When I began following my heart as a way of life, everything changed. I stopped doing all the things I had been doing out of necessity, or fear.
I’d just left a lucrative, somewhat successful career through many leaps of faith following my heart into a very humbling time where I experienced a lack of money, a complete change in friendships, and a reckoning with my past.
They say that when the light goes dim on the outside, that’s when the light within can burn more brightly.
I was facing many things about myself I didn’t want to admit, and letting go of many circumstances & protective identities I thought made me, me.
What kept me going was the support I sought out, and a driving determination to integrate this way of being. My heart just wouldn’t give up, no matter how disheartening it all became on the outside. All I could do was spend many long hours alone on the beach, pondering all my new-found realizations.
Another metaphor that struck me profoundly at the time and stayed with me until now is that the journey of self-realization is like finding pieces of a jigsaw puzzle of LIFE.
I was picking up pieces of the puzzle that connected me with love inside, the kind that’s ever present and doesn’t depend on what happens or doesn’t happen to be felt.
On one particular day while walking near where my family lived, my thoughts kept desperately searching for a way out of my perceived problems. “If only I could find a diamond ring in the sand, or something valuable…” as if implying that ‘then all my problems would be solved.’ And for a moment I got really excited and bought into this thought.
But as I drifted along the shore, I became aware that while I was looking in the sand for a solution to my “problems,” I was missing out on the beauty of the ocean crashing its’ thunderous waves upon the sand that afternoon. I wasn’t embracing the wind as it caressed my cheek and ran its’ fingers through my hair. I wasn’t feeling the aliveness in myself beneath the warmth of the sun kissed air.
What I did find on that beach was NOT an object of any monetary value whatsoever. What I unearthed with one of my toes deep in the sand was a few actual pieces of a kids jigsaw puzzle.
And in that moment my heart reminded me through a feeling: “stop looking for solutions, just look for the next piece of the puzzle in your journey of knowing yourself; keep deepening the connection with the truth, the infinite you.”
By falling into an erratic mind, and feeding on my fears, I was forgetting the truth: that life was trying to support me through these circumstances.
The truth is, there are no problems, only lessons.
Because I have learned that you can get good at a lot of things in this life: You can get good at making money. You can get good at building a grand lifestyle. You can get good at building businesses, or making movies. You can get good at collecting all the trappings of a perfect life through your circumstances… but if you’re anything like me, each time you climb up that mountain of finding happiness in your circumstances, you get to the top with a nagging feeling like, “that’s it,” or, “something is still missing.”
It’s the journey that never ends. So while there is nothing wrong with building a life you love through your circumstances, without a connection to your heart, have you ever felt as though you have fully “arrived” that way?
There is no happiness in the destination if there is no love in the journey. I also believe there is no depth of consistent happiness without connecting with who you are beyond your circumstances.
I’m not saying to stop chasing your dreams. I’m saying: use what you love to do to connect with the energy of who you truly are. Use your dreams consciously, as a vehicle to know yourself.
True freedom is freedom from seeking happiness in what you do, in things you have, and in building your identity to “be someone” in the eyes of another because you’re found connection with your heart, and are already full of the love many are seeking in their external circumstances.
You are the character in your life, but you are also the observer in the awareness that life is NOT a game to be “won” through your circumstances, but a game to be played for fun, and for love.
And this is when you reach a part of your journey where there are no pieces of the puzzle left to be learned, except one… you living what you know.
But not the thinking, separate, limited side of you… the beingness, energy, infinite part of you: the authentic you.
There is only the ONE piece of the puzzle to realize that matters: who you truly are.
Everything else really is an illusion.
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