LIFE IS CHALLENGING. I feel it’s especially challenging on the path of truth. It’s not easy to know yourself beyond limitation, judgment, and form.
Some have said that you have to be crazy, willing to go out of your mind. And if you consider that, isn’t it true? To enter the realm of your heart, don’t you have to step out of your mind?
Life is challenging on this journey because it doesn’t always make any sense. And that’s why it’s not easy to step outside of the mind. The mind pretends to be a safe place, seducing you with promises to keep your pain to a minimal and your success at it’s highest using logic in your circumstances. It focuses on outside possessions to build your identity and shies away from delving inside.
And if your mind is anything like mine, the thoughts are constantly convincing you to compromise yourself, to play it safe, which keeps you from living in the moment, which keeps you from living for what you love. Ego doesn’t like to take risks, unless it thinks it will get something out of it: fame, attention, notoriety, success, any form of recognition.
Life is also challenging when you’re not on this journey. There is the pain that comes from feeling a disconnection with the heart. The pain that comes from not living fully, not living in the moment, from playing it safe, from being small. The pain that comes from the inevitable disappointment when your circumstances change and you didn’t want them to. The pain that comes from feeling separate from who you truly are, the everything, the aliveness that is always there.
No matter what way you look at it, life is full of challenge.
It’s challenging to accept when things change that you found happiness in, because isn’t everything always changing? Every experience in the physical world is temporary. That’s the nature of life. People that you love pass away. People that you care for leave you. Sometimes you leave them. Relationships run their course. You lose businesses, you succeed. You win some, you lose some.
When a circumstance changes, especially one that you perceive gives you a sense of love, or a sense of happiness, you may experience the pain of loss. It may be because you confused your circumstances with who you are, so you grieve the loss of the circumstance as if a piece of yourself.
When my last relationship ended, I grieved more the loss of the idea of what I wanted from the relationship more than I grieved the loss of the actual person. In my heart, I knew when it ended that I was free to open my heart to someone more suited to the kind of openness in a relationship that I knew that person wasn’t meant to or wasn’t able to share with me.
I once heard that one grieves the loss of anything that goes away, be it a pencil or a person. When loss happens, I believe the greatest thing you can do is give it space. Be with what it is you feel. Allow the grief to move you if it’s there. When the relationship ended, I allowed the sorrow to be with me, and I gave it space, until it no longer was there. Emotions are like a bottomless pit, you can always find more sadness, but if you place your attention on the truth, that you are not your emotions, that you are the space from which everything emerges and falls back into, eventually the emotion disappears back into the sea of nothingness, which is also where you experience the feeling of aliveness.
The more you put your attention on the truth, that you are the aliveness, the less you lose pieces of yourself to your circumstances.
That’s the journey… living in the unknown.
You either rise to the challenge of knowing yourself beyond your ever-changing, unknown stories, or you allow fear to control you.
Life is full of challenges because it’s full of opportunities to be bigger than whatever you have power in that wants to control you. And if you rise, you have risen to meet the opportunity rather than be placed in a box of your mind fueled by thoughts and judgments. You are either the thoughts, or the witness to thought. You are either following limitation and judgment, or you are in the expansiveness of your heart.
Your judgments are your only true barriers to love.
If you are intent in your heart to go very deep on the journey of truth, know that you will likely face more challenges than your friends, your romantic relationships. Know that you will be on a very long life journey, one that most of those around you simply are not on. You will watch others around you compromise their own hearts and justify it, and you will have to stay true to your own self no matter what you lose or gain along the way. You may be reading this and feel that you aren’t up for the task. And if you’re not, be honest, and move on to living an easier path.
Because in taking the journey of truly knowing yourself, the you that’s not dependent on your circumstances for contentment, for happiness, musn’t you face the limitations and judgments of your circumstances, the limitations that your life story presents in order to rise above them?
How else will you know love beyond judgment, know yourself as the power that no limitation can prevent, how else will you know that the feeling that moves you is more real than your circumstances?
How will you know your true self, if you do not have the opportunity to see first who you think you are by watching how you react to your own limitations?
For in the awareness of seeing who you think you are as limitation, you have the space to realize it’s not who you are.
From one heart traveling this journey to another, it’s easy to become embroiled in the story, in the emotions, lost in the chase for a destination that you simply will never arrive at through your circumstances. It’s not that you won’t arrive at that destination with a lot of hard work, but ask yourself in your experience, don’t you find that when you finally reach the peak of happiness in your circumstances, you fear their changing again, or you find another peak to chase? And the thinking mind never stops chasing happiness on the outside, which is why you must know yourself in your heart… Because the outside never stops changing.
It’s easy to get lost in finding yourself through your circumstances, but then it’s also easy to get ‘unlost’ by placing your attention on the truth.
The truth: Who you are in your soul is bigger than the thoughts of limitation. Who you truly are is bigger than judgment. Who you are in your heart is more constant than your circumstances.
Ask yourself at the depths of your soul… whisper it to your heart and wait for the feeling…
Isn’t love in the everything and the nothing, in the silence and the noise, in the pain, and in connection? Isn’t it true that there is nothing that love doesn’t touch? Can you feel it?
Sometimes life-change can seem like the end of the world as you know it. But isn’t it just the end of your circumstances? And don’t the constant changes in your life circumstances make for a great life adventure! A great story!
The question to ask yourself in times of life-change, in moments of doubt about your circumstances, will you let yourself be beat down by your stories, or will you rise to TRULY LIVE no matter what circumstances life (you) throw your own way? Don’t you want to have an amazing life story that’s full of aliveness?
Every change in circumstance is an opportunity to realize that I am bigger than the limitations, emotions, and loss in circumstances. I am not the stories I have the pleasure of experiencing. I am not thoughts, I am not the body, I am not any form or judgment.
And in every I am, I remember the feeling that moves me, the aliveness present even in the pain, the aliveness and witness to the outside that stays constant through it all. There inlies the heartbeat moving the billions of hearts, the presence of the energy fuelling the world.
If love is what truly makes the world go around, then the answer to all of your problems is to stop fixing your problems, stop labeling the problems as problems to begin with, and dig deeper into your heart, into the space where life forms emerge and fade back away. Know yourself as the presence, the witness, the silence, the nothing.
For in the nothing is everything.