and that is when our being has the best opportunity to try to break free. It tells us to just let go, to stop, to die, but with only a conventional understanding of what those words mean, we lose ourselves in thoughts of mortal death.
Everything has a purpose, even darkness. The age-old saying “It’s always darkest before the dawn” takes on new meaning when you can learn that by embracing and welcoming that darkness into your heart instead of fearing or resisting it, you are able to discover the absolute beauty of the light that it conceals.
It is not you, in your essence, who is alone and useless and pointless: it is the mind-made story of who you believe you are that is all those things. And when you can get inside those limiting beliefs, you find that they were actually gifts leading you to discover the truth that in your essence, you are pure and beautiful and untouched by any of those stories or experiences of pain and hurt.
Your spirit, your authentic self, your awareness of who you are beyond all limitations of thought, is now free to be in this world as an expression of the love that it recognizes in all situations. Through expressing this love, you are able to create and experience a truly fulfilling life beyond any story of the one you believed you were deserving of.
I read somewhere (probably in Tolle’s “A New Earth”) something about emotions being the body’s reaction to thought. This concept has been of particular interest to me lately as I have been experiencing such an intense range of emotions over the past week or so. Over the past year, I have to a large extent learned how to step outside of the emotional reactions that come up, effectively diffusing them and finding creative solutions, but lately I seem to be fully embodying each reaction. I get lost in the story of it, and I spiral down a long, dark hole.
So it all seems to start when I am confronted with a situation that under normal circumstances I’d rather not be in. This happens to us all the time, and takes on many different forms and degrees of severity. The initial judgment as “good” or “bad” and corresponding initial emotional reaction happen almost instantaneously, but much of the time I am able to just use that feeling as a cue to grab my compass.
With compass in hand, my usual course of remedy is to just accept that “this is the situation”, and set about exploring the possible ways of handling it. By accepting it, I just allow it to be there and don’t get myself mentally entangled in a battle of “wishing it was different”. In that way, I am able to respond to the needs of the situation by harnessing the energy that would have been tied up in resistance and putting it to good use in resolving the issue in a compassionate and efficient way. These solutions typically benefit all concerned without the added stress or tension to my body.
But lately I realize that after that initial emotional reaction, I am entering a resistance phase. Rather than accept what is happening, I start telling myself a story about how I wish it wasn’t happening and I quickly assign blame (often to myself). Those stories perpetuate the emotional reaction which perpetuates the story and on and on until I end up in either a huge explosion and/or a mess of tears. It’s been at this point lately that I find my compass and ask myself “what in the world am I doing?” I am then able to witness my body’s reaction to those thoughts: trembling, quivering, dense, stiff.
How am I supposed to be able to come up with a creative solution if I am locked in such a mental and emotional fetal position? It’s not possible, and I am only doing damage to myself and those around me by reacting in such a way. I also begin to flog myself with the internal dialogue of how I should know better than this by now. This undermines my creativity even more because then I feel like I’m some sort of a fraud for posting all these posts promoting conscious living and here I am still falling pray to this most common tool of the ego.
So I write this today partly in an effort to come clean and say I am not perfect, partly because acknowledging and accepting our limitations is often the first step to moving beyond them, and partly because I thought it might also be helpful for others too. I remind myself that it’s in these imperfect moments that we can often find out greatest lessons, that emotional reactions are often just our past presenting itself now so we can have the opportunity to do it differently, and that it’s okay to be a mess from time to time especially if we can be a mess consciously.