“Where’s the sun?” I repeat the question to the Universe that was suggested by a friend who seemed to be suffering from the loss of sunshine. After all, cloudy days seem to bring out the “blahs” in most of us, and today seemed like no exception.
“It’s there, you simply choose to focus on the clouds,” came the reply. The answer makes me wonder why we choose to see the Universe as this complicated realm of physics when it seems like nothing more than a simple expression of what is. Yes, I chuckle even as I type those words. Usually, the Universe answers me in the most simplistic fashion which suggests to me that I am the one over-complicating things.
The answer I got is certainly indisputable. I’ve been on enough airplanes to know that a clear view of the daytime sun is only a few thousand feet from me. So the question must be rhetorical because, after all, we all know where the sun is. It’s there, it’s shining, and it is allowing us the ability to see the clouds we have chosen to focus on. It is we who create the clouds into a source of suffering, and it is our choice to focus on that source rather than to peel away the layers to the Light that allows us to see them.
Love is like the sun. When we become somber or angry, those emotions serve as the clouds that hide the sunshine. We could make a choice to focus on the clouds or the light beneath them. Because again, it is that light that allows us to see the clouds, right? Just like the sun, Love itself is not extinguished because of a few clouds nor does it vanish in the presence of fear even if we can’t see it shining high within us. It’s always there, always shining, regardless of where we choose to place our focus. If only we would look beyond the layers, beyond the clouds, and place our focus on the sunshine we could allow the clouds to be without distracting us from our focus.
I wasn’t done with this, so I had to “ask” what seemed like the most logical of questions: “What happens if we redirect our attention from the clouds and focus solely on the sunshine?”
The Universe rarely speaks to us in words, and this answer really didn’t come in the form of a word. I use “transformation” to describe the explanation I received. See, I didn’t ask the question with words either. Rather, I asked it by simply redirecting my focus from the clouds to the sunshine. A smile crept upon my lips, and I actually laughed out loud. That is “transformation,” folks. I asked properly and received a proper answer. I could have asked the question verbally while still only focusing on the clouds and my answer would have been much different because the Universe answers true questions (actions) with true answers (actions, or what we call “reactions, see Newton’s Third Law). Words are meaningless outside of our own minds and rarely have an effect unless used in an intense moment of stillness.
The blame we give to the Universe for not answering our questions is equally meaningless. We simply are asking them in the wrong way, and not seeing the true answer to the true question. Ask (correctly) and you shall receive. It’s a matter of action, of focus, not of words. If you ask your neighbor for an egg while throwing them at his house, which question will get the answer? Right, the one you ask through action.
I have come to know myself quite well in recent years through tears, trial, tribulation, suffering, and the LOVE that allowed me to see them all. I know that my mind reacts to certain stimuli based on the 40 some-odd years of conditioning that I have allowed. I can be a cold bastard, a big bear, a manipulative asshole, and a caring man, all depending on how I let my focus be directed. I am in control for sure and sometimes I choose to allow my conditioning to cloud the sunshine. I love everyone, but get someone to cut me off in traffic and the clouds set in. I am become less focused on the sunshine and more distracted by the clouds. This discovery is the key to “transformation.” Once I understand that I alone changed my focus, I then understand that I alone can change it back. This seems to be true for each and every aspect of our human existence, where we ourselves are the “Creator.”
In this understanding I also know that I can’t “beat myself up” for my distractions. After all, we learn to appreciate the sunny days because of cloudy ones. I desire to focus on the sunshine and allow those moments of lost focus to remind me of how much I love the Light. Blindfolds always make the light that much brighter once removed. Prayer, or meditation, should be the practice of removing the blindfold and of changing the focus point of our moments. It isn’t that the blindfold is bad; it is simply that I wish to focus on the brightness the Light affords. Each is perfect in its own way, and fulfilling its purpose regardless of what I create it to be.
Remember, in this perspective yoga is the question. Meditation is the question. Compassion is the question. Charity is the question. Exercise is the question. Healthy eating is the question. These are not answers to anything; they are merely the questions we ask the Universe to which it, of course, will answer. In truth, no words are ever necessary in this dynamic and never-ending dialog between Love and the Lover.
Anyway, there I go overcomplicating things again. Sometimes I wish I could just point at the silver lining I see and have that be enough. After all, isn’t that how the Universe says it all?