“I am not this hair, I am not this skin, I am the soul that lives within.” ~ Rumi
I found myself a bit ‘uninspired’ the other day—listless, lost, and perhaps, just a little drained. My brain had become a muddled mess of itself—the result of equal parts flu and of misery.
And in that moment, I found doubt and panic settling in—those evil little demons, peering out back at me again from just beyond my laptop keyboard…taunting me with this, as of yet, still starkly white ‘page.’
The thoughts were right there, in here, I knew it—but for some reason, my brain had become completely disconnected from my heart.
I didn’t know quite what to do; so I just sat there, still and silent in my fear.
And then, I just let go, and ‘listened in.’
It was just right then, and as if by some great cosmic ‘cue’… that the Universe sent me the most wonderful of gifts—the silliest of thoughts, wrapped up in its very best bow—and one that caused my face to break out in a grin.
And, as I sat there, giggling just a bit to myself, I thought,
“Ha! I’ll bet even the Buddha had bad days…”
And just as soon as that thought found its way through my head…everything that seemed to matter most in my moment, gently and sweetly washed away.
Yes, I’ll bet even the Buddha felt moments of doubt and of worry as he sat beneath that Bodhi tree on his path towards enlightenment. I mean, do you really think he sat there that whole time without once ever wondering, “Do I have the strength and courage to find my way through this once again?”
That’s when I realized our difference, the Buddha and I, and just in this instance right here—you see, while I was off seeking a response to myself, the Buddha had already found his answer within.
And, do you know what it was that the Buddha did in that moment when he faced his greatest fear? He fell silently inward, and reached his arms forward to touch the Earth. And in that one simple gesture, he found a way to reconnect to this wonderful Universe—to become a thread in this great fabric of life, again.
In reaching forward, he found his very special way of looking back in—of grounding himself in this most peaceful awareness.
Past the ego, the doubt… and all of that fear.
In that one single moment, and in that simple stretch forward—he realized that he was more than all and anything that he could ever possibly feel within his heart.
And, then… I suspect, he never once worried again.
There is a great power in feeling inter-connected—to feel that we are part of a much greater whole. But sometimes we spend so much time looking outside of ourselves…for answers, for clarity, for strength, for love…that we forget that all that we ever need is right here within.
And isn’t that when all of the real suffering begins—when it is that our heart becomes ‘unhooked’ from our soul.
If we only paused just long enough to remember, that it’s when we feel most overwhelmed—that the answer is quite honestly, the simplest. It’s only through letting go of our ‘pieces’, that we’ll find our way back to ‘whole’ once again.
And that’s when, I suppose, you’ll only then finally realize—that the answer you’ve been seeking is you.
Because, we all know the very best view of one’s heart—is from the outside, and looking back in.
Bonus – 10 of the Greatest Rumi Quotes on Living.
1. “And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?”
2. “You wander from room to room,
Hunting for the diamond necklace
That is already around your neck!”
3. “What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is your candle.”
4. “Forget safety. Live where you fear to live.”
5. “Darkness may hide the trees
and the flowers from the eyes
but it cannot hide
love from the soul.”
6. “The garden of the world has no limits, except in your mind.”
7. “Is it really so that the one I love is everywhere?”
8. “When the light returns to its source, it takes nothing of what it has illuminated.”
9. “Maybe you are searching among the branches, for what only appears in the roots.”
10. “Dance until you shatter yourself.”
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Ed: Kate Bartolotta