There are so many modules out there for healing and finding ourselves—it’s enough for any of us to feel f*cked up!
It’s common to misunderstand the hardships of life, the inevitable suffering that Buddha teaches us about in the Four Noble Truths, as a personal affront.
In fact, many leading psychologists agree that the biggest issues they see on the couch aren’t from the problems that people have, but from the fact that people have an irrational belief that they shouldn’t have problems at all. And it’s that illogical wish for a problem-free life that creates many of the dysfunctions they treat. Quite often, instead of accepting that “life is suffering” as Buddha plainly puts it, we search endlessly for a remedy for our pain.
We embark on an endless search for the right teacher, the perfect “something”-free diet, the right mantra or some cryptic quest for greater understanding. Ultimately, we end up in some cerebral labryinth, spinning out endless reasons why we are the way that we are, and hoping that some method of healing will somehow arrive.
And in the process, life passes by and we miss out on participating.
There are some other rules that we can follow, not as another sceptre to pick up and then cast away, but as general guidelines to enjoy the small time we have on this planet. Yes, we continue to work on our stuff, but as yoga teaches us, the words of the intellect can weigh us down and lead us into an endless myriad of “mind masturbation.”
Our minds serve us, but can also be our greatest enemy, leaving us paralyzed as we wait for the moment that we are better. As the great behavior therapist Albert Ellis said when asked on his 90th birthday what he had learned after being a therapist for 70 years: “Everyone is F*cked up!”
In short, we need to practice living, as imperfect beings.
The rules for dropping into life are as follows:
Life is too short to spend it alone in our heads trying to resolve past issues.
Process, but don’t turn painful experiences into endless suffering.
Don’t take ourselves and our sh*t too seriously.
Remind yourself you’re never alone. When we recognize a higher power, we know we will never be abandoned, left to sort out our issues by spinning words around in our minds. Let the path of our lives unfold.
Get tantric, meaning: anything that allows us to experience the pulsation of life, the ebb and the flow is a definite yes!
We need to sift through past adversity as it impacts us right now, but don’t over-analyze or allow the process to paralyze us.
Have fun! This.Is.Your.Life. End of story.
Now, now, now and only now. F*ck the past, it doesn’t serve us at all.
And finally, most importantly, give ourselves this gift: See ourselves as whole right now. There is no future time we’re going to be fixed or better or more complete. So, get out there!
Author: Francesca ter Poorten
Apprentice Editor: Megan Ridge Morris / Editor: Catherine Monkman