It seems we are always running away from ourselves.
We’re afraid of expressing what we are, in the depths of our being, out of the fear of being rejected or unloved. Naturally, many of us descend into negative psycho-emotional habits to deal with being out of alignment with our fundamental nature.
What I often wonder is, how can we be so afraid of being what we are when the alternative is unimaginably worse?
There’s nothing more painful and confusing than living a life that is not our own—being disconnected from our soul’s purpose. The reason we fall into tendencies of unconsciousness and escape is because many of us have been so heavily conditioned that we don’t even recognize the infinite potential of our lives anymore. It becomes about “getting by”—and I f*cking hate that term.
We live in a neurotic culture that exchanges the intrinsic power and beauty of being alive for some kind of social rat race that has us always running from our truth. It’s a vicious cycle, and the collective consequences can be even more vicious.
So, what’s the antidote?
I can only speak from my experience, from how I’ve personally dealt with the culture that surrounds me, but what I can say is that no matter how chaotic our environment might be, inner peace is entirely unconditional and always available to us. We can transcend the neurosis of modern life by seeing the ways in which we reflect those qualities—don’t immediately point at the outside world; let’s first look at ourselves and see all the ways we contribute to it inwardly.
Don’t judge what you see. Just notice. Just watch. Observe what’s happening within, and from this quality of observation comes a kind of inner stillness—a deep sense of peace. This is a revolutionary force. When we see something within ourselves, the scope of our consciousness expands and all of a sudden, a whole new world of possibilities presents itself.
Vision is power. It’s the stuff that we don’t see that really causes us harm.
We run away from what we are because we have been programmed into believing there is something wrong with us. That’s a lie. Human beings are all the same, in the deepest sense. We are specks of consciousness blowing along the sandy beach of time. When we tap into the essence of what we truly are, life starts to overflow with meaning and vitality—and we can only do this by stepping into the present moment.
“I am what I am as I am.”
This is a phrase I’ve been saying to myself whenever I feel out of touch. When I connect with my experience, the stark immediacy of what I am feeling, I am no longer scared or confused about my life. I can simply abide in the space of “I am,”which many great spiritual teachers have said throughout the ages. Instead of identifying with my endlessly compulsive thought patterns, I am identifying with my energy, my spirit.
I am being, rather than attempting to become this or that.
Whenever we are striving for something, whether it be a new promotion or a glass of milk, we are implicitly accepting the illusion that we are not enough. And while there is a such thing as “healthy striving,” where we pursue what we want while remaining grounded in our own experience, that’s a rare quality. Most of us live in a state of inner scarcity, of “not enoughness,” and we deny the abundance of our own being.
Here’s a little secret I’ve learned though: our lives are good enough. We don’t need to go anywhere or do anything to be happy. All we really need is to be present with our own experience, grounded in the now, and then everything else we might do in life is embraced with gratitude and seen as a profound privilege.
When we feel that we already have what we need, the inner peace that lies beneath the dysfunctional ego-mind, it seems like good things come to us. When we move in accordance with our heartfelt longings, the deepest sh*t inside of us, the universe provides the rest. It’s as though life is living through us, instead of us always trying to capture life in a little box and keep it for ourselves.
Say it to yourself when you’re feeling overwhelmed: “I am what I am as I am.” Take a deep breath and relax into the present moment. Bring awareness to the felt experience of the body. Accept what is.
We have everything we need right here and right now; it’s just a matter of getting in touch with the infinite creative power that lives inside each and every one of us.