I have decided that if you want to stretch yourself and grow, I recommend starting your own business (I hear having children is also a good idea).
The last few weeks have been particularly challenging in my life; trying to juggle a thousand things; the website, organizing events, relationships, building a video studio and all the details that are attached to these things.
I am stepping out into new and uncharted territory and it has me regularly pushed to my limits of what I am comfortable with. I am coming to edges and moving past them. My life is missing the safety and predictability that it used to have.
This has left me feeling lost and insecure, a feeling that I can see I have avoided.
Sure, I have faced fears and stretched myself. Perhaps I have done this more than most. But, when I look honestly at what I am capable of stepping into and what I have actually said yes to, I see a noticeable gap. For so long I tried to put together a “good life”; one that would be satisfying and make this feeling of emptiness and longing inside go away for good.
I have now discovered that true satisfaction is not something that can be fed from the outside. It is something that comes from within.
This left me looking for the answer to why we’re here. Cue the spiritual path! But hold on… before we all dance around and praise the brilliance of any particular spiritual philosophy, I have some inside information that may not sit well with some, but may ring true for many.
The spiritual path is no more an answer to the existential question of why we are here than the current paradigm of separation and opposition.
So what’s the answer then? How can we grow if we don’t have a path to follow?
I keep coming to deeper and deeper understanding about this process of growth and spiritual development. Just today I read something that landed in me on a deep level; the idea that any spiritual path is just another construct of the ego. It serves to usurp and undermine the very nature of what spirituality is.
What triggered this latest insight was a piece of writing that spoke to the trap of being on any kind of path. Choosing to be on a path is actually self-oriented and takes us away from being what we really are. It becomes a cleverly disguised quest to get something and to become a somebody. This is hard to accept and let in. It threatens the identity that we put together.
I now see the piercing truth of it.
Even if the path is built on wonderful ideas like kindness, compassion, love, or joy, it separates us from our own authentic self. It becomes the lens that we see through, having us see others who are not on our path as less.
The very act of searching is a renunciation of our true nature and the reality of our wholeness.
I can see how I have played the game of walking a path of one kind or another and am sitting with this today. I can see something more essential and of far greater valuable emerging. I’m feeling a warm smile rising in me as I fully let go of my ideas about a good and meaningful life; leaving room for authenticity to take its place.
What would it mean to us in our lives, to let go of our ideas about ourselves, letting go of everything we think we are and want to become? Ayashanti, a modern spiritual teacher, once said of enlightenment:
“Make no mistake about it, enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s the seeing through the facade of pretense. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.”
Those words resonate deeply in me. There is a piecing clarity that arises in when I chose to let go of all my ideas about what this life is for; simply surrendering to what is left when ideas have fallen away. There is emptiness, a sense of having no direction.
What I also find is that there is a different kind of freedom in me. A knowing that there is nothing I have to try to be.
I can simply rest in what I really am.
What a beautiful gift.
So I ask you, are you ready to let go of everything you think this life is so you can allow what is more true to come alive?
This is a question for us all to ponder and—if the clarity is there—to act.
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Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo Dolphin Kasper